Thursday, May 12, 2005


Steve Wallace, a songwriter from Indiana, has emerged from the sidelines to claim that he wrote Britney Spears' Sometimes, and that he hasn't had a penny for it. At first glance, he does seem to have produced a strikingly similar song to Spears', but his case doesn't look very strong - his copyright was registered in 2003, four years after the track appeared on ...One More Time. Wallace, though, claims he wrote the song in 1990 and did that thing where you send yourself a copy of your work in an envelope to use the postmark as proof of creation. Which we've always thought is a rubbish way to do things - first of all, three out of every four postmarks are illegible; more significantly, how can you prove you didn't just send yourself an unsealed envelope to use to claim a copyright at some point in the future?

However, Wallace does have something else:

Wallace also submitted as an exhibit a copy of what he claims is 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." It's not clear from the copy when Spears allegedly wrote the e-mail.

If this is from Spears, she would have to be pretty stupid to have sent such an email. So it's not impossible, then.

Wallace has hired an Indiana attorney called John Ritchison to fight his corner:

"The New York guys decided the Indiana local boy didn't have much moxie," Ritchison said, referring to himself. "It's real difficult to get them to belly up to the bar."

We'll let you know what that means when our translation experts have finished with it.

Wallace hopes for USD150,000.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I thought the way the sealed envelope trick worked was you waited until your big day in court to open it, and then discover the cassette's been wiped cos you've kept it next to your speakers for 15 years or something.

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