A trio of British songwriters Scott McCullouch, Brian Clover and Billy Smith sued The Weeknd claiming that "A Lonely Night" used a key section of "I Need To Love
," a 2004 song they recorded in the band Sonic Religion.
The three Brits said that while Universal Music acquired the rights to their tracks in 2008, all rights were relinquished eight years later. Clover alleged that when The Weeknd released "A Lonely Night" weeks after, he heard it playing in the Colchester branch of the Top Man clothing store and immediately noticed the striking similarities between the tune and "I Need To Love."
Californian judge Percy Anderson dismissed the lawsuit concluding that the plaintiffs had failed to demonstrate how The Weeknd had accessed their earlier work. The judge added that the two songs were not similar enough to constitute copyright infringement anyway.