Most copyright infringement lawsuits tend to focus on numerous similarities between two works of intellectual property, but the latest case from the music world demonstrates that artists can sue over just one line.
The surviving members of legendary rock band The Beach Boys, Brian Wilson and Mike Love, are reportedly considering taking legal action against pop singer Katy Perry, rapper Snoop Dogg and their respective record labels over new single ‘California Gurls’.
As most Beach Boys fans will be aware, the group released a famous song of nearly the same name back in 1965. ‘California Girls’ featured the famous lyric “I wish they all could be California girls”, and the group alleges that the Perry/Snoop Dogg version uses this very same lyric without permission.
Although the case has not yet reached the courts – some reports suggest Snoop Dogg has re-recorded his lyrics in order to avoid legal action – Wilson and Love’s record label Rondor Music have reportedly sent a letter of complaint to Perry’s label Capitol.
Should Rondor Music choose to pursue a copyright infringement lawsuit against Capitol, both record labels will require some level of professional insurance cover in order to dispute or prove the allegation through extensive litigation.