Now there’s this.
A relatively unknown Chicago songwriter is suing Mother Monster for allegedly using stolen bits of a song for her hit single “Judas.”
The plaintiff, Rebecca Francescatti, says she wrote a similary titled song called “Juda” in 1999. In 2005, according to her federal lawsuit filed in the Northern District of Illinois, she approached sound engineer Brian Gaynor to rerecord and remix her copyrighted tune, which is on iTunes.
That’s where things took an unusual turn, per her complaint.
See, Gaynor is an associate of DJ White Shadow, a Chitown-based producer, DJ and engineer otherwise known as Paul Blair, who produced several tracks on Gaga’s latest blockbuster album, Born This Way—though curiously not “Judas.”
But Francescatti’s lawyer, Christopher Niro, insists there’s a connection. He tells E! News that Gaga flew Gaynor to Paris in March and April 2010 to work on her album. It’s that personal connection (tenuous as it appears) and similarities between the two songs when she first heard “Judas” upon its release last March that made Francescatti believe they are “too prevalent…to be an independent creation.”
“A lot of people say that the songs might not sound the same at first blush, but when you look at the music and composition, it’s otherwise,” the lawyer says. “We’ve spoken to musicologists and other experts who examined the melody and tonal structure not only with the chorus line but throughout [and came to that conclusion].”
Calls seeking comment from the Grammy winner were not immediately returned.
The suit also points to an email Gaynor sent Francescatti saying that he also provided Lady Gaga with several tracks on which she recorded her vocals and sent back to him via iChat. Nothing that Gaynor “played bass, keys, cowrote and coengineered” three tracks on Born This Way, Niro says there was ample opportunity for elements “Juda” to be morphed into “Judas.” (The complaint also claims DJ White Shadow produced 17 of 20 tunes on what was issued as 14-song album, so we’ll assume she’s reffering to tracks that didn’t make the final cut).
Gaga’s label, Universal Music Group, DJ White Shadow and Gaynor, are also named as defendants in the suit.
Take a listen to the songs and judge for yourself.