Canadian pop star Justin Bieber and the co-writers of his 2015 smash hit "Sorry" are being sued for allegedly stealing a vocal riff from another artist who said she used it on her own song a year earlier.
In a complaint made public on Thursday, Casey Dienel, an indie artist who performs under the name White Hinterland, accused Bieber of infringing her copyright to the song "Ring the Bell" by using a "virtually identical" riff without permission.
Among the other defendants are the producer Skrillex and Vivendi's Universal Music Group. The lawsuit was filed in the U.S. District Court in Nashville.
Spokespeople for Bieber, Skrillex and Universal had no immediate comment or did not immediately respond to requests for comment.
Dienel said "Sorry," which appears on Bieber's album "Purpose" and has more than 1.42 billion YouTube views, adopted the "specific and unique characteristics of the female vocal riff" from her song, sampling it for the first eight seconds of "Sorry" and several times thereafter.