A New York judge has dismissed a copyright infringement case filed against U2 by musician Paul Rose.
The law suit claimed that U2’s guitar solo on their single ‘The Fly, from the immensely popular 1991 album Achtung Baby, was a rip off of a 12-second segment of Rose’s 1989 experimental song ‘Nae Slappin’. Rose claims the similarities include the guitar line, tambourine, drum, percussion, bass lines, and a later chord change from E7 to A7.
Each alleged similarity was broken down one-by-one by the US District Court, who ruled this was not a case of infringement, specifically the guitar line. The dismissal said that the 12-second segment of ‘Nae Slappin’ is not quantitatively significant to the song; it’s only 6% of the track. Moreover, the significance of the segment was not proven effectively: “The fragment appears only once near the beginning of the recording; it is not repeated. It is one of multiple — at times seemingly random — guitar lines and styles strung together over the course of the composition.”, the court stated.