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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.

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