SAN FRANCISCO (CN) – Four songwriters claim in court that Selena Gomez and her publishers owe their band $1 million because the chorus in Gomez’s 2010 hit, “A Year Without Rain” is “virtually identical” to their 2005 song, “Buy a Dog.”
Plaintiffs Tom Luce, Brian Kroll, Matt Blackett and Lawrence Riggs, of the band “Luce,” claim the tune appeared on their second album “Never Ending.”
Gomez’s song was a worldwide hit and was released as a single in Spanish (Un Año Sin Lluvia) after Gomez’s band, Selena Gomez and The Scene, performed it in 2010.
The Scene, also named as a defendant, claimed the song was written by co-defendants Lindy Robbins and Toby Gad.
“The melodies in the chorus of both songs are virtually identical,” the complaint states. Luce claims that its tune “was a No. 1 record on several radio stations around the United States, including WRLT in Nashville and KFOG in San Francisco, at both of which it was among the 10 most played records for the entire year of 2005”. They claim it was played more than 4,000 on Sirius/XM radio.
“Defendants continue to infringe plaintiffs’ copyright by, among other things, creating and distributing phonorecords in various formats, including but not limited to compact discs and digital downloads, embodying or incorporating performances of the infringing work,” the complaint states. “At no time have the plaintiffs authorized defendants, or any of them, to republish, perform, create derivative works based on or otherwise exploit all or any portion of their song.”
The Luce members are represented by Nicholas Carlin, with Phillips, Erlewine & Given.
Complaints such as this are difficult to win. One musicologist, who has testified in copyright lawsuits, pointed out that the first four notes of “How Dry I Am” have been used in “hundreds” of compositions.