Miley Cyrus is being sued for $300 million (£215m) in a copyright infringement case involving her 2013 hit ‘We Can’t Stop’.
‘We Can’t Stop’ was the first single from Cyrus’ career-transforming fourth album ‘Bangerz’. Jamaican songwriter Michael May, who performs under the name Flourgon, claims that the track infringes upon his 1988 single ‘We Run Things’.
May filed a complaint on Tuesday (March 13), Reuters reports, with producers Mike WiLL Made-It and Rock City (Timothy and Theron Thomas), Cyrus’ manager Larry Rudolph, plus the labels RCA Records and Sony Music also named in the suit.
May’s lawyers argue that Cyrus’ song “substantially incorporated” his “vocal melody/rhythm/cadence/inflection”, pointing to a “substantially similar hook” and alleged similarities between Cyrus’ refrain, “We run things. Things don’t run we” and his lyrics, “We run things. Things no run we”.
They argue that Cyrus’ song “owes the basis of its chart-topping popularity and its highly-lucrative success to plaintiff May’s protected, unique, creative and original content.”
‘We Run Things’ reached number one in Jamaica and May says it has been “a favourite for lovers of reggae music worldwide” since.
May is seeking a trial by jury, plus a halt to sales and performances of Cyrus’ song as well as damages and legal fees.
You can see the full complaint here.
Hear both songs below.
Miley Cyrus spoke to NME last year about her latest album ‘Younger Now’, Dolly Parton and the legacy of ‘Wrecking Ball’.
Cyrus said of ‘Wrecking Ball’: “You know, I should fucking be grateful every fucking day for that song, and I am. I think people look at things that they’ve done and there is this sense of shame, or ‘I wish I wouldn’t have done that’ – not because I’m naked, by the way; it’s because I feel like I’m in a deeper songwriting place… Lyrically I’m less impressed with that song for me right now. I feel like it doesn’t reflect who I am now, but that’s fine because it’s not supposed to… I’m sure I’ll say the same thing about this record at some point.”