Miley Cyrus was sued by Michael May in March 2018 over the rights to her 2013 track ‘We Can’t Stop’ and a judge has decided the case will go ahead.
The 26-year-old singer was sued by Michael May in March 2018 over the rights to her 2013 track ‘We Can’t Stop’, which he claimed closely resembles the lyrics to a song he released more than 25 years ago called ‘We Run Things’.
His lyric he stated was: “We run things. Things no run we.”
Whilst the ‘Nothing Breaks Like a Heart’ hitmaker sings the line: “We run things, things don’t run we.”
Despite Miley’s attempt to get the suit thrown out, a judge has ruled that the case will proceed.
In documents obtained by The Blast, the judge notes: “In sum, analysis of the relevant factors strongly indicates that Defendants’ use of the Phrase is a fair use.
“Factual questions remain, however, as to certain of the fair use factors, particularly the amount and substantiality of the portion used in relation to the needs of Defendants’ trans-formative use, and the effect on the market, if any, for May’s work.
“The current record suggests several ways in which Defendants may well prevail on the merits, from a determination that the Phrase was not original to May or that May made only trivial changes to a pre-existing strict Patois version of the Phrase, to indisputable proof that Defendants did not copy from May’s song but instead adopted the Phrase from one of many other sources, to facts establishing fair use as a matter of law. Those determinations, however, must await summary judgment.”
The suit at the time accused the ‘Wrecking Ball’ hitmaker of rebranding herself from her “trademark ‘good girl’ Disney Profile” and becoming more “edgy”, and suggested her new music took influence from urban and Caribbean sounds.
May also claimed both tracks feature a theme of “defiant audaciousness in the realm of self-discovery and self-governance”.