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Miley Cyrus settles lyric-theft battle with dancehall artist Flourgon

By | Published on Tuesday 7 January 2020

Miley Cyrus

Miley Cyrus has settled her legal battle with Jamaican dancehall artist Flourgon who accused the pop star of lifting a lyric from one of his tracks for her 2013 hit ‘We Can’t Stop’.

Flourgon, real name Michael May, sued Cyrus in March 2018 claiming that ‘We Can’t Stop’ infringed his 1998 track ‘We Run Things’. The dispute centred on a single lyric, with May arguing that Cyrus and her songwriting pals lifted his line “we run things, things no run we” and tweaked it to go: “we run things, things don’t run we”.

Lawyers for Cyrus and co responded with at least three arguments as to why they felt that May’s copyright claim was invalid: that a single lyric isn’t protected by copyright, that Cyrus’s use of it was ‘fair use’, and that May’s lyric in ‘We Run Things’ isn’t in itself original. However, even though a magistrate judge considering the case agreed those arguments were “compelling”, Team Cyrus failed to have the lawsuit dismissed on summary judgement.

It emerged last month that an out-of-court settlement had been reached, terms of which are – needless to say – confidential. Then last week both parties filed papers with the court requesting that the case be dismissed with prejudice. The legal papers confirmed that each side will cover its own costs and attorney fees.

So that’s one less song-theft case to keep up with in 2020.