‘Uptown Funk’ Writers to Split Royalties With the Gap Band

‘Uptown Funk’ Writers to Split Royalties With the Gap Band

Seventies funk group nabs credit on Mark Ronson's single following claim of similarities to “Oops Upside Your Head.”

Published May 4, 2015

There are now five new names added to the six already occupying space on the writing credits for “Uptown Funk,” Billboard reports. RCA Records gave the Gap Band writing recognition following a claim that British producer Mark Ronson’s multi-platinum single is similar to the 1970s funk hit “Oops Upside Your Head.” 

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Updated writing credits now include GB group members and brothers Charlie, Ronnie and Robert Wilson, alongside keyboardist Rudolph Taylor and producer Lonnie Simmons. The group owns a total of 17 percent of the song, giving them an equal split with Ronson and co-producer Jeffrey Bhasker

The original names credited on “Uptown Funk” were Ronson, Bruno Mars, Bhasker and producer Phillip Lawrence. Trinidad James and producer Devon Gallapsy also earned writing credits as “portions” of the Atlanta rapper’s “All Gold Everything” single are “embedded” in “Uptown Funk.” James, his label, and publishing imprint own less than 8 percent of the song, while other royalties are paid out to the respective label and publishers, Warner/Chappel, Sony/ATV, among them.

The Gap Band members' claim was filed by Minder Management against YouTube’s content management system in February. “Uptown Funk” has amassed over half a billion views since last November, accounting for $2.2 million in label and publishing revenue earned through add sales, according to a new Billboard report. The estimate does not include a potential 50 percent publishers cut from YouTube videos generated by users.

Additionally, “Uptown Funk” has sold more than 5 million units, fueled by a 14-week run at first place on the Billboard Hot 100. 

The decision to split the money-pie without a legal fight is no coincidence. In wake of the landmark “Blurred Lines” verdict, which is currently under appeal, the music industry is being “more cautious,” noted Danny Zook, James’s manager. “Nobody wants to be involved in a lawsuit. Once a copyright dispute goes to a trial, [if a jury is used], it is subject to be decided by public opinion — and no longer resolved based entirely on copyright law.”

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(Photo: Dana Edelson/NBC)

Written by Latifah Muhammad

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