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Dua Lipa faces third lawsuit over Levitating

Taken from | Author: Adrian Horton | Date: 2 August 2023

Multimillion-dollar lawsuit claims the singer unlawfully used a talk box recording from her smash single on subsequent remixes.

Dua Lipa is facing a third lawsuit over her hit song Levitating.

A multimillion-dollar copyright claim filed in Los Angeles on Monday by musician Bosko Kante claims the singer and Warner Music Group unlawfully used a recording made with his talk box in remixes of the single, the most popular track off her 2020 album Future Nostalgia.

The suit cites a spoken agreement between Kante and creators of the song that his talk box recording could only be used in the original recording, but not subsequent remixes. Kante seeks more than $20m for alleged copyright infringement on several remixes, including one with The Blessed Madonna, the smash remix featuring rapper DaBaby and a performance by Lipa at the American Music Awards.

Kante has yet to comment on the matter, but Billboard reported that lawyers for the musician claim he “made numerous attempts to resolve this matter short of litigation, but such efforts were unsuccessful, due to Defendants’ unwillingness to cooperate or accept responsibility for this blatant infringement of Plaintiff’s copyrights”.

“All three remixes sampled and incorporated a greater amount of plaintiff’s work than that used in the original version,” the suit claims. “Defendants did not seek or receive any authorization or permission to use the composition or sound recording of plaintiff’s work from plaintiff.”

Representatives for the 27-year-old British-Albanian singer were not immediately available for comment.

Kante bills himself as one of the world’s top artists on the talk box, which allows musicians to modify the sound of an instrument and apply speech sounds. He has contributed talk box performances to Kanye West and Big Boi, and in 2014 founded a company called ElectroSpit to sell a proprietary digital version of the tool.

This suit is the third legal action brought against the song Levitating. In March 2022, the Florida-based reggae band Artikal Sound System claimed Lipa stole Levitating’s core hook from their 2017 song Live Your Life. The band dropped their case in June 2023 after a judge ruled there was no evidence the creators of Levitating, including Lipa, had “access” to the earlier track – a key element of a copyright infringement suit.

Another 2022 lawsuit by the songwriters L Russell Brown and Sandy Linzer remains in limbo but faces a similar “access” argument from Lipa’s lawyers. The songwriters claim Lipa lifted the melody of Levitating from their lesser-known 1979 song Wiggle and Giggle All Night and 1980 track Don Diablo. Lawyers for the singer claim she had never heard either track before creating Levitating.

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