The recent Blurred Lines court case decision has led to a lot of discussion in the music and entertainment world; almost every discussion shares one important question: what effect will this decision have on the music industry?
The repercussions of the case may already be showing in the recent decision by Bruno Mars and Mark Ronson to credit another artist after the release of their hit single, Uptown Funk. The original release of the single had 6 writers credited, including Bruno Mars. However, five additional writers were recently added to the roster–the writers of Oops up Side Your Head by the Gap Band, which was first released in 1979. These writers will not only get credit for the song, but they will also receive a percentage of the song’s royalties.
The reason for this addition is believed to be the similarities between the newly released Uptown Funk and the 1979 release, Oops Up Side Your Head. Although it has not been officially confirmed, insider sources have alleged that Bruno Mars and the other co-producers of the Uptown Funk single did not want to go through the hassle of an expensive court case and simply decided to credit the Gap Band musicians to avoid the extra expenses.
But did Bruno Mars and his co-producers set a dangerous precedent with their decision to give the Gap Band writers credit because the songs may have some similarities? Let’s take a closer look at how Bruno Mars’ decision may have a negative impact on the music industry, particularly in light of the recent Blurred Lines case.
The decision of the Bruno Mars team sets a potentially dangerous precedent for artists; this is a negative precedent because it essentially says that fighting for your music isn’t worth the effort. The decision to simply add the writing credit—and split the royalties—without the investigation from a court could set a precedent for other artists to simply give in and take a pay cut rather than spend their time and money arguing in court. However, artists should not feel like fighting for their music—and the right for music to be influenced by other music—isn’t worth the time and money.
And ultimately, the decision works both ways; not only could it set a precedent for artists not to fight for their music, it could also set a precedent for artists to sue other artists because they feel their songs are similar. The quick decision by the team of Bruno Mars in this case could lead other singers who feel that their songs have been copied to aggressively sue for an expensive sum in the hopes that the new artist will simply decide to give them a small percentage and tack on their name, rather than spend all the money required to fight the issue in court, with the risk of losing a more substantial amount of money if they end up losing the case.