Kanye West Dodges Lawsuit, Thanks To Nietzche And Kelly Clarkson

Earlier this week, Kanye West won a copyright lawsuit that accused him of stealing 2007’s “Stronger” from another songwriter. The winning line of defense? A Kelly Clarkson song.

Rapper Vince P sued him last year, claiming that he sent his own version of the song to business manager and, conveniently, a close friend of West’s. In his defense Yeezy said he was citing 18th-century philosopher Friedrich Nietzche, and that his most memorable line—”That which does not kill us makes us stronger”—had been quoted plenty of times in music already.

“Just as a photographer cannot claim copyright in the use of a particular aperture and exposure setting on a given lens, no poet can claim copyright protection in the form of a sonnet or a limerick,” the 7th Circuit Court judge said. “Similarly, Vince P cannot claim copyright over a tercet.”

The best part is, not only did the 7th Circuit Court judge agree, but she cited Clarkson’s own “Stronger (What Doesn’t Kill You)” in her process. “Notably, an even more recent popular song—one that held the top spot in the Billboard Hot 100 chart at about the same time as oral argument in this case—also shares this key feature with both West’s and Vince P’s songs,” the judge wrote.

Granted, we already knew that Nietzche’s notable line has been cited in plenty of songs. Other people knew this, too. What still boggles our minds, however, is why Vince P would target West and not, say, Daft Punk. After all, West was sampling the duo’s “Harder Better Faster Stronger” in the hook.

What do you think of pop’s countless references to Nietzche? Let us know in the comments below, or on Facebook and Twitter.