Dan + Shay Sued Over ‘10,000 Hours’ Copyright Infringement

26 April 2022 | 11:45 am | Mallory Arbour

According to the lawsuit, Dan + Shay stole the core portion of their collaboration with Justin Bieber from a song written in 1973.

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Dan + Shay are being sued. A new lawsuit claims songwriters “stole a core portion” of the 2019 crossover smash Dan + Shay and Justin Bieber hit 10,000 Hours from a tune written decades ago, according to documents filed last week in federal court. 

Music company Melomega filed a suit on Thursday, April 21 in Los Angeles that claimed "impudently bold" plagiarism on 10,000 Hours. The suit claims writers borrowed from the chorus, verse and hook of the little-known R&B song titled The First Time Baby Is A Holiday

The plaintiffs called Bieber and Dan + Shay “impudently bold” for the “theft,” adding that “this case marks an instance of blatant and errant copying.” The complaint lists 10,000 Hours songwriters and publishers as defendants, as well as Dan + Shay label Warner Music Nashville, among others.

“One need only listen to First Time and the infringing 10,000 Hours to discern the unmistakable similarities between the songs,” the suit asserts. “However, subjective analysis aside, when the songs are viewed through the objective, empirical lens of musical science — as was done in this case by one of the top musicology experts in the industry — Defendants’ infringement is unmistakable.”

Released in October 2019, 10,000 Hours was co-written by Bieber and Dan + Shay’s Dan Smyers and Shay Mooney with Jessie Jo Dillon, Jordan Reynolds, and Jason Boyd, and was the lead single from Dan + Shay’s fourth studio album, Good Times (2021).

10,000 Hours also proved a pivotal hit for Dan + Shay and Bieber, earning the collaborators a top five Billboard Hot 100 hit and GRAMMY Award in 2021 for ‘Best Country Duo/Group Performance.’ The song was also awarded the iHeart Music Award for ‘Best Lyrics’ as well as two American Music Awards for ’Collaboration of the Year’ and ‘Favourite Country Song’ in 2020.

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The First Time Baby Is A Holiday was written by Palmer Rakes and Frank Fioravanti in 1973 and registered by Melomega in 1980, per the complaint. Melomega’s Sound Gems Records distributed a version of the song in 2014 via The Orchard, a Sony Music subsidiary. 

As a result of the suit, the music companies are seeking song writing credit on 10,000 Hours, as well as money in damages, statutory damages and attorney fees. They are also asking for an injunction preventing further distribution of the song.

You can compare the two songs below:


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