Beyoncé Isn’t Dirty Enough to Have Ripped Off ‘XO,’ Judge Rules

“Single Ladies” singer prevails in copyright infringement suit because her lyrics are insufficiently raunchy

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Sorry, Beyoncé; you just weren’t dirty enough to lose the copyright lawsuit brought against you over “XO.”

The “Single Ladies” singer has prevailed in a lawsuit brought against her by a man who claims that “XO” infringed on his own song, “XOXO,” in part because Beyoncé’s lyrics weren’t nearly as raunchy as the original.

Ahmad Javon Lane sued Beyoncé in 2014, claiming that he had given a copy of his song to one of her background singers, and that infringing elements subsequently found their way into “XO.”

But federal judge Paul A. Engelmayer saw things differently in his order, granting Beyoncé’s motion to dismiss.

Engelmayer found that the lyrics to both songs have “virtually nothing in common,” and that the theme of the lyrics are pretty far apart too.

“‘XOXO”s’ lyrics are explicitly sexual, while ‘XO’s’ are substantially more tame and metaphorical,” the judge’s order reads. “The singer in ‘XOXO’ leaves little to the imagination, describing himself as ‘horny’ and singing that his love interest’s ‘body is the promise.’ Lest the point be missed, the ‘XOXO’ singer adds that he is ‘loving all of you, every inch of you.’”

“And the invocation of romantic intimacy is considerably more subtle” in Beyonce’s song, the judge found.

The judge also ruled that there wasn’t enough musical similarity between the two songs to constitute infringement.

Pamela Chelin contributed to this report.