Published Oct 28, 2010Since taking over the pop music sphere with "Where Is the Love?" in 2003, the Black Eyed Peas have taken few career missteps. With their next album, The Beginning, slated to drop on November 30, they're ready to assail our ears with another batch of relentless, repetitive singles. But first off, they'll have to face some serious copyright infringement allegations.
According to a recent press release, the Black Eyed Peas' 2009 mega-hit, "I Gotta Feeling," is under suspicion for ripping off a track from Texas songwriter Bryan Pringle. His tune is called "Take a Dive," and legal documents state that "I Gotta Feeling" is "substantially similar." Pringle claims he has been submitting demo CDs to Interscope, UMG and EMI over the last decade, and believes they wilfully used his recording.
Similarly, Chicago, IL juke artist Phoenix Phenom (born Ebony Latrice Batts) believes the Black Eyed Peas stole her single, "Boom Dynamite," to create their smash hit "Boom Boom Pow," also from 2009. Batts sent a demo of the song to Interscope after an A&R rep requested some demos. Batts previously filed a suit about this dispute in January.
Both artists are filing their lawsuits through lawyers Dean A. Dickie, Ira Gould and George L. Hampton. Dickie explained the case, saying, "Both Complaints allege that the defendants UMG Recordings, Interscope Records and members of the Black Eyed Peas engaged in a pattern and practice of intentional copyright infringement with respect to the unlawful copying of songs of unknown or lesser-known artists. It is public knowledge that there have been multiple copyright infringement cases or claims brought against the Black Eyed Peas within the last year."
Gould added, "Copyright infringement is bad enough, but when it is part of a pattern and practice, relates to songs that are iconic hits and the innocent victims are unknown or lesser known artists, the damage extends beyond the parties involved and into the music industry and the public arena generally."
The plaintiffs are seeking some hefty damages in these cases, including all net profits received by the performance of these songs, as well as future credits and songwriting credits. Furthermore, Pringle is demanding the Peas stop performing "I Gotta Feeling" on their current world tour.
While we don't have a sample of Pringle's "Take a Dive," the similarities between "Boom Dynamite" and "Boom Boom Pow" are demonstrated below.