The singer and producer have been sued by Minneapolis electric funk band Collage for copyright infringement. In court documents obtained by Pitchfork, Collage states that “many of the main instrumental attributes and themes of ‘Uptown Funk’ are deliberately and clearly copied” from their 1983 single “Young Girls.” The band claims that certain elements of the two songs, such as the use of synthesizers, horns and specific bass notes, are almost identical if played over each other.
According to TMZ, Collage notes that Mars and Ronson admitted in interviews to being inspired by the Eighties Minneapolis and electro-funk era they belonged to. Interestingly enough, only one member of Collage, Larry White, is alive. The estates of the deceased members, Grady Wilkins and Lee Peters, are listed as plaintiffs in the court documents. The band is seeking unspecified damages and profits.
Collage isn’t the only band Mars and Ronson have allegedly borrowed from in the making of this song. 80’s Hip Hop trio The Sequence argued that Mars and Ronson copied their 1979 song “Funk You Up,” though the group did not file suit.
Listen to “Uptown Funk” and “Young Girls” below for comparison.