Paul C. VanSlyke, Senior Counsel at Hoover Slovacek LLP
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Artem 'Arty' Stoliarov alleges copyright infringement in lawsuit

Many Texas residents often recognize similar musical elements in different songs, but they probably do not immediately assume that one artist stole the work of another -- whether on purpose or by accident. Unfortunately, this appears to happen more often than anyone in the music industry would like to admit. For this reason, artists file copyright infringement claims against one another.

Recently, Artem "Arty" Stoliarov filed such a lawsuit against Marshmello and Dan Smith of Bastille. Not only does he claim they copied elements of his remix of the song, "I lived," but he alleges that they did it deliberately. The song in question is "Happier," which became a hit for the collaborative duo.

What sets this particular lawsuit apart is that Stoliarov is not making the allegations on behalf of the original song, but instead on the remix. The case appears to center on repeating synthesizer melodies. He includes numerous examples from both songs through the use of several musical transcripts to illustrate where Marshmello and Dan Smith allegedly copied Stoliarov's work.

Since "Happier" was released in Aug. 2018, it rose through the "Billboard Hot 100" all the way to number two. Stoliarov wants royalties in the future and actual damages as recompense for his losses. Texas artists who suspect another musician of absconding with his or her work could also file copyright infringement claims seeking restitution for their losses through litigation if an agreement cannot be reached otherwise. Few of these cases are so obvious that litigation is easy. For this reason, involving an attorney experienced in this area of law could prove invaluable.

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