The songwriter behind Britney Spears' latest hit "Hold It Against Me" has taken 1970s country rockers The Bellamy Brothers to task over suggestions he stole the idea for the tune from their 1979 song "If I Said You Had a Beautiful Body Would You Hold It Against Me".
Last month, singer David Bellamy accused Spears and her partner Lukasz 'Dr. Luke' Gottwald of "ripping off" the title of the song, insisting it was "too close" to their 1979 ballad. Bellamy stated he and his brother were considering their options and were in talks with lawyers over plagiarism claims.
He said, "We will without doubt take the appropriate legal action if our attorneys agree we've been ripped off. Surely there is more original stuff out there to do rather than rehash old titles." But Gottwald appears to have beaten the Bellamys to it - he has filed a federal lawsuit, stating the brothers launched a "smear campaign" by claiming the song he co-wrote was a knock-off.
The songwriter accuses the Bellamy Brothers of attacking him and Britney as part of "a publicity stunt aimed to increase their record sales". In addition to damages for defamation, Gottwald is demanding a court order declaring his song has nothing to do with the Bellamy Brothers hit, reports TMZ.com.