"We Run Things" is a funky reggae song that was released in 1988 from the artist Flourgon. In 2013 a party anthem song titled "We Can't Stop" was released by the artist Miley Cyrus. Finally, in 2018, Flourgan, also known as Michael May, sued Cyrus for copyright infringement because he stated that Cyrus's song borrowed lyrics too close to his original track and stated $300 million would be his seeking number.
Last week, all parties filed a joint stipulation “pending payment of the settlement proceeds."
The case was started because May believed that the lyrics "We run things, things don't run we" were too close to his 1988 lyrics "We run things, things no run we." Those seven words were the center for the case that ended in $300 million.
May claims that about 50 percent of Cyrus’ hit comes from “We Run Things,” which was a No. 1 single in Jamaica and originally asked that Cyrus not perform the song and for distribution to cease.
May's fans were happy to hear about the success of the lawsuit.
"Big up Flourgan. Run Tingssssssssss!!! Respect Concrete!!!!" One fan wrote.
While some people were sceptical to hear about the end of the case and what it might mean for the future of copyright cases.
"Happy for Flourgan but keep in mind you can get sued for using a single line. Things will look sticky if the Top 40 turns their attention to Jamaica. Hope everybody have lawyer money," stated one Twitter user.
Another stated, "amid the Flourgan settlement, no one seems concerned that it opens the possibility of lawyers for big music stars to look into our use of their music without permission...which no one can deny has been going on for ages"
While big copyright cases are nothing new, this one seemed to have a level of absurdity that intrigued fans. Some thought it would get thrown out like the 2015 case against Taylor Swift's "Shake it Off."
Ironically, Miley's hit song never made it to #1 on the Billboard charts in the United States because the song "Blurred Lines" kept that seat for itself.
That song was the center of its own lawsuit against the Marvin Gaye estate. A case which they also lost.
It is unknown what is next for the pop star Miley Cyrus. She seems to be making another change to her sound and appearance that undoubtedly will be interesting to hear. Will it be indy, country, or something entirely her own? Who knows.
This case is probably a good new starting point for her on her journey into new parts of music. Rocking a mullet like her dad once did, she is moving forward with herself. Even if she happens to be out $300 million.