It seems like at least once a year, another big copyright lawsuit will hit the pop realm. In the past few years, we’ve seen Ed Sheeran targeted for both “Photograph” (by the songwriters of Matt Cardle’s “Amazing”) and “Thinking Out Loud” (by the family of the writer of Marvin Gaye’s “Let’s Get It On”), Sam Smith having to pay royalties to Tom Petty and Jeff Lynne, and even rumors of Radiohead suing Lana Del Rey.
The most recent example reportedly involves Miley Cyrus and her 2013 song “We Can’t Stop” — specifically the lyrics “We run things / Things don’t run we.”
According to a Reuters report (via Billboard), Jamaican musician Michael May, whose stage name is Flourgon, filed a $300 million lawsuit against Cyrus on Tuesday (March 13), claiming those lyrics are too similar to words from one of his own songs, “We Run Things,” from 1988.
In that song, May sings, “We run things / Things no run we.” You can hear it at the beginning of the song here.
The complaint reportedly said that Cyrus’s song “owes the basis of its chart-topping popularity to and its highly-lucrative success to plaintiff May’s protected, unique, creative and original content.” It also called for further sales and performances of the song to stop.
This suit is the latest to arrive on the heels of the massive 2015 case that seemingly began a new legal deluge: when Pharrell and Robin Thicke lost their suit over “Blurred Lines” to Marvin Gaye’s children. As Reuters points out, this is the same song that incidentally kept “We Can’t Stop” out of the top spot on the Billboard Hot 100 in 2013.1 of 1