Post Malone Settles 'Circles' Copyright Suit
| LAST UPDATE 03/23/2023
Post Malone has reached a confidential settlement with musician Tyler Armes in a copyright lawsuit over the hit song Circles. The suit claimed that Armes co-wrote the keyboard and guitar parts and had a role in the bass line for the song, but did not receive the proper credit or compensation. The dispute was set to go to trial, however, a deal was made at the last minute and the terms were not disclosed to the public.
Armes initially reached out to the producer once the song was released and was offered a five percent share of publishing royalties, according to the lawsuit that was filed in 2020 in California federal court. However, Post's manager, Dre London, shut down the negotiations and threatened to withdraw the offer if it wasn't accepted. "I was beside him giving input," Armes wrote in a text to London cited in the complaint. "I was not just someone hanging out in the room, I'm a writer/producer in the room with two other writer/producers working on a song."
The trial was set to feature witnesses playing instruments on the stand, with Post also expected to testify during the four-day trial. In April, a US District Judge ruled that Armes had "no claim of authorship in the commercial release" of the song but "demonstrates genuine disputes in regard to his authorship in the session composition." The case was consolidated with a suit filed by Post in New York federal court, in which he claimed that Armes did not write the music used in the finished song and was not present at future recording sessions. The lawyers for both parties have not provided any comments on the settlement.
Circles topped the Billboard Hot 100 chart for three weeks and has been certified 6 times platinum by the Recording Industry Association of America. The legal dispute is a familiar narrative within the music industry, as several cases of lawsuits on songwriting credits have arisen in the past. With this confidential settlement, both parties have resolved the matter, and the song continues to bring joy to its fans.