×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

The Weeknd Sued for Copyright Infringement Over ‘The Hills’

A British music publishing company claims that the Weeknd’s hit song “The Hills” infringes on the copyright to composer Tom Raybould’s track “Revolution” from the soundtrack to the movie “The Machine.”

The movie was released in 2014.

In a lawsuit filed on Wednesday in U.S. District Court in Los Angeles, publisher Cutting Edge Music Services contends that producer Million Dollar Mano sent Raybould a direct message on March 9, 2015, stating, “I sampled your music might make it 2 the weeknd next album. Huge fan of what u did 4 the machine movie!” Mano, aka Emmanuel Nickerson, is also a defendant in the lawsuit, along with another producer, Illangelo, aka Carlo Montagnese.

Cutting Edge contends that “The Hills” contains substantial similarity to “original and unique portions” of the “Revolution” track.

“Specifically, 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 lawsuit states.

The lawsuit points out that the song “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 album on which it is featured, “Beauty Behind the Madness,” debuted at No. 1 on the Billboard 200, with sales of about 326,000 in the first week, the lawsuit states.

It seeks unspecified damages as well as an injunction barring further distribution of the song and album until Cutting Edge Music is given proper credit. It also calls for the current versions of the song and album to be removed from distribution.

“The lawsuit speaks for itself, and I appreciate my publisher the Cutting Edge Group standing up for composers in situations like the one I’m in,” Raybould said in a statement.

Also named as defendants are Belly, aka Ahmad Balshe, who helped compose the song and album; the Weeknd’s label XO; the labels Universal Music Group and Republic Records; publishers Warner/Chappell Music, Sony/ATV Music Publishing, Songs Music Publishing, WB Music Corp., Connoisseur of Connoisseurs; CP Music Corp.; Songs of SMP; Songs Hear the Art; and Sony/ATV Ballad.

Cutting Edge is represented by Tom Brackey, managing partner of the Los Angeles firm of Freund & Brackey.

A spokesman for Universal Music Group did not immediately return a request for comment.

More Music

  • Boomtown Rats Feature Doc Launches From

    Boomtown Rats Feature Doc Launches From New Music Banner BeyondTNC (EXCLUSIVE)

    Bob Geldof and the re-formed Boomtown Rats will talk about their legendary punk band in a new feature doc, “Boomtown.” It is one of the first two films from a new music producer-distributor that has been formed by Beyond Entertainment and TNC Media – BeyondTNC. BeyondTNC will be launching “Boomtown” to international buyers in Cannes, [...]

  • Zedd

    DJ Zedd Banned From China After Liking 'South Park' Tweet

    Zedd has been “permanently banned” from China after the German DJ liked a tweet from the “South Park” Twitter account. Zedd, whose real name is Anton Zaslavski, announced the news via his own Twitter account: “I just got permanently banned from China because I liked a @SouthPark tweet,” he wrote. I just got permanently banned [...]

  • Kim Gordon album art

    Album Review: Kim Gordon's 'No Home Record'

    The line between art and artifice is one that Kim Gordon has explored throughout her four-decade career, first as cofounder of Sonic Youth and more recently as a visual artist, memoirist, fashion designer, actress, and one-half of the experimental duo Body/Head. When we’re perusing a corporately designed bauble or experience, are we genuinely imagining the [...]

  • Dana Walden Awkwafina Chaka Khan Mariah

    Variety's Power of Women Celebrates Honorees' Voices and Activism

    When Jennifer Aniston was 11, she was casually dismissed from the dinner table by a parental figure “because I ‘didn’t have anything interesting to add to the conversation.’” That belittlement has stayed with the “Friends” and “The Morning Show” star through to adulthood, prompting her to muse at Variety‘s Power of Women luncheon on the messages [...]

  • Neil Young

    Film News Roundup: Neil Young Documentary 'Mountaintop' Set for Release

    In today’s film news roundup, Neil Young’s “Mountaintop” is coming, AMC replaces its CFO, Bob Weinstein is starting anew, and Ed Begley, Jr. and David Koechner join “Reboot Camp.” MUSIC DOCUMENTARY Abramorama is partnering with Shakey Pictures and Reprise / Warner Records to release the Neil Young documentary “Mountaintop.” The movie, which chronicles the making [...]

  • Pusha T and Nicholas Britell Create

    Pusha T Joins Line of 'Succession' by Adding Rap to Nicholas Britell's TV Theme

    After being inundated with requests from fans, composer Nicholas Britell decided to remix the the original main title theme for “Succession.” Hip-hop star Pusha T has added rap vocals to the show’s instrumental theme, creating a new track titled “Puppets (Succession Remix),” released two days before the “Succession” season 2 finale air date Oct. 13. [...]

  • Editorial use only. No book cover

    ASCAP/Virgil Thomson Awards for Music Writing Honor Top Critics, Authors

    ASCAP and the Virgil Thomson Foundation have issues their annual awards in the fields of music writing, with the honors going to such works as a prominent Rolling Stone critic’s liner notes for a boxed set by the Band, a biography of Dexter Gordon by the jazz great’s widow, and a Wall Street Journal critics’s [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content