Three Years Later, Mark Ronson Sued by Zapp for Copying "Uptown Funk"
“Blurred Lines” 2.0?
Mark Ronson and Bruno Mars may have thought they dodged a blurry licensing bullet by listing The Gap Band as writers on their 11-times platinum, literally billions-streamed hit “Uptown Funk,” but another eighties funk outfit is coming for the gold.
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According to TMZ, Lastrada Entertainment, a music licensing company that owns the rights to Zapp’s music, has filed suit against Ronson, Apple, Spotify and other producers of the track (presumably Jeff Bhasker, the only other producer aside from Mars, who was left out of the suit) for bearing an uncanny resemblance to “More Bounce To The Ounce,” the high-voltage nine-minute opener to their self-titled 1980 debut. The suit specifically mentions the first 48 seconds of the Ronson and Mars song, eventually included on the producer’s 2015 album, Uptown Special.
While damages have yet to be assessed, it will be a costly bout for both parties. The current precedent, Pharrell and Robin Thicke’s “Blurred Lines” suit, took two years and several appeals to resolve. Let’s hope the “feel” isn’t up for interpretation this time around. Hear Zapp’s “More Bounce To The Ounce” below, Bruno Mars and Mark Ronson’s “Uptown Funk” above, and chime in with your own verdict in the comment section.