Justin Bieber and Usher Off the Hook in “Somebody to Love” Copyright Case
A judge has thrown out a copyright case against Justin Bieber and Usher over their 2010 collaboration “Somebody to Love,” saying the plaintiffs failed to prove that Bieber and his then-mentor had access to the song they were accused of copying.
R&B artist Devin Copeland, who performs as De Rico, and songwriter Mareio Oberton initially sued in 2013, claiming they provided their song “Somebody to Love” to Usher’s camp for consideration in 2009. U.S. District Judge Arenda Wright Allen initially tossed the suit out, but in 2015 an appeals court revived it, determining that the two songs’ “choruses are similar enough and also significant enough that a reasonable jury could find the songs intrinsically similar,” and noting an “almost identical rhythm” and a “strikingly similar melody.”
Most recently, the suit was returned to Allen, who rejected Copeland and Oberton’s argument that the case should go to a jury trial and dismissed it without prejudice, meaning it cannot be pursued further.
Compare Bieber’s album version of “Somebody to Love,” that song’s Usher-featuring remix, and De Rico’s “Somebody to Love” below.