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HomeEntertainmentZayn Malik seeks dismissal of copyright infringement lawsuit

Zayn Malik seeks dismissal of copyright infringement lawsuit

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Popstar Zayn Malik’s much-publicised copyright infringement suit over his 2020 hit ‘Better’ may be headed for dismissal as multiple defendants, including Sony Music Entertainment and the songwriter of the hit track, are seeking to dismiss the lawsuit.

The lawsuit, filed by a company called Formal Entertainment in a US federal court in California in September 2023, accuses Malik and others of copying elements from a 2018 track titled ‘Somebody Tonight’ by musician Havyn.

Formal Entertainment claims that ‘Better,’ which has so far been streamed nearly 158 million times on Spotify alone with the official music video for the track boasting 45 million times on YouTube, wouldn’t exist without the alleged copying.

Havyn had enlisted Modern Music Marketing (MMM) to promote ‘Somebody Tonight’ in the spring of 2020, according to the complaint. The MMM contact identified the track as Havyn’s “best song” and offered to promote it for a finder’s fee if it led to a major deal.

This contact allegedly forwarded the song to industry connections, including some of the current defendants.

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The complaint named Zayn, whose real name is Zain Malik, as well as Sony Music Entertainment, which owns RCA Records, the label that released Better in 2020, among the defendants. Other defendants include five people credited as songwriters on Better: David Debrandon Brown (aka Lucky Daye), Dustin Bowie, Michael McGregor, Cole Citrenbaum, and Philip von Boch Scully, who is also listed as the song’s producer.

In response to the accusations, the defendants have filed a motion to dismiss and a motion to strike certain parts of the lawsuit. Their primary argument is that the complaint does not convincingly allege a striking similarity that could only be a result of copying. The defendants assert that the lawsuit lacks specific allegations of similarity and does not establish that anyone having access to “Somebody Tonight” contributed to the creation of “Better.”

The defendants’ legal representatives are scheduled to formally push for dismissal during a hearing on January 30.

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