Earlier this week, a copyright infringement lawsuit concerning Nickelback’s “Rockstar” was dismissed with prejudice, and The Weeknd settled a separate action over “Call Out My Name.” Now, yet another infringement battle, centering on Post Malone’s “Circles,” has drawn to a close.
27-year-old Post Malone and his legal team finalized a settlement agreement just before the long-running suit’s trial was slated to begin, court documents have revealed. This particular copyright confrontation – which arrives as cases involving Ed Sheeran, Mick Jagger and Keith Richards, and others are unfolding – stemmed mainly from a purported August of 2018 songwriting and recording session.
The plaintiff, one Tyler Armes, maintained in the initial action that he had been invited to said session, where he and others had co-written “Circles” (2019). Predictably, however, the allegedly shortchanged songwriter also said that he hadn’t received credit or compensation for his contribution to the ultra-popular track, which boasts north of two billion Spotify streams.
Post Malone and his counsel fired back with a countersuit in 2020, and last time we checked in on the case, the Syracuse-born artist was taking aim at the plaintiff for allegedly concealing and altering text messages related to the aforesaid songwriting session.
In the interest of relative brevity, the defendant creator and his attorneys likewise indicated that “terminating sanctions” were “the appropriate remedy” for the alleged text-message doctoring, which ostensibly came to light during conversations with a proposed witness ahead of a planned October trial.
The latter was subsequently rescheduled for mid-December and, “due to the pendency of a criminal trial,” continued once again. (Needless to say, the sought terminating sanctions didn’t come to fruition, and the presiding judge last August threatened the defendants with monetary sanctions over a potential “improper use of the ex parte mechanism.”)
But yesterday, ahead of the trial’s imminent start, the involved parties informed the court of their “settlement in principle,” as mentioned at the outset.
Of course, it doesn’t appear that either side has weighed in on the settlement with a social media post or a formal release, and the precise terms of the agreement are unclear. Armes last published an Instagram post approximately three months ago, his profile shows, having (perhaps strategically) penned a congratulatory message about Post Malone’s Hollywood’s Bleeding in late August of 2019.
“Honored to have worked on this incredible song ‘Circles’ with @postmalone and @frankdukes,” wrote Armes. “A year ago we ended up in an all night studio session in Toronto. We Jammed on different instruments for a few hours and built the beat. Post laid down the rough vocals a few hours after, we knew immediately it was a special song and a whole new vibe! Crazy energy in the room!”