Miley Cyrus has decided to settle a $300 million copyright lawsuit filed by the Jamaican musician named Flourgon. The move has been greeted with great commendation while some called it a “win-win” for entertainers from the Caribbean.
The Jamaican songwriter whose real name is Michael May performs under the stage name Flourgon. He accused the former Disney star of stealing some the lyrics of her 2013 hit “we can’t stop” from a song “we run things” which he recorded over two decades ago.
Cyprus lawyers gave an update on the matter in a December 12th letter where they stated that a settlement agreement had been acceded to in writing and that they would proceed to file the stipulation “pending the payment of the settlement proceeds.” The exact sum of the settlement is not known.
Flourgon is being represented by a legal team led by Irwine Clare – a Jamaican-American. While leading a high profile legal team to Jamaica last year, Clare spoke about the importance of copyrighting work, respect for intellectual property and professionalism. She discussed all this against the background of the ongoing legal dispute at the time.
In a statement last night She said that “It’s a good thing for Jamaican artistes who have long been abused of their intellectual property `rights, ” and that ” this verdict demonstrates that when there are effective support and the expertise assembled, good can happen. ”
She spoke about the importance of professionalism and dedication to excellence in these words: “Jamaicans have to bring a level of professionalism to the table. We can’t just do a ‘t’ ing’. We need to be better at our craft.”
Clare said that Flourgon’s legal team would issue an official statement on a later date. She, however, refused to let anyone in on the exact sum of the settlement. She revealed that the judge had at earlier hearings reduced the payout expectations from the humongous US$300 million.
The legal tussle began when Flourgon sued Cyrus in 2018 for biting – off his 1988 song “We run things” in the making of her own 2013 song “We can’t stop.”
Flourgon accused Cyrus of lifting the key line in his song, “We run things. Things no run we” and adding a little bit of English flavour to it before laying it on her own track as “We run things. Things don’t run we.” Miley Cyrus “We can’t stop” was a major hit, peaking at No. 2 on the Billboard Hot 100 in the August of 2019.
Flourgon, Cyrus, Sony, which owns her label RCA Records, and other defendants went on to file a joint order in Manhattan Federal Court. The order is meant to doom the lawsuit from being revived.
In 2018 Joann Squillance who happens to be a member of the team of lawyers representing Flourgon weighed in on the issue while on the sidelines of Gleaners Editors’ Forum. He said those words were created by the artist in 1981 while he was still working with the Rambo Mango sound system. He said that apart from copying the lyrics of the song, Cyrus also made her song’s theme the same with that of the Jamaican singer. She – just like Flourgon – sang about self-determination and self-control.
It was revealed by Stephen Drummond of the same law firm that Flourgon obtained formal copyright of the song not too long ago. He said it was obtained just before the lawsuit was filed but that the producer has always owned the intellectual property as far back as the 1980s.
Miley Cyrus song