Edinburgh X Factor star Storm Lee Gardner in copyright battle with German DJ and English band
A Edinburgh X Factor star is locked in a copyright battle with a top German DJ and an English indie band – claiming they have ripped off one of his biggest tracks.
Storm Lee Gardner has launched legal action against Purple Disco Machine and Sophie and the Giants alleging they have copied a section of his hit song I Came Here To Dance.
The legal claim states the chorus of Purple Disco Machine’s In The Dark is based on Storm Lee’s single taken from his 2008 album Soulfillapopkilla.
Released in January this year, In The Dark has charted across Europe and has amassed more than 53 million plays on Spotify. It has also been viewed over 20 million times on YouTube.
Storm Lee – who left Edinburgh aged 16 to forge a music career in the States – has now employed Entertainment Edinburgh lawyer Joe Boyd to pursue the copyright claim against record labels Sweat It Out Music and EMI.
The Grammy-nominated Scot – who memorably clashed on screen with Simon Cowell – made it to the final stages of the X Factor in 2010 while being mentored by judge Louis Walsh.
He was widely praised for his performances of the Guns N Roses classic Sweet Child of Mine and the U2 favourite With Or Without You before eventually being voted off the show in Week 2 of the live finals.
Storm Lee, 49, said he was “shocked” on first hearing the Purple Disco Machine song while standing in a supermarket queue.
He said: “I wrote I Came Here To Dance while recording my album Soulfillapopkilla in 2008.
“It’s a song that is really close to my heart and I put a lot of effort into it and was really pleased when it became an underground hit in the US.
“So you can imagine my surprise when earlier this year I was waiting in line in my local supermarket and this dance song came on.
“I was subconsciously swaying along to it thinking ‘this is really familiar’ when it hit me that the chorus was exactly like my I Came Here To Dance.
“Over the next few days I received lots of calls and texts from friends saying ‘have you heard this Purple Disco Machine song?’ – the chorus is identical to your song.
“I was recently back home in Scotland and I passed the offices of Entertainment Edinburgh and thought I’d pop in and speak to them about how I could go about it all.
“The firm were fantastic and I decided to employ them to contact the record companies concerning my copyright issues.
“We are at the early stages but I just felt I had to do something about it as I put my heart and soul into that song and it doesn’t seem fair someone can come along and just copy it.”
Lawyer Joe Boyd, of Entertainment Edinburgh, said his firm “intimated a claim for copyright infringement” against the two record companies last week.
He added: “We will be in a position to make further comment on behalf of our client after we have received a response from the record labels concerned.”
Sweat It Out Music and EMI have been contacted for comment.
Following his X Factor appearance Storm Lee has gone on to carve out a successful career as a session singer and was a vocalist in six seasons of the hit TV show Glee.
He worked with Tom Cruise on the movie Rock of Ages, performed in Meryl Streep’s The Prom and has worked with stars including Meatloaf, Debbie Harry and Annie Lennox.
The former furniture upholsterer, from the Capital’s Canongate, was also nominated for a Latin Grammy in 2004.