Casey Dienel Sues Justin Bieber over “Sorry” Copyright Infringement

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Casey Dienel who is known by the stage name White Hinterland, has filed a lawsuit against Justin Bieber for copyright infringement. The Indie pop artist alleges that her song Ring the Bell was used in Bieber’s song entitled Sorry. Ring the Bell is a 2014 track from which Sorry borrows a lot according to White Hinterland. Writing on Facebook, Dienel sought audience with her fans and followers to explain how Sorry copies the vocal riff featured prominently in the song Ring the Bell.

She goes ahead to say that the producers, writers and performers of Sorry neither obtained a license nor her permission to exploit her work. The lawsuit against Justin Bieber also brings in the other responsible parties including Skrillex. 

The bone of contention and the substance of the lawsuit is the opening vocal melody of both Ring the Bell and Sorry. After the release of the song by Bieber, Dienel’s lawyers sent Bieber a letter regarding the infringement but apparently Bieber’s team chose to ignore. Left with no other option, she filed the lawsuit as a way to defend her music and art. 


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The Similarities between Ring the Bell and Sorry

According to TMZ, the infringement lawsuit implicates Bieber’s song Sorry for stealing up to 8 seconds of Ring the Bell and looping it close to 6 times. It also states that the notes of both songs are undoubtedly constructed around samples, keyboard synthesizers, drums, percussion, and synth bass. The lawsuit further points out that the striking and identical similarity of Sorry to Ring the Bell surpasses the boundaries of independent creation and generic coincidence. Skrillex and Justin Bieber are yet to respond publicly to the lawsuit and up to now, it remains unclear the much Dienel is seeking through the lawsuit. 

According to Dienel, the creation of original music is her passion in life despite its challenging and time consuming nature. In coming up with Ring the Bell, the artist alleges that she poured sweat, blood, and tears into writing and producing. The finished product listed by Rolling Stone as one of its favorite albums, songs and videos is something that Dienel is eternally proud of. Throughout her career, the artist says she has worked extremely hard to preserve her independence and creative control thus could not stomach it when someone else used and exploited her works without her express permission. 

Casey Dienel spent most of her youth in Massachusetts where she enrolled for her first piano lessons at a tender age of four and by 14 she had already started writing her own pop songs. After high school, she attended the New England Conservatory of Music in Boston. During her time at the college, the

singer brushed shoulders with some of the top musicians including composer Lee Hyla and jazz vocalist Dominique Eade. Dienel then took an indefinite leave of absence to build and pursue her passion for music. On March 2006, Dienel’s recordings were compiled into an album entitled Wind-Up Canary by Hush Records. Ring the Bell is the third track from the 10-track album titled baby released in 2014.


Judge for Yourself


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