Justin Bieber, Dan + Shay Sued over “10,000 Hours”

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Dan + Shay and Justin Bieber released “10,000 Hours” in 2019, and the song skyrocketed through the country charts. Justin Bieber and the country duo won a Grammy that year for “Best Country/Duo Group Performance.” Last week, Melomega filed a complaint, alleging copyright infringement.

Melomega’s Complaint

In Melomega’s complaint, they claim that Dan + Shay, Bieber, and others stole a “core portion” of “The First Time Baby Is A Holiday.” The track was registered in 1980 but not recorded until 2014. The complaint alleges, “Defendants’ theft is impudently bold… One need only listen to ‘First Time’ and the infringing ‘10,000 Hours’ to discern the unmistakable similarities between the songs.” Melomega also mentions musicologist Dr. Alexander Stewart. Dr. Stewart supposedly came to the “ineluctable conclusion that defendants stole plaintiff’s song.”

All About “10,000 Hours”

“10,000 Hours” is a catchy, country love song with stellar vocals from Bieber and the country duo. The music video, which features all three singers and their wives, has more than 200 million views. The artists won a Grammy for the track, as well as American Music Awards and iHeartRadio awards.  It peaked at number one on the Billboard Country Charts, and rose to the fourth spot on the Billboard Hot 100. The track is undoubtedly popular and as such, this copyright lawsuit has been publicized by many.

A Precise Comparison for Justin Bieber, Dan + Shay

The lawsuit includes an analyzed comparison of the two songs. Melomega also references the copyright infringement case against Katy Perry, which was unsuccessful. “Here, in contrast, several 47-note sections of ‘10,000 Hours’ are virtually identical to parallel sections of ‘First Time.’ Such a lengthy expression of largely identical musical composition is nothing less than strikingly similar.” The complaint concludes that “10,000 Hours” simply could not have been “independently created.”

No Argument for Access

Though Melomega provides details regarding the songs’ similarities, they do not argue how Justin Bieber, Dan + Shay, and others had “access” to the song. Access is a key component to copyright infringement lawsuits. Essentially, it is the ability of the alleged infringer to find or obtain the copyrighted song. The Grammy-winning country track has been played millions of times, whereas “The First Time Baby Is A Holiday” has been played just over 8,000 times since its release.

No Response Yet

Melomega’s representatives, in their complaint, claim that the songs are so similar they do not need to prove “access.” They also claim that “The First Time Baby Is A Holiday” was available on all streaming platforms, and therefore the country and pop stars could access it. Representatives for Bieber and Dan + Shay have yet to respond.

Justin Bieber and Dan + Shay are Busy

It seems, at least for the moment, that Justin Bieber and the country duo are not phased by the lawsuit. Justin Bieber continues his “Justice World Tour,” currently performing all across America. Dan + Shay have been busy as well, touring through the US with Kenny Chesney and Old Dominion.

 

The information provided in this article does not constitute legal advice. All content on this article  and website is for general informational purposes only. This article may not reflect the most up-to-date legal information.
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