New York judge dismisses copyright infringement case filed against U2 by musician Paul Rose

FP Staff

Feb,01 2018 14:08:29 IST

A New York judge has dismissed the copyright infringement lawsuit filed against the band U2 and Universal Music Group by British musician Paul Rose. Filed last year, the suit claimed that U2’s guitar solo on their single 'The Fly' which is from the massively popular 1991 album Achtung Baby was a rip off of a 12-second segment of Rose's 1989 experimental song 'Nae Slappin’', as reported by Billboard.

U2. Image from Twitter/@UCLN_Bola

U2. Image from Twitter/@UCLN_Bola

The alleged similarities included the guitar line, tambourine, drum, percussion, bass lines, and a later chord change from E7 to A7 in the two songs as claimed by Rose. Each alleged similarity was broken down one-by-one by the US District Judge Denise Cote, who ruled this was not a case of infringement, specifically the guitar line. The dismissal said that the 13-second segment of 'Nae Slappin’' is not quantitatively significant to the song which amounts to only 6 per cent of the track, which Rose had argued was an important foundation to the sound of his track. The judge ruled that the significance of the segment was not proven effectively. "The fragment appears only once near the beginning of the recording; it is not repeated. It is one of multiple — at times seemingly random — guitar lines and styles strung together over the course of the composition," wrote the judge, as reports the publication.

"'The Fly', does not recreate the notes, sounds, or rhythm of the plaintiff’s work in a way that would permit a finding that the copying was sufficiently close to find infringement under the fragmented literal similarity doctrine," wrote judge Cote and dismissed other alleged similarities on the grounds that they are too vague to describe protectable expression, according to the Billboard report.

Updated Date: Feb 01, 2018 14:08 PM