NEW YORK, United States, Friday March 16, 2018 – Jamaican dancehall artiste Michael ‘Flourgon’ May has filed a US$300 million lawsuit against American pop singer Miley Cyrus, alleging that her 2013 hit ‘We Can’t Stop’ lifted from his 1988 track, ‘We Run Things’.
The copyright infringement lawsuit – which also names RCA Records, a Sony label; and Mike WiLL Made-It, who produced and co-wrote Cyrus’ song, as defendants – was filed in the US District Court, Manhattan, New York earlier this week.
At the heart of the matter is that Flourgon says Cyrus’ song borrows from his.
‘We Can’t Stop’, which became an international multiplatinum hit and reached No. 2 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart and topped the United Kingdom pop chart, contains the words: “We run things, things don’t run we.”
There is a line in Flourgon’s song – which was produced by Hugh ‘Redman’ James and topped charts in Jamaica and United States ethnic market – which goes: “We run things, things no run we.”
The suit also argues that Cyrus’ song is “largely rooted in Caribbean musical influence” and includes “a theme of defiant audaciousness in the realm of self-discovery and self-governance. The entire theme of ‘We Can’t Stop’ would be hollow in sound and impact, and would fail to achieve…success without the unique thrust of authenticity and the substantially similar theme of/provided by Plaintiff May’s original, protected content.”
Flourgon is seeking a trial by jury, an injunction to halt sales and further performances of the track, as well as legal fees.
‘We Can’t Stop’, which is in Cyrus’ Bangerz album, has sold over five million copies based on streaming and digital sales.