Elton John and Bernie Taupin have been cleared of any wrongdoing in a lawsuit pressed by an aspiring songwriter who claimed that the pair plagiarized their song "Nikita."
Guy Hobbs filed the suit, alleging that he sent a similar song named "Natasha" to the pair's publisher shortly before Elton's song was released.
According to the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals, however, the tunes are not similar enough to justify the awarding of damages. Both tell the story of love between a Western man and communist woman, but "each song expresses this general idea differently," the court writes.
The judge did observe some similarities; in particular, that both tracks "make liberal use of repetition - including repeatedly using the word 'never,' the phrases 'to hold you' and 'you'll never know,' as well as the beloved's name. Additionally, each song's title is a Russian name beginning with the letter 'N' and ending with the letter 'A.'"
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