Miley Cyrus hit with a reported $300 Million Lawsuit Over Hit Song We Can’t Stop

Miley Cyrus is reportedly facing a $300 million copyright infringement lawsuit from the Jamaican artist Michael May aka Flourgon, who claims that Cyrus’ 2013 hit single We Can’t Stop closely resembles a song he wrote in 1988.

May, best known as Flourgon for his 1990 collaboration with Ninjaman Zig It Up, alleges that Cyrus’ song took ‘about 50 percent’ from his song We Run Things — including musical elements and the phrase: ‘We run things / Things no run we,’ which Cyrus sings in a chorus as, ‘We run things / Things don’t run we.’

May’s lawyers also argue that Cyrus owes her track’s ‘chart-topping popularity and its highly-lucrative success’ to May.

In addition to seeking damages, May is also seeking a halt to subsequent sales and performances of Cyrus’ song. Although the claim does not specify the damages sought it is being reported that a press release issued by May’s lawyers states that it’s a $300 million claim.  At present the basis for such a huge claim is unclear.

We Can’t Stop peaked at No 2 on the Billboard Hot 100. It was kept out of the top spot by Pharrell Williams and Robin Thicke’s Blurred Lines, which was itself the subject of a multi-million-dollar lawsuit won by Marvin Gaye’s estate, who claimed that the song infringed copyright in the legendary soul singer’s 1977 hit Got to Give It Up.

Last week, in a case that has been closely watched in the music industry for its potential effect on copyright and creativity, a US appeal court upheld a jury’s copyright infringement verdict against Blurred Lines, agreeing with the decision that it had unlawfully infringed Gaye’s original song, and that the family of the late soul singer was entitled to the $5.3 million (£3.7 million) it was awarded at trial.

Judge Jacqueline Nguyen dissented, saying that the two R&B tunes resembled each other only in style not substance and that the decision struck a blow to future musicians and composers.

Numerous copyright infringement claims have followed in the wake of the Blurred Lines verdict, and in many instances songwriters have settled the lawsuits, rather than take on the risk of a sizeable jury award. Cyrus is yet to publicly respond to the claims.