NEW YORK — What do Mark Ronson and Bruno Mars’ “Uptown Funk,” Sam Smith’s “Stay With Me” and the Chainsmokers’ “Closer” have in common?
Yes, they dominated the charts, sold millions of singles and achieved international success in the last two years. But all three smashes also extended writing credit to older songs after they were compared to earlier hits.
More and more, artists are giving that credit in the wake of the “Blurred Lines” case, where Robin Thicke and Pharrell were ordered to pay $5.3 million last year to Marvin Gaye’s children after a judge said “Blurred Lines” copied their father’s hit “Got to Give It Up.” The decision is being appealed.
Ed Sheeran is currently in a legal battle over his slow burner “Thinking Out Loud,” a monster hit in 2015. The family of Ed Townsend, the co-writer of Gaye’s “Let’s Get It On,” claimed Sheeran’s song sounds too much like the soul classic. Producer Jake Gosling and co-writer Amy Wadge are also named in the suit.