Four years in, Sam Smith and Normani have won the copyright infringement case over their 2019 ‘Dancing With a Stranger’ collaboration.
In March of 2022 songwriters Jordan Vincent, Christopher Miranda and Rosco Banlaoi sued the British and American singers for allegedly infringing upon the copyright of their 2015 track of the same name, arguing that ‘Dancing With a Stranger’ co-written with songwriter Jimmy Napes and production duo Stargate, copied the “lyrics, pitch sequence, melodic contour, metric placement of the syllables, rhythm, feel, and structure” of their song.
Following Sam and Normani’s 2022 request that the lawsuit to be rejected, on Wednesday (and 9.06) a California federal judge in California agreed to dismiss the case.
According to Rolling Stone, Judge Wesley L. Hsu ruled that “most if not all of the Plaintiff’s claimed similarities” were not protectable by law and that musical building blocks that belong to the public domain could not be protected, adding that the phrase “dancing with a stranger” was not unique enough to be protected by copyright as earlier songs contain “nearly twenty references to the term”.
At press time the ‘Unholy’ singer and former Fifth Harmony vocalist have not yet commented on the ruling.