Pop-star and actress Lady Gaga has just been slapped by a copyright lawsuit alleging that her hit song “Shallow,” which won an Academy Award for best song in the film A Star Is Born. The artist who filed the suit, Steve Ronsen, claimed that this track copied several chord progressions that were present in his song “Almost,” which was released on SoundCloud five years ago.
A majority of this claim is based around the chords G, A, and B which are used together in sequence for both of these songs. Lady Gaga’s attorneys on the other hand have also noted that this progression was used decades before as part of “Dust In The Wind,” a song released by Kansas in 1978.
Her attorney’s have also brought up the fact that the song had less than 300 listens prior to the start of this controversy, while it has now amassed over 147,000 streams. They have claimed that this move by Ronsen is a a “brazen shakedown.”
“Mr. Ronsen and his lawyer are trying to make easy money off the back of a successful artist. It is shameful and wrong,” Lady Gaga’s attorney Orin Snyder told Page Six. “I applaud Lady Gaga for having the courage and integrity to stand up on behalf of successful artists who find themselves on the receiving end of such [claims]. Should Mr. Shirian proceed with this case, Lady Gaga will fight it vigorously and will prevail.”
Rosen on the other hand, claims that he is not seeking to exploit the pop-star’s wealth or fame, but is rather pursuing this case due to the opinion of “an official report from a renowned and respected musicologist and professor who determined that there are significant tempo, melodic, rhythmic, and harmonic similarities between the two ‘hooks’ of the songs at issue.”
“It was brought to my attention several times that the Shallow song sounds like mine. I did not seek this out, I haven’t even seen the movie (I heard it’s pretty good), I admire Lady Gaga and I just want to get to the bottom of this. I’m not going after anyone directly,” Ronsen stated on his SoundCloud Page. ” There are other writers that wrote the Shallow song, including Mark Ronson etc. A professional musicologist was consulted who agreed that the songs are similar so I am simply going about this how anyone else would investigate any possible wrongdoing towards them. Thank you.”
This is not the first time an issue such as this has arisen. Earlier this year, Katy Perry was found liable for $2.8 million after a jury ruled that her hit “Dark Horse,” plagiarized a Christian rock song.