Justin Bieber sued in Virginia over hit song

May 5, 2013
Bieber performing in Toronto last fall. (Sean Kilpatrick / AP)
Bieber performing in Toronto last fall. (Sean Kilpatrick / AP)

Yet another rite of passage for Justin Bieber: He and several collaborators have been sued by a pair of Virginia men who claim that one of the pop star’s hits rips off a song they wrote.

In a complaint filed Thursday in federal court in Norfolk, Devin Copeland and Mareio Overton allege that they wrote and recorded a song called “Somebody to Love” in 2008 and later played it for some talent scouts who they claim played it for R&B superstar Usher — and that a similar tune by the same name, performed by Usher and Bieber, ended up on a Bieber CD in 2010. They’re seeking at least $10 million.

A lawyer for Bieber said he had read the complaint but did not comment.  Unclear if this is the first time a Biebs songs has been the subject of a copyright suit, which are common in the music biz — some generating big payouts for plaintiffs, others quickly dismissed. (We’re not counting the time Bieber was sued last year by the makers of a video-game app called “Joustin’ Beaver,” who went on the offensive after the star’s lawyers raised legal concerns. That case was dismissed.)

Earlier: Justin Bieber’s first tour-bus drug bust; Justin Bieber’s first Holocaust-commentary controversy; Justin Bieber’s first monkey confiscation; Justin Bieber’s first on-stage collapse

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Amy Argetsinger · May 5, 2013