Lizzo is asking a California federal judge to dismiss “opportunistic and legally bankrupt” copyright counterclaims in a dispute over her hit “Truth Hurts.”
The Grammy winner fired first in October asking the court for a declaration that Justin Raisen, Jeremiah Raisen and Justin “Yves” Rothman have no ownership rights in the song, or the now-famous line “I just took a DNA test, turns out I’m 100 percent that bitch.” The trio subsequently filed its own suit, alleging Lizzo’s hit was the result of a 2017 songwriting session for an unreleased demo called “Healthy” that never fully panned out, but key elements of which were used in her chart-topper.
Now, Lizzo is asking the court to dismiss the trio’s request for a declaration that they jointly authored and jointly own the song and a series of related claims.
“Defendants are wrong that they can co-own ‘Truth Hurts’ because (1) Defendants allegedly co-own the unreleased demo and (2) ‘Truth Hurts’ contains the same DNA test line and melody as contained in that unreleased work,” writes attorney Cynthia Arato. “As both the Ninth and Second Circuits have recognized, it would ‘eviscerate’ fundamental copyright law if new works based upon jointly authored works could be transformed into joint works, regardless of whether there had been any joint labor on the subsequent version.”
Arato notes that while Lizzo and the producers disagree on whether the Raisens and Rothman actually co-own the unreleased demo, whether the similarities between the two works are limited to the meme-generated DNA test line and whether defendants waived their claims in writing those arguments can and will be addressed later in litigation.
Read the full filing below.