Two Virginia songwriters are suing Justin Bieber and Usher for at least $10 million for copyright infringement.
Devin Copeland and Mareio Overton claim the song “Somebody to Love” contains numerous lyrical and stylistic similarities to a copyrighted song they wrote in 2008 by the same name. Copyright lawsuits are common in the music industry.
A message left with a law firm representing Bieber on Monday was not immediately returned.
Copeland lives in Chesapeake and Overton lives in Portsmouth. The duo filed the lawsuit Thursday in federal court in Norfolk, claiming that numerous songwriters and producers conspired to copy their song.
The lawsuit says Copeland and Overton provided a copy of their song to musical promoters, who in turn provided it to representatives of Usher. The lawsuit contends that Usher's mother, who has served as his manager, held a telephone call in 2009 with Copeland saying Usher was interested in having Copeland re-record his album and go on tour. The lawsuit says Copeland never again heard from any of Usher's representatives.
The lawsuit notes Usher is seen performing a demo of “Somebody to Love” on YouTube as early as 2010. Usher ultimately decided to have Bieber record the song for his “My World 2.0” album.
The song performed by Bieber with Usher providing background vocals peaked at No. 15 on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100 chart in 2010 and was certified platinum.
A jury trial has been requested.