Alternative R&B artist Lizzo has won a court victory, after a countersuit filed against her over the songwriting royalties regarding her hit song “Truth Hurts” were dismissed by the United States District Court Central District of California. According to Pitchfork, U.S. District Judge Dolly M. Gee agreed with Lizzo’s argument that “a joint author of one copyrightable work does not automatically gain ownership of a derivative work in which the joint author had no hand in creating.”
Lizzo faced separate allegations of plagiarism last fall regarding the authorship of her hit tracks “Juice” and “Truth Hurts.” A couple of days following these accusations, Lizzo filed a lawsuit against the plagiarism accusers Justin Raisen, Jeremiah Raisen and Yves Rothman, who are all record producers.
The Raisens and Rothman filed a countersuit against Lizzo back in March, claiming that “Truth Hurts” was derived from a song they worked on with Lizzo titled “Healthy.” Justin Raisen made an online post claiming that the demo recording for “Truth Hurts” used the “melody, lyrics, and chords” of the song.
Gee stated that “Healthy” was not written as a demo for “Truth Hurts,” but as a standalone track, therefore a derivative work did not give the authors of “Healthy” co-ownership of the song. In a follow-up statement, the plaintiff’s stated that this ruling was a “setback” and stated they would “amend” their “counterclaims.”
“The court’s decision to dismiss just one of our five counterclaims is only a temporary setback, as Judge Gee has granted us leave to amend our pleading,” said in a statement. “We will be submitting amended counterclaims, which will address the court’s concerns with our original pleading. We know the truth may hurt, but Lizzo will not be able to continue denying our clients’ substantial contributions to the Grammy winning song for much longer.”