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An Indiana songwriter’s copyright infringement lawsuit against singer Britney Spears over the song “Sometimes” has been dismissed because she was able to show it wasn’t copied, her attorney said Nov. 8. U.S. District Judge John D. Tinder in Indianapolis dismissed last month the May 5 lawsuit by Steve Wallace. “I cannot emphasize enough this was not a settlement but a dismissal,” said David R. Baum, an attorney for Spears and her co-defendants. No money will change hands, he said. Wallace, of Anderson, sued Spears, her album promoter, Sony/BMG Music Publishing Inc., and recording and publishing companies affiliated with the singer, claiming he had written the song 15 years ago. Wallace sought $150,000 for each instance in which his copyright was allegedly infringed upon. The complaint acknowledged Wallace did not formally copyright his song until 2003. A few weeks after writing it in 1990, he executed what’s commonly known as a “poor man’s” copyright in which he placed his work in a sealed envelope and obtained a postmark, the May 5 complaint said. He shopped the song to publishers in 1994, it said. Spears was able to “demonstrate without question that the song was written completely by Jorgen Elofsson, and there was no wrongdoing by Spears or any of the corporate entities,” Baum said in a telephone interview from New York City. Elofsson also wrote Spears’ “You Drive Me Crazy.” Baum said he could not comment on the evidence Spears’ defense presented. Wallace’s attorney, John D. Ritchison, said he had no comment on the Oct. 31 dismissal. Spears, 23, obtained a U.S. copyright for “Sometimes” on Jan. 22, 1999. It appeared on her 1999 debut album, “… Baby One More Time” and on last year’s “Greatest Hits: My Prerogative.” Wallace had submitted as an exhibit a copy of what he claimed was an e-mail from Spears in which she wrote: “I now know for a fact that you wrote sometimes. But there’s nothing I can do about it. That’s all I can say about it.” Baum said any e-mail messages between Spears and Wallace were fraudulent. “All I can tell you is that they were not sent by Britney Spears. She did not write them and did not send them. They were fake,” Baum said. No further legal action between the two sides is expected, Baum said. Copyright 2005 Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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