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Copyright Lawsuit Against Usher and Justin Bieber Dismissed

Written by Fozia Cheychi on 10 January 2017

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The $10 million copyright infringement lawsuit was filed four years ago, and concerned their song “Somebody to Love”- which was released seven years ago.

 Back in 2013 Virginian based songwriter Mareio Overton and R&B singer Devin “De Rico” Copeland filed a copyright infringement lawsuit against the music artists, accusing them of copying the title, time signature and beat from Copeland and Overton’s version of the track.

 In their lawsuits, cousins Copeland and Overton claimed that they provided the song, which they recorded in 2008, to both Usher’s mother and former manager Jonetta Patton in 2009- one year prior to Bieber’s recording of his track, which was based off an Usher demo.

 U.S. District Judge Arenda Wright Allen in Norfolk, Virginia has now adopted a federal magistrate’s judge discovery and has subsequently ruled that Copeland and Overton were unable to prove before the court that Usher and Bieber had access to their 2008 song before creating their own work.   

 Judge Allen had initially dismissed the copyright lawsuit in 2014; however, the following year a federal appeals court revived the case after he rules that a jury could find both versions of the song “intrinsically similar”. In their appeal Copeland and Overton argued that Judge Allen should have allowed a jury (as opposed to the judge’s personal; opinion) to find whether the songs were similar. Judge Allen ruled that Copeland and Overton’s objections were without merit. The case has now been dismissed without prejudice- meaning that the lawsuit cannot be revived again.



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