An Indiana songwriter’s copyright infringement lawsuit against singer Britney Spears over the song “Sometimes” has been dismissed because she was able to show it wasn’t copied, her attorney said yesterday (Nov. 8).
“I cannot emphasize enough this was not a settlement but a dismissal,” said David R. Baum, an attorney for Spears and her co-defendants. No money will change hands, he said.
U.S. District Judge John D. Tinder in Indianapolis last week dismissed the lawsuit by Steve Wallace.
Wallace sued Spears, Sony/BMG Music Publishing Inc., and recording and publishing companies affiliated with the singer, claiming he had written the song 15 years ago.
The complaint acknowledged Wallace did not formally copyright his song until 2003. A few weeks after writing it in 1990, he executed what’s commonly known as a “poor man’s” copyright in which he placed his work in a sealed envelope and obtained a postmark. He shopped the song to publishers in 1994.
Spears, 23, obtained a U.S. copyright for “Sometimes” on Jan. 22, 1999. It appeared on her 1999 debut album, “… Baby One More Time” and on last year’s “Greatest Hits: My Prerogative.”
Wallace’s attorney, John D. Ritchison, said he had no comment on the dismissal.
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