The Weeknd Is Being Sued Over ‘The Hills’ Sample
The Weeknd is reportedly being sued over unauthorized use of a sample in his chart-topping hit "The Hills."
According to The Hollywood Reporter, a company called Cutting Edge Music Limited has brought a lawsuit against The Weeknd (as well as his producers, Universal, Warner Chappell and Sony/ATV, among others), claiming he illegally sampled music from the obscure 2013 movie The Machine to use for his hit “The Hills.”
Court papers that were filed earlier today (December 9) state that the lawsuit’s main bit of evidence comes from an alleged direct message (or DM) The Weeknd (whose real name is Abel Tesfaye) reportedly sent to Tom Raybould — who created the score for The Machine -- via Twitter.
The complaint reads, "On or about March 9, 2015, Defendant MANO sent Raybould a Twitter direct message stating 'I sampled your music might make it 2 the weeknd next album. Huge fan of what u did 4 the machine movie!’”
The complaint further breaks down the supposed similarities between The Weeknd's track and the score, saying, "Both the Infringing Song and the Track featuring 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.”
The plaintiff is suing the Weeknd specifically for "copyright infringement as well as unjust enrichment and is demanding damages as well as a permanent injunction."
The Weeknd has yet to comment on the lawsuit.