by Claudia Gardner December 19, 2019
Dancehall veteran Flourgon’s lawsuit against American pop star Miley Cyrus seems to be coming to a conclusion that is in favor of the Jamaican.
In March last year Flourgon had filed a US$300 million copyright infringement lawsuit against Miley, in which he claimed she plagiarized the line “we run things, things no run we” from his 1998 track “We run tings” and embedded it in her 2013 single ‘We Can’t Stop.’ According to New-York-based Jamaican-born attorney Stephen Drummond, his legal team is optimistic about the matter, and is looking forward to an amicable settlement, which ‘will see all sides being pleased.’
According to the Jamaica Observer, the attorney who hails originally from Hopewell in Hanover, on Tuesday, declined to state whether the case was still in court or was being mediated out of court.
The lawsuit which was filed by Flourgon in the US District Court of Manhattan, New York, had accused Cyrus and her label RCA Records, of misappropriating his material, including the lyrics, “We run things, things no run we,” which she sings as ‘We run things, things don’t run we.”
According to the World Intellectual Property Office, sampling before carrying out sampling, users must seek consent from the original copyright owners or their agents such as their record company or music publishing company.
However, in her defense, Cyrus and her team posited several arguments which they claimed made Flourgon’s case invalid. They had claimed that a single lyric is not protected by copyright, that Cyrus’s use of it was fair, and that the deejay’s lyric in We Run Things is not original.
Produced by Redman International, We Run Things was one of the biggest dancehall songs of 1988 but was not registered by Flourgon, whose real name is Michael May, until 2017.
Flourgon’s legal team is claiming that he created the phrase ‘under contention in 1981′, a the age of 16, while associated with the Rambo Mango sound system, and Cyrus infringed on the intellectual property of the song. The lawyers contend that Flourgon’s lines are embedded in the chorus, which is the most important part of Cyrus’ song.
In addition to the words, the lawyers argue that Cyrus followed the theme of Flourgon’s song, “which is about being in self-control, not caring what anyone thinks and being determined.”
“While ‘we run things, things no run we’ became commonly used in Jamaica, Drummond emphasized that things which become a part of popular culture have an origin,” the lawyers had noted.
The team of lawyers also said the tour for the 2013 Bangerz album, on which “We Can’t Stop,” is featured, amassed $63 million, with other income streams not being taken into consideration. They also said the song is one of three that Cyrus performs consistently, singing it even while promoting other projects.