Skrillex, who was named in the lawsuit filed against Justin Bieber over the hit “Sorry,” has responded to the copyright infringement allegations. “SORRY but we didn’t steal this,” the producer tweeted alongside a video of how the songwriters crafted, and not sampled, the “Sorry” vocal hook at the center of the lawsuit.
On Thursday, indie artist Casey Dienel, who performs under the moniker White Hinterland, revealed that she had sued Bieber, Skrillex and the other songwriters involved in “Sorry.”
“As many of you that follow my career and work have already recognized, Justin Bieber’s song ‘Sorry’ copies the vocal riff prominently featured in my song ‘Ring the Bell,'” Dienel wrote on Facebook. “The writers, producers and performers of ‘Sorry’ did not obtain a license for this exploitation of my work, nor did they obtain or seek my permission. Yesterday afternoon, I filed a lawsuit for copyright infringement against Justin Bieber and the other responsible parties.”
— SKRILLEX (@Skrillex) May 27, 2016
Late Friday afternoon, Skrillex took to social media to show how the vocal hook was created: Using an a cappella demo by “Sorry” co-songwriter Julia Michaels, Skrillex manipulated the pitch and contorted the semitones to form a vocal melody that, aurally, resembles the opening notes of “Ring the Bell,” but is clearly not a sample of the “Ring the Bell” recording.
In Dienel’s Facebook post, the singer wrote, “Like most artists that sample music, Bieber could have licensed my song for use in ‘Sorry.’ But he chose not to contact me.” She added that, after a letter alleging infringement from her lawyers to Bieber’s representatives went ignored, she was left with “no other option” but to file a lawsuit in order to “stand up for my music and art.”
Before Skrillex posted the video showing how the “Sorry” hook was made, his Jack U partner Diplo acknowledged the similarities between “Sorry” and “Ring the Bell” in an impromptu interview with TMZ. The producer added that the situations often arise when there are “too many cooks” working on a song, and that Bieber might have to settle the lawsuit.