Word on the Web is The Weeknd is the latest chart-topping artist to face a copyright lawsuit. He is reportedly being sued over "The Hills" from his Grammy-nominated album, Beauty Behind The Madness.
According to the lawsuit, as reported by The Grio, British music publishing company, Cutting Edge Music (Holding) Limited, claims the Canadian singer ripped off copyrighted music written by composter Tom Raybould for the 2013 film The Machine.
“With full knowledge of CEMH’s copyright in the Track, and without CEMH’s permission, Defendants blatantly copied a unique and significant portion of the Track and included it in a high profile and widely distributed single and album, thereby infringing on the copyrights exclusively licensed by CEMH,” the lawsuit states.
The lawsuit also states that both songs feature “synthesizer bass-lines performed with almost identical idiosyncratic sounds at the same register and using the same pitch sequence, melodic phase structure and rhythmic durations.”
Further adding insult to injury, CEMH’s lawsuit alleges that The Weeknd sent the company a message on Twitter acknowledging the unlicensed sample, “I sampled your music might make it 2 the weeknd next album. Huge fan of what u did 4 the machine movie!”
Upon its release, “The Hills” received first week digital sales of 109,000 copies and 5.2 million domestic streams, and debuted at No. 20 on the Billboard Hot 100. The track served as the second single from Beauty Behind The Madness, which debuted at No. 1 on the Billboard 200, with sales of about 326,000 in the first week.
BBTM won the 2015 American Music Award for Favorite Soul/R&B Album, and is currently nominated for Album of the Year at the 58th Annual Grammy Awards as well as Outstanding Album at the 47th annual NAACP Image Awards.