Jason Derulo sued over alleged unpaid royalties from megahit ‘Savage Love’

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Jason Derulo

Earlier this week, MBW reported that Dua Lipa has been hit with a lawsuit for alleged copyright infringement over remixes of her hit single, Levitating, one of which, with DaBaby, has been streamed over 1.8 billion times on Spotify alone.

Now, another lawsuit against a major artist has arrived, this time alleging unpaid credit and royalties on a separate Spotify Billions Club inductee: Jason Derulo and Jawsh 685’s hit, Savage Love (Laxed – Siren Beat).

The lawsuit, obtained by MBW, was filed on Monday (July 31) by Matthew Spatola, who is described in the lawsuit as “a Grammy-nominated professional producer, songwriter, and musician for various high-profile music artists such as Drake and DJ Khaled”.

The complaint adds: “Prior to working with Derulo on Savage Love, Spatola had worked with many different artists such as Juice WRLD, aboogiewitdahoodie, Lil Uzi Vert, and Nipsey Hussle. He has also performed on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon, Jimmy Kimmel Live, and Saturday Night Live.”

Sony Music Entertainment and Columbia Records are also named as defendants in the lawsuit, which you can read in full, here.

The suit claims that the defendants refuse “to accord Matthew Spatola the credit and royalties he is due as a co-author” of Savage Love.

Via the filing, Spatola claims that on April 23, 2020, he and Derulo “collaborated to create the instrumental composition and recording of what would later become Savage Love in Derulo’s Los Angeles home studio”.

The suit adds that Derulo and Spatola then went back to the studio again on April 27, 2020 “whereon they completed Savage Love“, but Derulo then allegedly “unilaterally released Savage Love, without providing any credit whatsoever to Spatola for the work they jointly created together”.

It continues: “This lawsuit is filed to right that wrong, and to ensure that Spatola is properly credited as a cowriter of Savage Love and compensated for his contributions thereto.”

The complaint states that “Savage Love started by sampling a song that gained widespread fame on TikTok called Laxed (Siren – Beat)” .

That sample was created by a teenager from New Zealand named Jawsh 685 (real name Joshua Stylah). Derulo made headlines in May 2020 for not crediting Jawsh 685 as the source of the sample when he originally posted a clip of Savage Love to TikTok.

According to the new complaint, filed by Matthew Spatola, “When Derulo and Spatola went into the studio to create Savage Love, Derulo started the session by loading the Sample into Pro Tools, and from which Spatola then wrote and recorded new instrumental contributions, to create the instrumental version of Savage Love”.

The suit adds: “When Derulo thereafter completed Savage Love and posted it on his personal TikTok account, he completely failed to credit Jawsh while also failing to credit Spatola in any way.

“A month later, after what were likely significant negotiations between Sony, Jawsh, and Derulo, permission was obtained to release Savage Love, contemporaneously with Jawsh being signed to Derulo’s label Columbia Records, but without involving Spatola in any way.”

Spatola also claims that “since the commercial release of Savage Love”, he has “requested that Derulo provide him with credit for his work from Derulo directly”.

The complaint adds: “Although Derulo originally agreed, after multiple follow-up messages, Derulo failed to follow through and rightfully credit Spatola as a co-writer.”

Spatola is asking the court to declare that he “is a joint author and has ownership of the sound recording of Savage Love an that he “is a joint author in the composition of Savage Love” as well as being “entitled to co-writer and co-producer credit on the copyright of the sound recording and composition of Savage Love, including on remixed versions” of the track.

Spatola is also demanding “prospective and retroactive royalties and other money owed with respect to his respective interest in the sound recording and composition of Savage Love, in a percentage to be proven at trial” and for a court order for “an accounting of all revenues derived from the exploitation of Savage Love by Defendants, including but not limited to earnings from licensor agreements”.Music Business Worldwide

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