|Two independent record labels sued U.S. rock band Guns N' Roses for $1 million, claiming the group used portions of two songs by a German musician on their last album "Chinese Democracy."
Guns N' Roses and Universal Music Group's Interscope-Geffen A&M label were sued by British label Independiente and the U.S. arm of Domino Recording Company, who own the licensing rights to songs by German electronic musician Ulrich Schnauss.
Singer Axl Rose and Guns N' Roses band members and album producers copied portions of two of Schnauss' songs -- "Wherever You Are" and "A Strangely Isolated Place" -- for a song used on the band's last album called "Riad N' the Bedouins," according to the lawsuit.
From Rolling Stone:
The Schnauss lawsuit focuses on 45 seconds of ambient soundscapes at the beginning of “Riad N’ the Bedouins,” before the song breaks into full guitar assault that shares no resemblance to Schnauss’ body of work.
We’re not legal experts, but unless there is some sort of documentation proving that Rose and company stole the tracks — like proof they tried to clear the sample and failed — it’s hard to imagine the million dollar fee would be awarded, as it seems like countless artists such as Boards of Canada, M83 and Fennesz could have easily filed a similar suit. Plus, half the stuff on Chinese Democracy has existed for the better part of the last decade, while the two Schnauss songs came out in 2001 and 2003, so it’d be practically impossible to determine who predated who. Rolling Stone reached out to Gn’R for comment, but hadn’t heard back at press time.