Dua Lipa is officially facing a copyright infringement lawsuit for allegedly copying an indie group’s work to create “Levitating.”
Five Florida-based individuals just recently submitted the concise complaint to a California federal court, naming as defendants Dua Lipa and Warner Records as well as “Levitating” contributors Clarence Coffee Jr. (credited as a songwriter), Stephen Kozmeniuk (known professionally as Koz and credited as a songwriter and a producer), and Sarah Hudson (credited as a songwriter).
Producer Bosco Kante (who’s credited for his talkbox work on Future Nostalgia‘s “Levitating”) is likewise named as a defendant, though the five-page-long infringement suit doesn’t seem to extend to Stuart Price (credited as a producer). The plaintiffs, for their part, are members of a 12-year-old reggae band called Artikal Sound System.
Artikal Sound System maintains in the to-the-point action that the defendants “listened to and copied” one of their songs, “Live Your Life,” both “before and during the time when they were writing ‘Levitating.’”
Artikal’s members say that they penned and released “Live Your Life” in 2017, and “given the degree of similarity, it is highly unlikely that ‘Levitating’ was created independently from ‘Live Your Life.’”
As a result, the plaintiffs are seeking damages and profits from “Levitating,” which released in October of 2020 and remains one of 26-year-old Dua Lipa’s most popular tracks. To be sure, the song boasts a combined total of 1.68 billion Spotify plays between its original release and a remix featuring DaBaby.
Notwithstanding a much-publicized management shakeup, Dua Lipa is currently touring and hadn’t commented publicly on the copyright infringement suit at the time of this piece’s writing. (It doesn’t look as though the other defendants have publicly addressed the case either, but Clarence Coffee Jr. attended one of Dua Lipa’s recent shows in New York City.)
Regarding the purported similarities between “Levitating” and “Live Your Life,” an official upload of the latter track doesn’t appear to be live on YouTube or Spotify. But at least one reupload of “Live Your Life” has made its way onto YouTube this month, and multiple commenters have voiced the opinion that the tracks sound alike – a noteworthy contrast to the overwhelmingly critical fan responses to other infringement suits.
In another contrast to different infringement actions, the plaintiff band is still making music – including an album, Welcome to Florida, that debuted last month – and touring. With two shows scheduled for March, Artikal Sound System will remain on the road into August, according to the band’s website.