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Justin Bieber accused of holding up song theft trial, plaintiffs demand $10 million

By | Published on Monday 18 April 2016

Justin Bieber

Justin Bieber has been accused of holding up a previously reported song theft lawsuit by missing two scheduled deposition appointments. Songwriters Devin Copeland and Mareio Overton accuse Bieber and Usher of stealing parts of one of their songs, and are now demanding that the court awards them the $10 million in damages they are seeking, if Bieber can’t be forced to sit down and talk about it all.

According to a new legal filing, Bieber was due to give evidence in a deposition scheduled for 21 Mar in LA. However, on the day of the appointment, his legal team said that the singer needed to rest his voice before a live performance that night. The appointment was rescheduled to 14 Apr in Georgia, but the day before – it is claimed – Bieber’s legal team cancelled without explanation. The plaintiffs also claim that Bieber’s manager Scooter Braun is refusing to discuss dates for his own deposition.

As previously reported, Copeland and Overton first claimed in 2013 that Bieber track ‘Somebody To Love’ features various lyrical and stylistic similarities to a song they wrote with the same title, which Copeland released under the name De Rico in 2008. Copeland also claims that he gave a copy of his recording to Usher via the star’s mum, giving him an opportunity to hear the original.

The case was initially dismissed in 2014, but then reinstated on appeal last year. Earlier this month, apparently irritated by how slowly the case was now moving forward, the judge overseeing it refused to move a deadline for submissions from expert witnesses. The result of which is that Bieber and Usher face possibly going to court without any expert witness to support their defence that there is no resemblance between the two songs, beyond some coincidentally similar lyrics.

In this latest legal filing in the case, Copeland and Overton are demanding that the court rule in their favour, if Bieber and Braun do not provide their depositions. They are also asking that Bieber be forced to reimburse them the costs of the two missed appointments.