Four years after Justin Bieber and Usher first faced a $10 million copyright infringement lawsuit over their song “Somebody to Love” – and nearly seven years after the singers released the single – a judge has dismissed the suit against the two artists.
In 2013, R&B singer Devin “De Rico” Copeland and songwriter Mareio Overton filed their copyright infringement lawsuit against Bieber and Usher, accusing the duo of copying the title, time signature and beat as Copeland and Overton’s version of the track.
In their lawsuit, Copeland and Overton claimed that they provided the song, which they recorded in 2008, to Usher’s mother and former manager Jonetta Patton in 2009, a year before Bieber recorded the track based off an Usher demo.
However, in the judge’s explanation of the lawsuit’s dismissal Thursday, U.S. District Judge Arenda Wright Allen said Copeland and Overton failed to prove that Bieber and Usher had access to that version of “Somebody to Love.”
Allen was the same judge that initially dismissed the “Somebody to Love” copyright lawsuit in 2014; however, the following year, a federal appeals court revived the case after ruling that a jury could find both versions of the song “intrinsically similar,” Reuters reports. Copeland and Overton also argued in their appeal that Allen should have allowed a jury – as opposed to the judge’s own opinion – to determine whether the two songs were similar.
Allen ruled Copeland and Overton’s objections were without merit. To avoid another appeal, Allen dismissed the case without prejudice, essentially ensuring the lawsuit could not be brought up again.