U2 is sued for allegedly stealing song for ‘Achtung Baby’
A British songwriter and guitarist has sued U2, claiming the band stole one of his works for a song on its blockbuster 1991 album “Achtung Baby.”
In a complaint filed on Monday night in the U.S. District Court in Manhattan, Paul Rose sought at least $5 million in damages from U2 lead singer Bono and bandmates The Edge, Adam Clayton and Larry Mullen Jr., as well as Island Records.
Rose, who said he has a dozen of his own albums, said the Irish band lifted “signature elements” of his copyrighted song “Nae Slappin” for its hit song “The Fly.”
He said this occurred at a time U2, then arguably the world’s most popular rock band, was seeking a “stark departure” from its trademark sound.
Rose said he gave a demo tape of “Nae Slappin” to Island in 1989, the same year the label signed U2, and that “The Fly” incorporated its guitar solo and other elements, including distortion and “industrial-style” percussion.
He said ordinary listeners “would reasonably find that the songs are substantially similar,” and at times so “strikingly similar” that they could not believe U2 came up with “The Fly” on its own.