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Back in May 2016, Scituate native and Brooklyn musician Casey Dienel, who makes music under both her birth name and as White Hinterland, filed a lawsuit against Justin Bieber and the writers/producers behind “Sorry”. The suit alleged that one of the vocal riffs in the hit song was a rip-off of her 2014 track “Ring The Bell.”
This week, TMZ reports that according to court documents filed yesterday (December 18), Dienel has moved to voluntarily dismiss the lawsuit. TMZ suggests that the two camps “figured things out on their own,” but does not divulge any more detail.
When the suit was filed 19 months ago, Dienel asked for monetary damages and asked Bieber to stop performing the song during concerts, according to Jezebel.
“Like most artists that sample music, Bieber could have licensed my song for use in ‘Sorry’. But he chose not to contact me,” Dienel wrote in a lengthy Facebook post, which we published in full on May 27, 2016. “After the release of ‘Sorry,’ my lawyers sent Bieber a letter regarding the infringement, but Bieber’s team again chose to ignore me. I offered Bieber’s team an opportunity to have a private dialogue about the infringement, but they refused to even acknowledge my claim, despite the obviousness of the sample. Justin Bieber is the world’s biggest artist, and I’m sure that he and his team will launch a full attack against me. But, in the end, I was left with no other option. I believe I have an obligation to stand up for my music and art.”
Immediately after Dienel’s lawsuit went public, “Sorry” co-writer Skrillex took to Twitter to show in detail how they came up with the vocal riff in question. “SORRY but we didnt steal this,” wrote Skrillex, who was named in the suit.
— SKRILLEX (@Skrillex) May 27, 2016
Dienel, who creates atmospheric indie pop and released “Ring The Bell” under White Hinterland via independent record label Dead Oceans. “Sorry” appeared on Bieber’s 2015 album, Purpose, and spent three weeks at number one on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100.
In May of this year, Dienel released new album Imitation Of A Woman To Love to critical acclaim.
Featured Casey Dienel photo by Shervin Lainez, via Facebook.