This is the question a court in the Southern District of New York will be dealing with in a recent lawsuit filed against Destiny Hope, a/k/a Miley Cyrus and others. Does Miley’s chart topping 2013 hit song “We Can’t Stop” infringe on a song written by Michael May?
Jamaican songwriter and deejay Michael May goes by the stage name “Flourgon.” This name was given to him because of his love of dumplings. Specifically, Flourgon alleges that Miley and others, including her co-songwriters and record company, infringed on the copyright he has for the song “We Run Things.” In the complaint, Flourgon alleges that Miley’s co-writers acknowledge the Caribbean musical influence behind Miley’s song.
Trying to shake her sweet Disney image (i.e., Hannah Montana), Miley came out with her fourth album with the edgy song “We Can’t Stop.” The sexy star in the racy video for the song stands in stark contrast with her wholesome Disney image.
The lawsuit highlights Miley’s lyrics “We run things/ Things don’t run we.” Flourgon asserts that his “unique, original and creative lyrical phrasing ‘We run things, Things no run we’ is not syntactically correct, and is a conspicuous departure from proper English grammar with its improper sentence construction such that it is noticeably unique, creative and original thereby mandating further inquiry, which should have been conducted by Defendants . . .”
In addition to damages, Flourgon seeks injunctive relief to prevent Miley from selling or performing the song. Miley and the others will be filing an answer denying the allegations or another pleading in the coming weeks.