Time for Jake Owen to lawyer up.
A copyright infringement lawsuit has been filed by singer and songwriter Alexander Cardinale, as well as songwriter Morgan Reid, claiming that Jake’s song “Made For You” ripped off their song of the same name.
In a copy of the complaint, Cardinale and Reid state that their version of “Made For You” was written in 2014 and released on Cardinale’s album Digital Youth.
The lawsuit claims that Cardinale’s version of “Made For You” “enjoyed a heavy rotation on SiriusXM Radio The Pulse between February and July 2015” and was chosen for Coca-Cola’s Share a Coke and a Song campaign back in December 2015.
The song was ultimately featured in a Coca-Cola ad that aired worldwide from January 2016 through June 2018, “creating hundreds of millions of impressions worldwide” according to the complaint.
It was during this time, in May 2017, that the lawsuit claims songwriters Benjy Davis, Joey Hyde and Neil Medley wrote their version of “Made For You,” which was released on Owen’s 2019 album Greetings From… Jake and ultimately released the top of the charts. (Jake also performed the song on The Bachelorette and at the wedding of Carly Pearce and Michael Ray, as the lawsuit points out).
The lawsuit claims that Jake’s version of the song “makes use of nearly all of” Cardinale’s version, including “melodies from the verse and chorus, the “hook” of the Original Work, the lyrics, the theme, the harmony, and the arrangement.”
Cardinale claims that his version of the song makes up over half of Jake’s version, and that the hook of Jake’s version “directly lifts the lyrics and melody from the hook” of Cardinale’s version.
The complaint, which alongside Jake also names the songwriters, Big Loud Records, Sony Music Publishing and various other publishing companies, asks for damages in an amount to be determined by a jury, including injury to the market value of their copyright and the profits from Jake’s version of the song.
The lawsuit also requests “a running royalty on all future exploitations” of Jake’s version, and states the pair behind the original song are entitled to either an injunction prohibiting the further distribution of Jake’s song or a continuing royalty.
So take a listen to both versions. Here’s Cardinale’s.
And here’s Jake’s.
And of course, lawsuits like this happen all the time in the music industry.
Brad Paisley and Carrie Underwood were recently the subject of one (which they won), Carrie was sued over “Something In The Water,” as were Tim McGraw, Faith Hill, and Ed Sheeran for their song “The Rest Of Our Life.”
Carrie and the NFL were also sued over her Sunday Night Football theme song, “Game On,” after a woman claimed she submitted a similar song to Underwood’s producer Mark Bright.
One of the more notable cases in recent years involved Sam Smith’s smash hit “Stay With Me” and Tom Petty’s “Won’t Back Down.” Ultimately, they settled and Tom collected a 12.5% royalty on “Stay With Me.”
With “Made For You,” I guess we’ll just have to wait and see..
What do you think? Are you hearing the alleged similarities?