I mentioned some time back that Avril Lavigne’s “I Wanna be Your Girlfriend” was the subject of a lawsuit by eighties band The Rubinoos who felt it was too close to a song of theirs with almost the exact same chorus, “I Wanna be Your Boyfriend”. At the time, people were claiming she “ripped them off”. But the writers recently “exonerated” Lavigne and her co-writer. So did she or did she not rip them off?
First, I don’t think that there was necessarily an intention to rip the track off. The original was a huge hit in its day, and it is entirely possible that she or her co-writer thought they had written the track. It does happen occasionally.
But comments that The Rubinoos had exonerated Lavigne are a little disingenuous, as there were reports only a few days ago that an out-of-court settlement had been found. In this case, I’d say it’s probably the way to go. Why run up expenses and bad press for something that could be worked out more or less amicably? The choruses were, after all, extraordinarily similar for me. Better to settle, I’d say. Meanwhile, the band has removed reference to the issue from their website, whereas they had been playing side-by-side versions of the track for some time.