A copyright infringement lawsuit was filed in the United States District Court by Plaintiffs Ebony Latrice Batts, a/k/a Phoenix Phenom, and Manfred Mohr, against Will.I.Am (William Adams Jr.), Fergie (Stacy Ann Ferguson), Apl.De.Ap (Alan Pineada Lindo), and Taboo (Jaime Gomez), all individually and collectively as the music group the Black Eyed Peas.
Also named in the lawsuit were the Universal Music Group, Inc.; Interscope Records; EMI April Music, Inc.; Headphone Junkie Publishing, LLC; and Will.I.Am Music, Inc.
The Complaint alleges that sometime between January and March of 2009, the Black Eyed Peas intentionally and willfully copied “Boom Dynamite” when they co-wrote and recorded “Boom Boom Pow.”
As a result, “Boom Boom Pow, “as a whole, is substantially similar to “Boom Dynamite,” and the “hook” portions of both songs are strikingly similar. The Complaint also alleges that approximately one year after the plaintiffs submitted “Boom Dynamite” to Interscope and one year after “Boom Dynamite” was released, the Black Eyed Peas released the song “Boom Boom Pow” as the first single off the group's fifth studio album, entitled The E.N.D.
“Boom Boom Pow” became the first US number single on the Billboard Hot 100 chart for Black Eyed Peas and is currently nominated for a Grammy for Best Dance Recording. The Complaint also refers to other claims of copyright infringement made against the Black Eyed Peas, and seeks unspecified damages, disgorgement of profits, and punitive damages.
Ira Gould, the attorney for Batts and Mohr, released a statement concerning the case:
“My clients submitted their copyrighted song “Boom Dynamite” to Interscope Records after Interscope had shown interest in some of their music, and the Black Eyed Peas later copied the song when they wrote “Boom Boom Pow.”
A simple listening of the two songs will tell you that the songs are substantially similar, and that the hooks of the two songs are virtually identical in rhythm and lyrics.”
Compare the two versions below and decide for yourself.