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Music by VICE

Hold Up! Did Justin Bieber and Skrillex Rip Off Someone’s Song for "Sorry"?

Singer-songwriter Casey Dienel has filed a lawsuit for copyright infringement, so I guess it's too late now to say sorry.

by Daisy Jones
27 May 2016, 10:06am

Justin Bieber has spent the past few weeks revelling in his newfound wokeness. First, he started tip toeing around parks barefoot, feeding the squirrels like a tattooed, bleach-haired Gandhi. Then he eradicated meet and greets from his life, saying they made him feel like a zoo animal. Then he did the same to fan selfies, because inner peace.

While a woke Bieber is a happy Bieber, it looks like this may not last for long, because singer-songwriter Casey Dienel announced yesterday that she was about to drop a fat lawsuit on the heads of him, Skrillex and everybody else involved in creating his 2015 hit “Sorry,” because she alleges it’s uncannily similar to her 2014 track “Ring the Bell”.

In a statement posted on Facebook, Casey commented: “As many of you that follow my career and work have already recognized, Justin Bieber’s song 'Sorry' copies the vocal riff prominently featured in my song 'Ring the Bell.' The writers, producers, and performers of 'Sorry' did not obtain a license for this exploitation of my work, nor did they obtain or seek my permission. Yesterday afternoon, I filed a lawsuit for copyright infringement against Justin Bieber and the other responsible parties.”

“Creating original and unique music is my life’s passion, but it is challenging and time consuming,” she adds. “Justin Bieber is the world’s biggest artist, and I’m sure that he and his team will launch a full attack against me. But, in the end, I was left with no other option. I believe I have an obligation to stand up for my music and art.”

But, most importantly, do the songs actually sound alike? Well yeah, to a degree. The unique female vocal riff, for instance, sounds almost identical. And when you listen to the two melodies carefully, there are clear similarities between the two. However, it’s hard to tell whether this is intentional or not, or whether there are grounds to say that Bieber flat-out stole her creation. Listen to both tracks below and decide for yourself: