Rip off claims rock The Masked Singer
A US duo says The Masked Singer Australia stole "note for note, beat for beat" their arrangement of Billie Eilish hit Bad Guy.
Arizona-based band Halocene claimed the cover, which was performed by Kate Ceberano as The Lion on episode three of the musical guessing game, also included an original riff the band had written for one of their own songs, Why Wait?
Channel 10 have not commented on the potential copyright claims and there is no suggestion Ceberano was aware the Halocene version of the song.
Posting a 12-minute video to their YouTube page, Halocene's Brad Amick and Addie Nicole said they published the song 22 weeks before the episode aired, and outlined exactly why they believe The Masked Singer Australia ripped their arrangement.
Along with side-by-side sound bites to outline the similarities between each song, they also shared a clip of Ceberano explaining that her song choices came from her daughter's playlist.
"Regardless of how they came across our version, someone with the music department of the show had to go over the intricate details of our recording," Amick said.
"There are things that aren't even present in the Billie Eilish version, which includes distinct cord changes - the guitar, the basslines, instrumental melodies, the vocals. Even the ad libs [and] the shouting at the end."
You can watch the explosive video in full below:
Amick also said that in "stealing" the arrangement, The Masked Singer also stole parts of an original song he'd written called Why Wait?
"We basically borrowed our own ideas, and we injected into this, so it was part cover, part mashup of our own song. We're using our riffs and melodies from our original content in this song. The Masked Singer Australia has basically purposefully and willingly stolen our licensed recording of Bad Guy but they've inadvertently stolen from my original song, Why Wait?"
While the band included a legal disclaimer in the video which read: "The comments and views expressed in this video are our personal opinions. This video does not confirm or represent any legal verdict (yet)," they have since launched a GoFundMe page to raise money for "international legal representation".
They said should they hit their target, they intend to "tackle the issue head on".
"We've produced hundreds of music videos and songs. We pay licensing fees and royalties to the artists we cover. In fact, we even lose money on many covers after production costs are considered," the fundraiser's blurb read.
"We have simply worked too hard, and too long, to sit by the way side and let a TV show make millions off a show featuring an arrangement we made."
They also pointed to the video on Instagram, with the caption: "Hey guys, a very important video just went up on our channel. We found out that our cover of 'Bad Guy' was stolen by a major TV show. And there's not much we can do about it besides spread the word. Please watch & share! Link is in our profile … Thank you."
The post has just over 500 likes, and their YouTube video has been viewed over 15,000 times.
As of Wednesday evening, their GoFundMe page had raised over $600 of its $15,000 target.
Channel 10 and Warner Bros declined to comment on the accusations.