A lawsuit disputing the authorship of Post Malone’s 2019 monster hit “Circles” will go to trial next month after Post’s motion to dismiss the case was rejected by a federal judge, according to Rolling Stone. Post’s request to dismiss the case was based on his lawyer’s argument that “you don’t become a joint author unless you control the supervision.” Unfortunately for the Texas-bred star, District Judge Otis D. Wright, II disagreed, saying that this argument “doesn’t work for me.”
Post Malone is being sued along with song producer Frank Dukes by Canadian musician Tyler Armes, who says that contributed a guitar tune to the song’s final composition. However, Malone and Dukes argue that Armes only made “suggestions” in the studio, that the tune he played was only a “commonplace guitar chord progression,” and that the song was ultimately completed without his input. However, Judge Wright had a few questions about the argument that only contributors with “veto power” should receive a songwriting credit.
“I don’t understand that concept,” Rolling Stone quotes Wright. “Did Dukes control anything other than the manipulation and operation of the laptop?… So, he then had the ability to simply say that none of this is going to be recorded?” When Malone’s lawyer provided that Dukes’ power was contingent on Post’s consent, the judge pointed out, “Well, then he’s not in control. If you’re in control, you have veto power.” Rather than make a summary judgment, Wright determined that the case should proceed to a jury trial next month.
“Circles” is one of the biggest Billboard hits of all time; in 2020, it broke the record for the most weeks spent in the top 10 of the Hot 100 chart.