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Music

Radiohead publisher denies suing Lana Del Rey over 'Creep' plagiarism

Singer Lana Del Rey said that she's being sued by British band Radiohead, who find that her song "Get Free" is too similar to their breakthrough hit, "Creep." Radiohead's publisher denies legal action.

Following reports by British tabloid The Sun, American singer Lana Del Rey said on Twitter that Radiohead is suing her for plagiarism.

Radiohead publisher Warner/Chappell has since confirmed it wants writing credits — but denies a lawsuit.

"It's true that we've been in discussions since August of last year with Lana Del Rey's representatives," the publisher said in a statement. "It's clear that the verses of 'Get Free' use musical elements found in the verses of 'Creep' and we've requested that this be acknowledged in favor of all writers of 'Creep.'" 

"To set the record straight, no lawsuit has been issued and Radiohead have not said they 'will only accept 100 percent' of the publishing of 'Get Free.'"

The dispute centers on "Get Free," the last song on her album "Lust for Life," released in July 2017.

The opening chords and tempo of the track are similar to Radiohead's "Creep," the band's debut single that propelled them to stardom in 1993.

Radiohead 

Ironically, Radiohead were previously sued for lifting the chord progression and melody on "Creep" from a song by the Hollies, "The Air That I Breathe." The writers of the song from 1974, Albert Hammond and Mike Hazlewood, were added to the song's writing credits and now obtain a percentage of its royalties.

Musician and and BBC Radio 4 satirical comedian Mitch Benn commented on the incongruity of the  lawsuit on Twitter:

High stakes in copyright disputes

The music industry has recently faced a series of high-profile copyright disputes, including, in 2014, Sam Smith for "Stay With Me," deemed too similar to Tom Petty's "I Won't Back Down." The late American rocker was added to the credits.

Most spectacularly, over $7 million were awarded to Marvin Gaye's estate when a jury decided that Robin Thicke and Pharrell Williams' 2013 smash hit "Blurred Lines" plagiarized the soul legend's "Got to Give It Up."

 

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