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Judge hands Lizzo victory in "Truth Hurts" lawsuit

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A California judge handed Lizzo a temporary victory on Friday, dismissing a countersuit by two songwriters who claimed they shared writing credits for her hit “Truth Hurts,” according to documents obtained by Pitchfork.

Lizzo had originally sued Justin RaisenJeremiah Raisen and Yves Rothmanin in October 2019, claiming that the line “I just did a DNA test turns out I’m a hundred percent that b****” was the only item to come out of a recording session with them, and therefore they have no right to share in its profits.

She further claimed that the line was inspired by a tweet that another songwriter, Jesse Saint John Geller, brought to the group’s attention.  Geller is not part of the lawsuit.

The duo countersued in February, claiming the single grew out of a song called “Healthy,” that they had worked on with Lizzo in 2017, two years before she broke out.

U.S. District Judge Dolly M. Gee said in her ruling that a “joint author of one copyrightable work does not automatically gain ownership of a derivative work.”

Gee noted that the plaintiffs themselves allege that “Healthy” was itself a completed “standalone” song and not merely a demo for “Truth Hurts.”

Lizzo’s initial suit was prompted by claims Justin Raisen made online that Lizzo used the “melody, lyrics, and chords” of the “Healthy” demo for “Truth Hurts,” according to Pitchfork.

However the judge did give the Raisens and Rothman until September 4 to amend their suit to allege “new and different facts.”

Justin Raisin’s lawyer, Larry Iser, responded to Vulture in an email, calling Gee’s dismissal “a temporary setback,” while vowing to submit “amended counterclaims, which will address the court’s concerns with our original pleading.”

By George Costantino
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