The Beach Boys threaten Katy Perry over rights to “California Gurls”

Update 2: According to E! Online, a representative for Rondor Music says the publisher doesn’t plan any legal action and have already established diminutive claims. Instead, they hope the creative team behind the song will choose to offer Love and Wilson all due creative rights and the appropriate royalties.

Update: Mike Love says (via Gigwise) that the band is not suing Perry, which jives with Rondor’s statement that they’ve only filed a diminutive claim.

Just because Brian Wilson isn’t actually reuniting with The Beach Boys doesn’t mean the surf rock legends can’t stay relevant in this day and age. For instance, they could reissue some more of their old hits. Or, perhaps, they could just sue Katy Perry for writing credits on the singer’s summer smash “California Gurls”. Clearly that’s the best choice.

According to the New York Post (via, the Boys’ label Rondor Music has contacted Perry’s label, Capitol, with threats of legal action if Mike Love and Brian Wilson don’t receive writing credit and matching royalties for the song, which takes a line from the Boys’ 1965 “California Girls” song “I wish they all could be California girls”. We’d make the same comment about suing David Lee Roth that EW made, but we think he’s suffered enough.

“In regard to the various rumors circulating, we would like to make it clear that there is no lawsuit against the writers or publishers of ‘California Gurls.’ We have established diminutive claim. It is up to the six writers and various publishers of ‘California Gurls’ to decide whether they honor the claim or not,” a spokesperson for Rondor told

“Using the words or melody in a new song taken from an original work is not appropriate under any circumstances, particularly one as well known and iconic as ‘California Girls.’ Rondor Music, who publishes the works of Brian Wilson and Mike Love, is committed to protecting the rights of its artists and songwriters, and with the support of the writers, that is exactly what we are doing.”

Now, before you go and blame Love and Wilson, they may not actually be seeking restitution themselves. Wilson himself said that he actually likes the track, while Love’s rep said that all legal decisions regarding the song belong to Rondor, despite ownership of the song by Love and Wilson.

As always, stay tuned for more news as this case develops.


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