Miley Cyrus can’t stop a copyright lawsuit from a Jamaican songwriter — at least not yet.
Michael May in March 2018 sued Cyrus, claiming her song “We Can’t Stop” infringes his copyright in a 1988 song called “We Run Things.” At issue is whether the phrase “we run things, things don’t run we” is protectable and, if it is, whether Cyrus’ including it in her song was a fair use.
The singer in August moved to dismiss May’s complaint for failure to state a claim or, alternately, asked the court to rule that he can’t recover statutory damages or attorneys’ fees because of the three-year statute of limitations. She argues the phrase isn’t original enough to warrant copyright protection, that the works aren’t substantially similar and, even if infringement were established, incorporating the lyrics is a fair use.
U.S. Magistrate Judge Robert Lehrburger has recommended that district judge Lewis Kaplan largely deny the motion, except to limit actual damages to a three-year window prior to the filing of the complaint. He indicated, though, Cyrus could ultimately prevail.
– Excerpt from an article written by Ashley Cullins for The Hollywood Reporter. Find the full article here.