Lady Gaga demands $1.4 million from songwriter who sued her for plagiarism

Filthy rich pop star wants to recoup legal costs from three-year court case.

Lady Gaga has filed court documents to claim $1.4 million from the songwriter who accused her of plagiarism.

Rebecca Francescatti sued Gaga in 2011, claiming that ‘Judas’ was a carbon copy of her own 1999 song ‘Juda’. This June, a U.S. judge ruled that the songs’ virtually identical titles and four similar 16th notes were “not sufficient to give rise to a finding that the Gaga song has captured the total concept and feel of the Francescatti song.”

Gaga is now demanding that Francescatti pay the $1.4 million in legal fees she incurred fighting the claim, reports TMZ.

Francescatti has delved into the details of the case in a lengthy blog post, noting some concerning developments in recent plagiarism cases that seem to work in favour of the accused:

“Access to a person’s work […] usually holds a lot of weight in copyright infringement suits, even more so than similarity of songs,” writes Francescatti. “But a new trend is upon us. Judge Aspen, and the rest of the Seventh Circuit court, don’t consider direct access very important anymore in copyright claims.

“Their most recent rulings stand as a body against individual creators (me) and in favor of corporate structures that put out music today (i.e. Lady Gaga, Inc.) by ruling that it doesn’t matter if your friend gave it to Lady Gaga: An ‘ordinary observer’ (whatever that means) would have to be able to hear that the songs are the same.”

Judge Aspen, she notes, is “a lifelong employee of the U.S. military and U.S. government, and born in 1934” – hardly a musicologist, or even an “ordinary observer” in terms of Lady Gaga’s audience.

Read Francescatti’s blog post in full and compare the choruses of the two songs below.




Share Tweet