Lawsuit Filed Against 5 Seconds Of Summer After Claims They Plagiarised 'Youngblood'

22 July 2019 | 10:41 am | Jessica Dale

"We believe this is jaw-droppingly obvious and, frankly, it shocks the conscience."

5 Seconds Of Summer. Pic by Dusty Kessler.

5 Seconds Of Summer. Pic by Dusty Kessler.

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5 Seconds Of Summer have been accused of plagiarising their 2018 mega-hit Youngblood, from the album of the same name, with a case filed against them in a court in Texas late last week. 

It's alleged that "substantial portions" of the track have been "directly copied" from Hungarian artists' David Henderson, David Toth, and Peter Ferencz's song White Shadows

The track, which was performed by Henderson, was available on Spotify, iTunes and YouTube among its 2016 release, and was performed by Henderson on Hungarian program A Dal 2017. The three musicians are the owners of White Shadows LLC. 

In a statement from White Shadows LLC's lawyers Davidson Sheen, it's claimed that 5 Seconds Of Summer were "pressed for time and facing the prospect of commercial irrelevancy" prior to Youngblood's release.

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"The substantial similarity between Youngblood and White Shadows is readily apparent, and is so striking that it could not be the result of mere coincidence," reads the statement. 

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"The first melodic phrase of Youngblood is virtually identical to the melodic phrase from White Shadows, and the phrases are repeated four times in each respective song. It is clear that 5 Seconds Of Summer had access, means, and motive to appropriate the melodic phrase of White Shadows, and we firmly believe that any listener who hears both songs will notice the substantial similarities."

"In short, 5 Seconds Of Summer misappropriated an earworm melody from Henderson, Toth, and Ferencz, claimed it was their own creation, and rode the riff to world-wide success; we believe this is jaw-droppingly obvious and, frankly, it shocks the conscience," it continues. 

"We look forward to presenting evidence that 5 Seconds Of Summer not only infringed on our client’s copyright and misappropriated portions of White Shadows, but that the band has experienced worldwide acclaim and derived substantial revenue by exploiting the work of three young songwriters. We are confident that our clients will be vindicated in court."

5 Seconds Of Summer picked up the ARIA Award for Song Of The Year for Youngblood last year, as well as scoring Best Australian Live Act and Best Group. 

They are yet to publicly respond to the claims, The Music has reached out for comment. Listen to the two tracks below.