Justin Bieber and Usher can breathe a sigh of relief. And maybe belt out a chorus of “Somebody to Love” in celebration.
The singers have prevailed in a copyright lawsuit brought against them over the song “Somebody to Love,” with a judge dismissing the case on Thursday.
The suit was dismissed with prejudice, meaning that it cannot be re-filed.
“For good cause shown, it is hereby ORDERED that all claims in this matter against Justin Bieber, Universal Music Corporation, and Def Jam Recordings, a division of UMG Recordings, Inc. (formerly known as The Island Def Jam Music Group) are dismissed with prejudice,” federal judge Arenda L. Wright Allen wrote. “It is further REQUESTED that the Clerk remove the above named Defendants from the heading of this case and forward a copy of this order to all parties.”
Allen’s order brings an end to a years-long legal saga revolving around the origins of the song. Devin Copeland, an R&B singer who performs under the name De Rico, and songwriter Mareio Oberton filed the $10 million lawsuit in 2013, claiming that they wrote the song “Somebody to Love” in 2008, and that Bieber and Usher later lifted the song after Usher heard Copeland’s music and expressed interest in working with him.
“Somebody to Love” was initially put on YouTube as a demo by Usher, with a version by Bieber appearing on the album “My World 2.0” and a remix featuring both Bieber and Usher released in June 2010.
A district judge initially tossed out the suit, agreeing with Bieber and Usher that “no reasonable jury could find that the Copeland song and the Bieber and Usher songs were ‘substantially similar.'”
However, in June 2015, a trio of appeals court judges vacated that decision.
“After listening to the Copeland song and the Bieber and Usher songs as wholes, we conclude that their choruses are similar enough and also significant enough that a reasonable jury could find the songs intrinsically similar,” the ruling reads.
The judges also cited an “almost identical rhythm” and a “strikingly similar melody.”
Pamela Chelin contributed to this report.