Singer Miley Cyrus has settled a long-standing copyright infringement lawsuit relating to her hit song “We Can’t Stop.”
In May of 2018, Michael May, who performs under the name Flourgon, sued Cryus because he claimed that “We Can’t Stop” was similar to his reggae song “We Run Things.” The latter May recorded in 1988 and is said to have reached No. 1 in May’s native Jamaica.
May sued not only Cyrus but also RCA Records for misappropriation of material. This pertained to the following lyrics in “We Can’t Stop”:
We run things.
Things don’t run we.
“We Run Things” has the following lyrics:
We run things.
Things no run we.
Earlier this year, Cyrus’ lawyers tried to get the suit dismissed, claiming that the lyrics in her song were a common Jamaican phrase. But the judge in the case disagreed.
Now, all parties in the suit have filed a joint stipulation that they have come to an unspecified settlement. The settlement was reached with prejudice, which means that May cannot file it again.
The settlement was not unexpected, as last month attorneys for Cyrus indicated that a settlement had been agreed upon and that they were only waiting for the “pending payment of the settlement proceeds.”
So far, none of the parties to the suit or their representatives have issued a statement in regards to the settlement.
In 2013, Cyrus released “We Can’t Stop” off her Bangerz album. It eventually reached No. 2 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart.
Interestingly, the only song that kept “We Can’t Stop” from reaching No. 1 that year was “Blurred Lines” by Robin Thicke. This song was also the subject of a copyright infringement lawsuit. The estate of Marvin Gaye insisted that the song resembled Gaye’s 1977 song “Got To Give It Up,” and they were rewarded with 50% of the proceeds from “Blurred Lines.”