Saturday, July 31, 2021

Lizzo: Singer Wins ‘Truth Hurts’ Lawsuit Over Songwriting Credit


*Lizzo has won her legal battle over songwriting credit for her hit single “Truth Hurts.”

We previously reported, Lizzo was sued late last year by two songwriters who claim they helped come up with a famous lyric in the song.

In a post on Instagram, Justin and Jeremiah Raisen say the line “I just took a DNA test turns out I’m 100% that B*tch” came from a writing session which they were a part of.

Lizzo maintains the line was inspired by a viral tweet that another songwriter mentioned during the writing session. That songwriter is not part of the lawsuit. 

U.S. District Court Dolly M. Gee on Friday (Aug. 14) granted Lizzo’s motion to dismiss the brothers’ counterclaims, agreeing with the artist that a “joint author of one copyrightable work does not automatically gain ownership of a derivative work.”

READ MORE: Atty. Ben Crump Files Lawsuit on Behalf of George Floyd Family Against City of Minneapolis

lizzo
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“Without deciding who, in fact, authored the songs at issue, and without reviewing the songs’ recordings or lyrics, the Court can determine that Counterclaimants allege that the parties collaborated on, and finalized, one song — Healthy — before Lizzo allegedly copied portions of that song to make Truth Hurts,” writes Gee, per Billboard. “As a matter of law, therefore, even if Counterclaimants are co-authors of Healthy, they have not alleged any ownership interest in Truth Hurts, which they claim is a derivative work of Healthy.”

The judge is allowing the Raisens to amend, noting “they now intend to allege that their collaboration with Lizzo in creating Healthy was part and parcel of the creative process that led to a single finished work, Truth Hurts.”

However, the judge isn’t convinced that an amendment will be the best action to undertake. 

“[T]he facts that Counterclaimants set out in their pleading — that the parties created one finished product, Healthy, and Lizzo ‘derived’ or ‘copied’ elements of Healthy to make a second finished product, Truth Hurts — are irreconcilably inconsistent with the facts as the Opposition now conceives them — that, all along, the parties intended Healthy to be merely a part of the process of creating a single finished product, Truth Hurts,” writes Gee.

She also notes “the parties do not address the impact of this contradiction in their papers” but, in the interest of caution, she’s giving them a shot and warns “inconsistent allegations may be used to undermine a litigant’s credibility.”

Ny MaGee
Ny MaGee is a screenwriter and freelance reporter from Chicago -- currently living in Los Angeles and covering A-list entertainment for various outlets, including Emmys.com. She has worked for: Miramax, MTV & VH1, The Jim Henson Company, Hallmark Channel, Paramount Pictures, and for iconic indie film producer Roger Corman.

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