Although there have been reports today that the Beach Boys are suing Katy Perry for ripping off their 1965 ode to West Coast gals (as Perry’s ubiquitous hit has the shared lyric “I wish they all could be California girls” at the end of the track), they’re only half right. It’s the Beach Boys’ label Rondor, not band members Brian Wilson and Mike Love (who have expressed their adoration of Perry and her song), who are asking for songwriting credit and royalties. Jump below for more details.
A spokesperson from the Rondor music label elaborated on the claim, saying “there is no lawsuit against the writers or publishers of ‘California Gurls.’ We have established diminutive claim. It is up to the six writers and various publishers of ‘California Gurls’ to decide whether they honor the claim or not.”
“Using the words or melody in a new song taken from an original work is not appropriate under any circumstances, particularly one as well known and iconic as ‘California Girls,’” the spokesperson continues. “Rondor Music, who publishes the works of Brian Wilson and Mike Love, is committed to protecting the rights of its artists and songwriters, and with the support of the writers, that is exactly what we are doing.”
We agree that if an artist borrows from another artist without permission, the creator or owner of the original content should be compensated. But do the Beach Boys own the phrase “I wish they all could be California girls”, case closed? That line isn’t even an integral lyric in Perry’s song; it’s uttered at the end of the track by Snoop Dogg, and he’s not even singing the Beach Boys melody. We’ll have to see how this plays out.
Do you know what the Beach Boys do not have a copyright on? Katy Perry in a bikini top. Which means you should have no qualms heading over to MTV’s Buzzworthy blog to check out Perry in a sneak peek of her “Teenage Dream” video.