Travis Scott is being sued for copyright infringement by Three 6 Mafia’s DJ Paul, but do their songs really sound the same?

Travis Scott is being sued for copyright infringement by Three 6 Mafia’s DJ Paul, but do their songs really sound the same?

Travis Scott is facing a $20 million lawsuit for copyright infringement for his song 'No Bystanders' from his last album 'Astroworld'. The rapper-songwriter is being sued by Three 6 Mafia's DJ Paul who claims that the hook for 'No Bystanders' hook is a ripoff of his 1997 song 'Tear Da Club Up.' Hearing both the songs, one gets the feeling that he is right about it.

In Travis's song, the chorus sounds wee bit similar to 'Tear Da Club Up', but the lyrics are 'F*** the Club Up'.

This similarity apart, the two songs are quite different in style and bear no resemblance top each other. What would tip the case in favor of DJ Paul is Travis's 2019 Grammy's performance where he changed the hook of the song to 'Tear Da Club Up' reportedly for censorship reasons. 


However, can this really be considered copyright infringement, and will it give DJ Paul what he expects? According to a report in The Blast, DJ Paul is expecting 'in excess of $20 million'. 

When compared to other lawsuits in the industry, this one seems a bit absurd.

For instance, the lawsuit filed by Marvin Gaye's estate against Robin Thicke and Pharrell Williams over the 2013 song 'Blurred Lines' netted the estate a payout of $5.3 million. But in that case, the song was very similar to Marvin's 1977 hit 'Got to Give It Up'. So when DJ Paul expects a payout exceeding $20 million for a hook that may or not sound similar depending on your viewpoint, the lawsuit itself has lesser chances of being taken up by the courts. 




Furthermore, while the hook of the live performance by Scott may sound similar to DJ Paul's song, but in the context of the original songs, the two are far apart and this will play in favor of Travis. By the way, DJ Paul recently downplayed the whole thing and, in fact, in an interview to Rolling Stone, the rapper said, "Travis Scott and I have been in touch personally about this matter, he is aware of the situation, as is his label. Everything will be worked out accordingly with proper communication between he, Juicy J, and I," further adding, "There is no beef, just business. It’s bothersome that media outlets would choose to put out any information without getting all of their facts straight, which would include speaking with any of us about the situation directly."




Will this, like the Ed Sheeran's lawsuit over 'Photograph', result in an out of court settlement solely because of Travis' performance at the 2019 Grammy's with the hook of 'Tear da Club Up'? This is something that we should watch out for. 

In the court documents, DJ Paul has stated, "a very distinctive chant of: ‘f**k da club up; f**k da club up,’ which is clearly the ‘hook’ of the track," is "virtually identical and strikingly similar” to the hook from his song, 'Tear Da Club Up'.

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