Sam Smith and Normani‘s 2019 hit, “Dancing with a Stranger,” did not rip off another song by the same name, a judge ruled on Wednesday.
Rolling Stone reports that a California federal judge agreed to dismiss the case. In March of 2022, three songwriters claimed that Sam and Normani’s hit ripped off the title, chorus and elements of their 2015 song, which was published on YouTube and on streaming services in 2017. They also claimed the songs’ videos were strikingly similar.
“It is impossible that the infringing composition and sound recording were independently created,” the claim noted, according to Rolling Stone.
In the lawsuit, the songwriters claimed that Sam and the song’s co-writers, as well as Normani’s manager and mentor, all had access to their song and its video.
On Wednesday, Judge Wesley L. Hsu ruled that “most if not all of the Plaintiff’s claimed similarities” were not protectable by law — including the phrase, “dancing with a stranger.” The judge noted that there have been nearly 20 other songs mentioning that phrase.
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