By Blake Brittain
(Reuters) -British pop star Dua Lipa and music label Warner Records convinced a Los Angeles federal court on Monday to dismiss a lawsuit filed by a Florida reggae group that accused Lipa’s hit “Levitating” of copying one of its songs.
U.S. District Judge Sunshine Sykes said Artikal Sound System failed to argue that the writers of “Levitating” ever had access to the group’s 2017 song “Live Your Life.”
Sykes gave the group an opportunity to file a new complaint. She also rejected the band’s request to move its case to New York to be heard with another infringement lawsuit by songwriters Sandy Linzer and L. Russell Brown over alleged similarities between “Levitating” and their disco songs “Wiggle and Giggle All Night” and “Don Diablo.”
Artikal Sound System attorney Stewart Levy said on Tuesday that the decision was disappointing and the band is considering its next steps. Representatives for Lipa did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
“Levitating” spent 77 weeks on Billboard’s Hot 100 U.S. singles chart, peaking at No. 2 in 2021.
The complaint, filed in 2022, said it was “highly unlikely” that “Levitating” was made independently “given the degree of similarity” between the two songs’ melodies, harmonies and other elements.
Sykes on Monday agreed with Lipa that Artikal Sound System’s complaint failed to show that the defendants could have encountered its song before writing “Levitating.”
The group said it played “Live Your Life” at concerts, distributed it through streaming services and sold several hundred copies of a CD with the song on it. Sykes said this was not enough to demonstrate the song was widely disseminated enough that the “Levitating” songwriters could have heard and copied it.
(Reporting by Blake Brittain in Washington; Editing by David Bario and Richard Chang)