Miley Cyrus has finally settled a copyright infringement suit that has been ongoing since March 2018. The beautiful and talented Miley has agreed to pay $300 million to Michael May, after the latter sued her for ‘stealing’ ‘We Can’t Stop’ a song she released in 2013 from a song he recorded about 30 years ago in 1988.
But, do these two songs have any resemblance really or is Michael May, whose stage name is Flourgon just being petty? You listen to the songs and be the judge.
The Said Similarities
The Jamaican reggae artist claimed that Miley’s song ‘We Can’t Stop’ has a close resemblance to his 1988 hit song ‘We Run Things’. His song topped his country’s charts during his time.
In his suit, May asserted that RCA records, a recording company that belongs to Sony Corp, plagiarized, or rather, misappropriated a phrase in his song.
In the said song, May or rather Flourgon sang ‘We run things. Things no run we’ while Miley sang ‘We run things. Things don’t run we’. While these two phrases sound and mean the same thing, they have been used in two very different contexts by the two artists.
Miley’s is a pop song, while Flourgon’s is reggae, and the preceding and proceeding lyrics have no relation whatsoever. Still, Flourgon claims that Miley copied about 50% of his song ‘We Run Things’!
Miley’s legal team, however, shot back arguing that May’s claim on that one line of lyrics was invalid. They argued that copyright protection does not apply to a single line, and that, that particular line in May’s song was not original. The song itself was not even registered by May.
May’s legal team, though’ countered this argument saying that May had created and even popularized the phrase in question in 1981 when he was 16 years. Since that line falls in Miley’s song chorus, then she had infringed on the May’s intellectual property.
Since the judge ruled in favor of May, Miley and co. have just decided to settle to put to an end what one would call an unnecessary barrier to her career, and allow her to keep doing what she has been doing for the past decade; produce more music.
Miley, May, Sony and other parties involved in this suit have agreed to file a joint stipulation. The stipulation was signed in a Manhattan federal court, and it ended that lawsuit with prejudice.
This means that once Miley and co. pay the $300 million to May, he cannot file the same suit again. In a letter dated December 12, Miley’s lawyers said that they have already signed for a settlement agreement and that it would be file awaiting settlement of the proceeds.
May further claims that Miley’s song ‘We Can’t Stop’ owes its success to his copyrighted and original lyrics. On the Billboard Top 100, Miley’s pop hit managed to reach No.2, beaten only by another controversial hit ‘Blurred Lines’ by Robin Thicke.
Thicke was also sued by Marvin Gaye’s estate for infringing on the legendary artist’s 1977 hit song ‘Got to Give It Up’. But, does it? Again, you are the judge.