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Garth Brooks Settles Plagiarism Suit

LOS ANGELES -1-14-98--(Reuters) - Country music star Garth Brooks Wednesday settled a plagiarism suit brought by a songwriter who claimed Brooks stole parts of another song for his hit "Standing Outside the Fire."

After several hours of backroom negotiations in federal court here, a lawyer for the plaintiff, Guy Thomas, told reporters an agreement had been reached.

"The matter has been amicable resolved," attorney Jay Lavely said. Both sides declined to reveal the terms of the settlement, which came as the jury was about to hear opening arguments in the case.

Thomas was seeking unspecified damages from Brooks, Liberty Records and Capitol Records.

Brooks, who was in court Tuesday when a federal jury was sworn in, had his guitar in hand Wednesday. He apparently had been prepared to sing the song for U.S. District Court Judge Ronald Lew and the jury.

Asked by reporters if he had learned anything from the experience, Brooks said: "No, I guess I didn't learn anything from it -- except just keep on doing what I'm doing and if that throws you in here (court), well, you've just got to stand up for what you believe."

Brooks, who won a People's Choice Award Sunday as best country artist, had been sued with his record companies for alleged copyright infringement.

Thomas claimed his production company, Southshore Music, owned the rights to "Standing Outside the Fire," featured on Brooks' album "In Pieces," which has sold 5 million copies.

Thomas alleged Brooks took parts of his song "Conviction of the Heart" -- which was recorded in 1993 by Kenny Loggins --and turned it into "Standing Outside the Fire."


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