Listening to music is a part of everyday life for many people — this is especially true with listening to music while exercising being able to boost workout performance by 15%. And one of the more popular musicians in the electronic dance genre today is Marshmello. Unfortunately, Marshmello is being sued for copyright infringement by Russian songwriter and producer Arty.
In the lawsuit, Arty is claiming that Marshmello stole certain elements from the remix he did of “I Lived” by One Republic. Along with Marshmello, other defendants named in the claim are Steve Mac and Daniel Campbell Smith, who co-founded the band Bastille.
Kobalt Music, who is the music publisher for both Arty and Marshmello is also a defendant.
Lawsuits regarding music composition are not uncommon. And with the USPTO receiving more than 500,000 patent applications every year, many musicians patent their music for their own protection. But Arty is not suing Marshmello over the underlying composition of the music. Instead, the lawsuit claims the Marshmello and his song co-writers took beats and other unique elements from Arty’s song “I Lived – Arty Remix” and used them in the song “Happier”.
The remix Arty made of “I Lived”, which was made in 2014, has had massive success in the EDM industry. Because of his EDM remixes of popular songs, Arty has gained immense popularity over the past few years. But both Arty and Marshmello make music in the EDM world and often have performed at the same shows. According to the lawsuit, because they are around each other frequently, it’s possible that Marshmello became familiar with Arty’s “I Lived” remix and was able to take beats from it.
“Happier” was released in the summer of 2018 and quickly topped the charts. The song even went double-platinum and reached Number Two on the UK Singles Chart.
While there are laws and regulations in place to protect people’s ideas and projects, like the 2016 Defend Trade Secrets Act, but this lawsuit is unique among those in the music industry and has already caught the attention of others in music.
Arty is being represented by Nashville copyright lawyer Richard Busch. Busch has represented other artists in the past, including the Marvin Gaye estate in the lawsuit against Pharrell Williams and Robin Thicke. According to Busch, Arty is seeking both damages and profits the defendants made from “Happier” as well as wanting a royalty on income that may come from “Happier” in the future.
Busch told Rolling Stone, “Everything we have to say at this time is set forth in detail in the Complaint. This includes of course the facts setting forth, among other things, access, and a thorough and compelling musical transcription comparison that shows, as we said in the Complaint, note for note copying of Arty’s work.”
A representative for Marshmello or the other defendants has yet to reply to the lawsuit publicly but the case is already making waves in the music industry.