Peter Kramer/NBCBack in April, a songwriter named Guy Hobbs sued Elton John, alleging that the Rocket Man ***** lyrics he'd written and incorporated them into his 1985 hit "Nikita" without permission. Now, John is firing back.
TMZ reports that Elton is asking for the suit to be thrown out of court, noting in legal documents, "The suggestion that the Grammy-Award winning composer/lyricist team of Elton John and Bernie Taupin...would need to copy these commonplace elements from [Hobbs'] lyrics is not only baseless and absurd, but it also misses the essential legal point."
What's the legal point? Well, Hobbs says his song, which was called "Natasha," was written in 1982 after he had an affair with a Russian cruise ship waitress. John's song is about a Western guy who falls in love with an East German female border guard during the Cold War. The idea of a Western guy falling for a woman from the Eastern Bloc isn't something you can copyright, Elton's lawyers point out.
As for the "commonplace elements," Hobbs had accused John in his suit of copying his use of phrases like "I need you" in the chorus, in addition to other commonly-used words like "just" and "never."
TMZ reports that Elton's legal documents insist that Hobbs' suit is so vague that he has no right to sue for copyright infringement, and so asks for the case to be dismissed.
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