U2 tries to dismiss lawsuit

NEW YORK • Irish rock group U2 asked a judge on Tuesday to dismiss a lawsuit by a British songwriter-guitarist who claimed that the band lifted large parts of one of his works for a song on their 1991 hit album Achtung Baby.

In a filing with the United States District Court in Manhattan, U2 said ordinary listeners would find that their song The Fly and Paul Rose's 1989 instrumental Nae Slappin sound "nothing alike" and that no reasonable jury could find them substantially similar.

The band also questioned why Rose waited until February to sue, saying "nothing about The Fly has changed in the quarter century since it was released", reported Reuters.

Rose has said he is seeking at least US$5 million (S$6.8 million) in damages from U2 lead singer Bono; bandmates The Edge, Adam Clayton and Larry Mullen Jr, and UMG Recordings that releases records under U2's label Island Records.

According to the complaint, Rose had given a demo tape of Nae Slappin to Island, and The Fly later incorporated its guitar solo as well as distortion and percussive effects.

On a happier note for U2, their current world tour - celebrating the 30th anniversary of their biggest-selling album The Joshua Tree - has proven a top draw, earning more than US$118 million.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on July 20, 2017, with the headline 'U2 tries to dismiss lawsuit'. Print Edition | Subscribe