Justin Bieber and Skrillex Are Being Sued for Allegedly Plagiarizing ‘Sorry’

Insert obligatory “Sorry” joke here, because Justin Bieber is being sued by indie artist White Hinterland—real name Casey Dienel— for stealing the insanely recognizable vocal riff at the beginning of his mega hit. To wit:

According to a post on Facebook, Dienel alleges JB and collaborator Skrillex jacked the ethereal opening sound, writing “I poured my blood, sweat, and tears into writing and producing ‘Ring the Bell,’ and I am proud of the finished product, which Rolling Stone listed as one of its ‘favorite songs, albums, and videos,’” Dienel wrote. “Throughout my career, I have worked very hard to preserve my independence and creative control, thus it came as a shock to hear my work used and exploited without permission.”

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She also said Bieber easily could have asked to legally sample the loop. “Bieber could have licensed my song for use in ‘Sorry.’ But he chose not to contact me. After the release of ‘Sorry,’ my lawyers sent Bieber a letter regarding the infringement, but Bieber’s team again chose to ignore me.”

Dienel is also suing producers Skrillex and Blood, as well as the song’s cowriters Justin Tranter and Julia Michaels, according to MTV. In a 2015 interview with The Fader, Blood talked about writing the riff, saying: “From the perspective of the producer, I find the muffled vocal chops to represent the people or situations in which Justin or the listener could be apologetic towards. The vocal manipulations make an ambiguous sound and a moment later Justin replies, ‘Sorry.’ I love that narrative.”

Take a listen to Bieber’s song for comparison, not that you don’t have it permanently running through your head on repeat at all times.

 

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