BBC Home
Explore the BBC
BBC News
Launch consoleBBC NEWS CHANNEL
Last Updated: Wednesday, 9 November 2005, 08:40 GMT
Britney copyright claim dismissed
Britney Spears
The song featured on Spears' debut album, Baby One More Time
A songwriter's claim he wrote Britney Spears' hit record Sometimes has been dismissed by a judge in Indianapolis.

Steve Wallace said he wrote Sometimes in 1990 but did not formally copyright the song until 2003 - four years after Spears copyrighted her track.

His action was dismissed by US district judge John D Tinder on 31 October.

"I cannot emphasise enough this was not a settlement but a dismissal," said the singer's attorney, David R Baum, adding that no money would change hands.

Mr Wallace claimed that a few weeks after writing the track in 1990, he executed what is known as a "poor man's" copyright - sealing his work in an envelope and obtaining a postmark.

'Almost identical'

The track was offered around to music publishers in 1994. Spears obtained a US copyright for Sometimes in January 1999.

The lyrics of Sometimes were almost identical to those written by Mr Wallace, according to a side-by-side comparison submitted as evidence.

Sometimes appeared on Spears' 1999 debut album, Baby One More Time, and on 2004's Greatest Hits: My Prerogative.

Wallace's attorney, John D Ritchison, said he had no comment to make on the verdict.


The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites


Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific