Sunday 21 July 2019

Singer-songwriter suing One Direction members in High Court for alleged copyright infringement

One Direction
One Direction

Aodhan O'Faolain

A singer-songwriter is suing parties including all five original members of the boy band, One Direction, for alleged copyright infringement.

The High Court action has been brought by David Lewis Smith who claims the One Direction release 'Night Changes' infringes his musical work.

Mr Smith seeks various reliefs including damages.

As well as the four current members of the band, Niall Horan, Harry Styles, Liam Payne and Louis Tomlinson, the proceedings are against Zain Malik who left One Direction in 2015.

The claim is also against parties including UK songwriter Jamie Scott and US songwriters Julian Bunetta and John Ryan who wrote and produced 'Night Changes'.

Other defendants include Simco, the production company behind The X Factor; Big Deal Music, a publishing company which in 2013 Mr Ryan allegedly signed a contract with; Universal Music Publishing; EMI Music Publishing and Sony Music Entertainment UK Ltd.

The defendants all deny the plaintiff's claims.

The song 'Night Changes' was released by One Direction in 2014 and featured on their fourth studio album "Four."

On Thursday at the High Court, a pretrial motion in the case was listed before Ms Justice Leonie Reynolds.

Lawyers for the plaintiff are seeking various discovery orders against the majority of the defendants, except Simco and Sony Music.

They want to be furnished with all documents relating to the composition and writing of sources for  'Night Changes', including documents relating to any earlier and separate drafts of the song. 

Documents connected with the sound recording of the song, including alternative versions of sound recordings, are being also being sought. 

In addition, all documents relating to the performance, sale, recording, distribution, publication and downloads of the song from its initial release and publication are sought. 

Further discovery is being sought in relation to all documents relating to the worldwide earnings of 'Night Changes' or any album is being sought from US-based defendant Big Deal Music, by  Mr Smith's lawyers.

The matter will return before the court in early March.

None of the parties involved in the action were present in court. 

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