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US appeals court in Virginia reinstates songwriters' copyright lawsuit against Bieber, Usher

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RICHMOND, Virginia — A federal appeals court has reinstated a $10 million lawsuit claiiming Justin Bieber and Usher copied parts of a song written by two Virginia songwriters.

In a unanimous ruling Thursday, a three-judge panel of the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals said a jury should decide whether the song "Somebody to Love" — performed by the two stars — is intrinsically similar to a song of the same name copyrighted by Devin Copeland and Maerio Overton.

A federal judge in Norfolk dismissed the complaint last year, saying the two versions differed significantly in tone and lyrical content. The appeals court, which listened to all versions of the song, acknowledged the differences but said the choruses are similar enough that a reasonable jury might find in favor of the songwriters.

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