Huey Lewis and Copyright

It was 1983 and Huey Lewis was at the top of his game. His smash hit singleĀ I Want a New Drug was at the top of the charts. Columbia Pictures wanted him to create a theme song for an upcoming movie called Ghostbusters, but he declined. The next year, when the Ghostbusters song was released, it was so familiar that Lewis sued Ray Parker Jr. and Columbia for copyright infringement. The songs were just too similar.

Here are the two songs in question. After all of these years, I’d been unaware of the lawsuit and the similarity of the songs.


Here is the Ghostbusters theme song

and here is I Want a New Drug

What do you think? Would you rule that the Ghostbusters song was a rip-off?

Ultimately, the dispute was settled out of court and the details were to remain undisclosed. Interestingly, when Huey Lewis spoke about details of the lawsuit on VH1 Behind the Music, Ray Parker sued Lewis for breach of confidentiality.

 

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