Brothers Justin and Jeremiah Raisen claimed they created Truth Hurts as a derivative work based on a song called Healthy that they created with Lizzo in 2017, two years before she broke out.
Lizzo claimed that the line “I just did a DNA test turns out I’m a hundred percent that bitch” was the only item to come out of the session with the brothers. She added 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 litigation.
U.S. District Court Dolly M. Gee on Friday granted Lizzo’s motion to dismiss the brothers’ counterclaims. She said in her ruling that a “joint author of one copyrightable work does not automatically gain ownership of a derivative work.”
“Without deciding who, in fact, authored the songs at issue, and without reviewing the songs’ recordings or lyrics, the Court can determine that Counterclaimants allege that the parties collaborated on, and finalized, one song — Healthy — before Lizzo allegedly copied portions of that song to make Truth Hurts. As a matter of law, therefore, even if Counterclaimants are co-authors of Healthy, they have not alleged any ownership interest in Truth Hurts, which they claim is a derivative work of Healthy.”
The judge left some wiggle room for the brothers to file an amended suit.