The legendary pop-country duo threatened legal action last month against the pop star, claiming her new single, 'Hold It Against Me,' is too similar to their classic tune, 'If I Said You Had a Beautiful Body Would You Hold It Against Me.' Now, the Bellamys are in talks with lawyers to bring their threats to fruition.
"Even though David and Howard are some of the nicest and most down to earth guys you will ever meet, they are also smart and experienced businessmen," the Bellamy Brothers' attorney, Christopher E. Schmidt, says in a statement. "So naturally, David asked me for my legal opinion of whether or not the Britney Spears recent single, 'Hold It Against Me,' infringed on the copyright of their song, 'If I Said You Had A Beautiful Body Would You Hold It Against Me,' that David wrote in 1979."
Schmidt acknowledges that the similarity of the song titles is not necessarily of legal concern. Rather, he is concerned about trademark issues. He additionally notes that if you double the beat of the Bellamys' song, it is very similar to Britney's, thus he places much of the blame on the pop track's producers, Max Martin and Dr. Luke.
"The scale tips substantially in knowing that Dr. Luke not only co-produced Britney's song with Max Martin, but that Dr. Luke also co-wrote the song with Max Martin and others," he continues. "Dr. Luke was sued in 2007 for copyright infringement along with Avril Lavigne and her record label for 'lifting' portions of Avril's hit song 'Girlfriend.' The suit subsequently settled in 2008. There is also a current Katy Perry song which features Snoop Dogg called 'California Gurls,' produced and co-written by Dr. Luke and Max Martin (among other writers, including Katy Perry) where the Beach Boys' record label has filed a diminutive claim against the writers and publishers of the song for credit and royalties."
The duo's lawyer concludes that he feels it is necessary to proceed with a lawsuit. "As a transactional attorney primarily focusing on managing my clients' careers and protecting their intellectual property, I had a duty to bring in the heavyweights to help us further evaluate the situation."
The case is now in the hands of another attorney, as well as two renowned musicologists, who are evaluating both songs. "From here, it is just a matter of trying to work things out amicably with everyone involved," Schmidt concludes.
Check out videos for both songs below, to judge for yourself whether they are too similar.
The Bellamy Brothers aren't letting their impending legal woes slow them down. They're playing their home state of Florida this weekend, and then heading overseas for shows in the UK, Italy and Germany. See their tour schedule here.