Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.
Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.

Judge tosses out copyright lawsuit over Lizzo's "Truth Hurts"

Lizzo
Lizzo
Photo: Paras Griffin/BET (Getty Images)

Late last year, Lizzo tried to preemptively shut down a lawsuit by getting a judge to establish that she was the sole writer of her breakout hit “Truth Hurts”—along with a not-insignificant contribution from artist Mina Lioness, who tweeted “I did a DNA test and found out I’m 100% that bitch” back in 2017 and has since gotten a songwriting credit on the track. Lizzo made her move because a pair of brothers named Justin and Jeremiah Raisen claimed that they were owed songwriting credits on “Truth Hurts” because the song was supposedly a derivative work based on a track called “Healthy” that they had previously worked on with Lizzo. The brothers countersued Lizzo, claiming that the success of her song—and essentially her entire career, then—would not have been possible without the work they did on “Healthy.”

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Lizzo confirmed that the two of them were present during the creation of “Healthy,” but she also noted that the only connective tissue between that song and “Truth Hurts” was the aforementioned DNA test line, which, again, was written by someone on Twitter who did later get credit. That may all be irrelevant, though, because a judge in California has now dismissed the brothers’ lawsuit because the “joint author of one copyrightable work does not automatically gain ownership of a derivative work.” In other words, the brothers aren’t saying that they co-wrote “Truth Hurts,” they’re saying they co-wrote a thing that “Truth Hurts” was based on and therefore deserve some credit/money, but according to the law—so says this judge—that doesn’t matter.

The lawsuit isn’t totally dead, as the judge is allowing the brothers to amend it and fix a contradiction about how Lizzo copied their work to make “Truth Hurts” and that they had all originally intended to make “Healthy” into a different song and that Lizzo just went off and did it without them, but she says even that fix might not help their case. After all, a lawyer will just have to point out that their argument has been inconsistent and it will “undermine [their] credibility.” So this is basically all good news for Lizzo.

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[via The Hollywood Reporter]

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