Juice WRLD has been sued for $15 million by the members of the now-defunct Yellowcard for copyright infringement over his 2018 breakthrough single “Lucid Dreams,” Billboard reports.
Yellowcard members William Ryan Key, Peter Michael Mosely, Longineu Warren Parsons and Sean Michael Wellman-Mackin allege Juice WRLD and his collaborators (including co-writer Taz Taylor, producer Nicholas Mira, BMG Rights Management, Grade A Productions and Interscope Records) copied “melodic elements” of Yellowcard’s song “Holly Wood Died” from their 2006 album Lights and Sounds without permission. The complaint reads:
Defendants copied the Original Work without license or consent, and have exploited the subsequent Infringing Work and Infringing Sound Recording to their collective benefit without regard to Plaintiffs’ rights and to Plaintiffs’ detriment. The Infringing Work and Infringing Sound Recording directly misappropriates quantitatively and qualitatively important portions of Plaintiffs’ Original Work in a manner that is easily recognizable to the ordinary observer. The Infringing Work and Infringing Sound Recording are not only substantially similar to the Original Work, but in some places virtually identical.
The complaint also points out a “melodic idiosyncrasy” known as melisma, and claims it appears in a “parallel position” in both songs. It continues, “The high degree of objective similarity between the Original Work and the Infringing Work extends well beyond the possibility of coincidence and could only reasonably be the result of an act of copying.”
The complaint also points out that Juice WRLD has expressed interest in “emo pop rock,” which is “the precise genre of Yellowcard’s music,” and that Juice WRLD is known as a leader of “emo rap.” It also points out that he was a fan of Fall Out Boy’s 2005 album From Under the Cork Tree, which was produced by Neal Avron, who also produced Yellowcard’s Lights and Sounds shortly afterwards, and that Juice WRLD has talked about listening to “emo pop rock” in fifth grade, the same year Lights and Sounds came out.
Yellowcard are seeking damages in excess of $15 million and a “running royalty and/or ownership share.” Juice WRLD has not yet publicly responded. You can read more at Billboard.
Compare the two songs for yourself below: