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Velvet Revolver Settle Plagiarism Case, Pay Another Band's Bassist Lead Singer-Worthy Money

August 20, 2008 2:42 PM ET

We don't know who the next singer of Velvet Revolver will be, but he or she may want to avoid putting the Contraband song "Dirty Little Thing" on future set lists. The band has reportedly settled a plagiarism case with U.K. rocker Tony Newton, bassist of the band Voodoo Six, that alleged VR stole the riff and melody of "Dirty Little Thing" from Newton's own "Cyber Babe," which he wrote for his previous band Dirty Deeds.

"A couple of years back, a mate of mine in L.A. called me to say he'd heard what he thought was my song on the radio, and that he had been a bit shocked when he realized it was Velvet Revolver," says Newton. "When I checked it out myself, I genuinely couldn't believe it, because it wasn't as if it was close... it was basically the same riff. Anyway, I called my publishers to check whether they knew anything — which, of course, they didn't — and then basically left it with them. I never really expected to hear any more about it and was as surprised as anyone when I heard that Universal had settled with Velvet Revolver."

And what a settlement it was: Newton will receive 20 percent of all royalties from Contraband and the single dating back to 2004, plus all future royalties on the song from commercial uses, live performances, digital sales, etc. He's essentially being paid like he's a member of the band, even though he never picked up an instrument for them.

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