Miley Cyrus settles $405m lawsuit

NEW YORK • Miley Cyrus has settled a US$300 million (S$405 million) copyright infringement lawsuit filed by a Jamaican songwriter, who accused the pop star of stealing her 2013 smash hit We Can't Stop from a similar song he recorded a quarter century earlier.

Michael May, 49, who performs as Flourgon, sued Cyrus, 27, in March 2018, claiming that We Can't Stop closely resembles his 1988 song We Run Things, which he called a reggae favourite since reaching No. 1 in his home country.

He accused Cyrus and her label RCA Records, owned by Sony, of misappropriating material, including the phrase, "We run things. Things no run we", which she sang as "We run things. Things don't run we".

May, Cyrus, Sony and other defendants filed a joint stipulation in a Manhattan court last Friday, ending the lawsuit with prejudice, meaning it cannot be filed again.

The settlement terms were not disclosed.

We Can't Stop, from Cyrus' album Bangerz, peaked at No. 2 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart in August 2013.

It was blocked from hitting No. 1 by Robin Thicke's Blurred Lines, the subject of its own high-profile copyright case over its resemblance to Marvin Gaye's 1977 song Got To Give It Up. A judge ordered Thicke and collaborator Pharrell Williams to pay almost US$5 million to Gaye's estate.


A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on January 06, 2020, with the headline 'Miley Cyrus settles $405m lawsuit'. Subscribe