Muse are the subject of a $3.5m lawsuit launched by a songwriter who alleges Matt Bellamy’s band “ripped off” his idea for their 2009 three-part piece Exogenesis.
Charles Bolfrass last week filed papers in Manhattan Federal Court accusing Muse and their label Warner Brothers of copyright infringement, unfair trade practices and unfair competition.
Bolfrass says he wrote a “cinematic science-fiction rock opera” called Exogenesis. Its subject was the demise of planet Earth and the resulting spread of the human race through space as they seek new homes.
He continues that In 2005 he approached the three-piece band, plus two other unnamed outfits, to ask if they’d compose the score for the work. Muse declined to take part a year later.
In 2009, their album The Resistance featured the tracks Exogenesis I, II and III, credited to frontman Bellamy. Liner notes say: “It is a story of humanity coming to an end and everyone pinning their hopes on a group of astronauts who go out to explore space and spread humanity to another planet.”
Bollfrass alleges those tracks were unfairly based on his work – and that the Resistance album artwork is based on an image from the storyboard of his rock opera.
Muse and Warners have not commented on the lawsuit.
The band’s fans are waiting to discover whether upcoming album The 2nd Law is as much of a sideball as it appears, with Bellamy having said at least two songs experiment with dubstep music and lead track Madness having taken many by surprise.
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