Dancing With a Stranger copyright lawsuit won by Sam Smith and Normani

by Patria

In a copyright infringement battle over their 2019 collaboration “Dancing With a Stranger,” Sam Smith and Normani have prevailed.

Songwriters Jordan Vincent, Christopher Miranda and Rosco Banlaoi sued the singers in March 2022 for allegedly infringing on their eponymous 2015 track’s copyright.

They argued that “Dancing With a Stranger,” which was co-written with songwriter Jimmy Napes and production duo Stargate, copied the “lyrics, the pitch sequence, the melodic contour, the metric placement of the syllables, the rhythm, the feel and the structure” of their song.

Sam and Normani’s attorneys asked for the lawsuit to be dismissed in September 2022, and a federal judge in California sided with them on Wednesday and agreed to dismiss the case.

According to Rolling Stone, Judge Wesley L. Hsu ruled that “most, if not all, of Plaintiff’s alleged similarities” are not protectable under the law, and that musical building blocks that are in the public domain cannot be protected.

In addition, Judge Hsu found that the phrase “dancing with a stranger” was not unique enough to be protected by copyright, as earlier songs contain “nearly twenty references to the phrase”.

There has been no comment on the legal victory from the Unholy singer and former Fifth Harmony star.

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