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Victory for Sir Elton John in appeals court

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Jul 18, 2013 | 5:43am EDT

Sir Elton John has emerged triumphant in a court battle over his song Nikita after a U.S. judge upheld a decision to dismiss a copyright infringement lawsuit against the singer. Guy Hobbs sued Elton and his longtime songwriting partner Bernie Taupin in April 2012, claiming their 1985 ballad was a copy of his own tune Natasha, which he allegedly sent to bosses at Big Pig, the music publishing firm which handles the Rocket Man's songs. The defendants argued the allegation was "completely meritless" and last November (12), a Chicago, Illinois, judge dismissed the lawsuit, ruling the songs share similar themes and phrases, but these are also prevalent in a lot of other modern music. On Wednesday (17Jul13), the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals upheld the ruling, with judge Daniel Manion maintaining a substantial similarity between the two tracks could not be established. In his ruling, obtained by The Hollywood Reporter, Manion explains, "(The two songs) tell different stories about impossible romances during the Cold War... Natasha tells the story of two people who briefly become intimate, but who are forced to part ways because one is not free (presumably because of the Iron Curtain) and must sail away... Nikita tells the tale of a man who sees and desires a woman whom he can never meet because she is on the other side of a 'line' held in by 'guns and gates' (perhaps the Berlin Wall)."

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