Justin Bieber and Dan + Shay may soon be facing a lawsuit for copyright infringement. According to documents obtained by E! News, International Manufacturing Concepts, Melomega music, and Sound Gems sued the pop singer and the country duo, among others, over their song "10,000 Hours."
The lawsuit claims that Bieber, Dan Smyers, and Shay Mooney "stole the core portion" (the chorus, verse, and hook) from the 1973 song "The First Time Baby Is A Holiday" by Palmer Rakes and Frank Fioravanti. Despite the song's release in 2014, almost five years since "10,000 Hours" dropped, the plaintiffs claim there are "unmistakable similarities."
"Defendants' theft is impudently bold," their complaint states. "One need only listen to 'First Time' and the infringing '10,000 Hours' to discern the unmistakable similarities between the songs." Melomega also submitted a report by musicologist Dr. Alexander Stewart in the complaint. Stewart analyzed both singles and came to the "universal and ineluctable conclusion that Defendants stole Plaintiff's song."
"'10,000 Hours' is not just substantially similar to 'First Time,'" the complaint continued. "Defendants copied, in minute detail, the most important, core portion of plaintiff's song, which includes the chorus, verse, and hook. The similarities are so striking that '10,000 Hours' simply cannot have been independently created."
The lawsuit claims that Palmer Rakes and Frank Fioravanti (of Melomega, which Fioravanti established) composed "First Time." They registered the song's musical composition with the U.S. Copyright Office in 1980. The sound recording for Melomega's single was released in 2014, more than three decades after the single was released. The companies are seeking money in damages, statutory damages, attorney fees – and an injunction preventing further distribution of the song, which they claim to own.
"10,000 Hours" was released in October 2019, four days after Bieber married his wife Hailey Baldwin for the second time in South Carolina. The song won two AMAs, an iHeartRadio Music Award, and a Billboard award in the following year. In 2021, the singers also won a Grammy Award for best country duo/group performance for the song. In 2016, indie-pop singer Casey Daniel accused Justin Bieber and Skrillex of stealing a hook from one of her songs. After the lawsuit was filed, TMZ reported that she requested the dismissal of her case.