Making Sense of Radiohead’s Nonsensical Copyright Dispute With Lana Del Rey

In what’s threatening to become the next “Blurred Lines,” there’s a new hotly contested copyright dispute brewing that involves two powerful names in music, as well as one the defining songs the ’90s. Lana Del Rey revealed last weekend that Radiohead is suing her over similarities between her Lust for Life album closer “Get Free” and the band’s most-known hit, “Creep.” In her tweet, she accused Radiohead coming after an astounding 100 percent the song’s publishing rights after she said she had fered 40 percent, saying “their lawyers have been relentless,” with the possibility that the song could be removed from future physical copies the album. Her response: “We will deal with it in court.”

Though Radiohead has yet to publicly strike back, their publisher Warner/Chappell issued a statement to Vulture on Radiohead’s behalf days later shooting down much Del Rey’s claims. Though they confirmed copyright negotiations between the two camps have been ongoing since last August, they denied ever filing a formal lawsuit against Del Rey — implying that this was intended to be settled out court — or that Radiohead had said they would accept nothing less than 100 percent the song’s publishing.

With each party now telling opposing sides the same story, it’s difficult to make heads or tails what’s really at stake, if there’s legitimate fault, who’s bluffing here, and how such an infringement claim might play out in court. We spoke to Jeff Peretz, a copyright expert and pressor at NYU’s Clive Davis Institute Recorded Music, and Dan Bogosian, a musicologist, to find out if Radiohead might actually have a case and what’s fairly deserved if they do.