The copyright infringement lawsuit that rapper Josh Stone filed against Ariana Grande in January of 2020 has officially been dismissed with prejudice.
To recap, Josh Stone – known professionally as DOT – alleged in the initial action that Ariana Grande had infringed upon his 2017 track “You Need It I Got It” in her 2019 hit “7 Rings.” Along with the two-time Grammy winner (and 12-time nominee) Grande, the plaintiff named entities including BMG, Kobalt, Concord, and Universal Music Group as defendants.
Citing musicologists’ opinions, Stone stated in the original complaint: “Literally, every single one of the 39 respective notes of ‘7 Rings’ is identical with the 39 notes of ‘I Got It’ from a metrical placement perspective. Said another way, the rhythm and placement of the notes and lyrics are identical.”
Despite these and other seemingly far-reaching allegations, the presiding judge in March of 2020 nearly tossed the suit because certain defendants (including Ariana Grande herself) hadn’t been served. But the plaintiff took the appropriate steps before the outlined deadline and, in an August of 2020 amended complaint, elaborated upon the especially interesting elements of the case.
Stone claimed in this updated filing that he’d taken multiple meetings in June of 2017 with Universal Music Group execs – including “7 Rings” co-writer Thomas Brown, who has worked with Grande on each of the six studio albums she’s released to date. During the discussions, which Stone said took place throughout a weeklong stretch, the rapper played tracks such as “You Need It I Got It” for Brown, according to the suit.
Brown then proceeded to contact Stone, emphasizing that he’d enjoyed “You Need It I Got It” and expressing interest “in exploring opportunities to work together,” also per the complaint. But Brown – who contributed to the newest albums from Zara Larsson and Demi Lovato – “simply took I GOT IT to Ariana Grande…and later repackaged I GOT IT into 7 RINGS,” Stone indicated.
A March of 2021 filing revealed that the involved parties had settled the case – though the specifics of this settlement (which could involve Stone’s receiving a portion of “7 Rings” royalties moving forward or, alternatively, receiving no compensation at all) weren’t publicly disclosed.
Now, as initially mentioned, a new filing yet (dated June 7th) shows that the case has been dismissed with prejudice.
Like the March of 2021 legal document, the text doesn’t shed light upon the preceding negotiations, and Josh Stone (who has released multiple songs this year via his Real Vibez Only label) hadn’t addressed the subject on social media at the time of this piece’s publishing.
Late last month, American XO member Shane Williams and California-based musician Konstantine Lois filed a copyright infringement lawsuit against Benny Blanco, Halsey, Khalid, and Ed Sheeran over their 2018 “Eastside” effort.