Jamaican dancehall artist Flourgon claims that Miley Cyrus infringed copyright of his song We Run Things in a $300m lawsuit
Words by Victoria Fell
Poor Miley Cyrus. After finally successfully reinventing her image, a $300m lawsuit turns up to remind her of the hectic Bangerz era all over again (we all still remember the rumours of that totally naked video). Jamaican dancehall artist Flourgon, also known as Michael May, is claiming that Cyrus’ track We Can’t Stop borrows from May’s 1988 hit We Run Things and seeks $300m in damages.
In the interest of fairness, you can listen to both songs below and make your mind up.
According to Pitchfork, May’s attorneys argue that Cyrus and her co-writers ‘substantially incorporated’ May’s vocal melody, cadence, inflection, and vocal rhythm. They also claim that We Can’t Stop features a ‘substantially similar hook’ and specifically cites Cyrus’ lyrics, ‘We run things, things don’t run we’; Flourgon’s original contained the lines, ‘We run things. Things no run we.’
May’s lawyers 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.’
Considering that We Can’t Stop was released in 2013 and We Run Things came out 25 years earlier, we’re not entirely sure why May has chosen now to proceed with the lawsuit. However, with May seeking a trial by jury, an injunction to halt sales and further performances of the song, damages, AND attorney’s fees, it’s clear that he means business.