A judge has denied a farmer’s bid to have a court ruling that he made “sod farm” lyrics about a soybean field in his cornfields overturned.
David Boon, the lawyer representing the farm’s owner, said in a statement on Thursday that the court’s decision to allow a motion by the farmer to have the case dismissed, in part, because of his use of the word “farm” in his lyrics was an overreaction.
“This is a very good example of a court that has lost its mind,” Boon said in the statement.
The case revolves around the song “Sod Farms,” written by Justin Timberlake and featuring the lyrics: I got a farm, a ranch, a lot of seeds, and a lot more than I can feed the world, so I’m going to put my hat on.
I’ll make the seed the seed, I’ll grow the crop, I’m gonna make it the seed.
I can do it for free, I can put it out to pasture, I’ve got a little cash, a little money, a million bucks, I got a thousand bucks, and I’m just going to make it right, and then I’m not going to do anything else.
A judge in the case said the lyrics could not be used to incite violence.
Boon said the farmer’s use of a word in the lyrics is protected by the First Amendment and that his use is the result of a creative expression.
His lawyer, Peter Breen, said the court “seems to be taking a lot for granted” that the song is protected and that the farmer is the victim of an overzealous government that has become increasingly concerned about the country’s food supply.
In the case of the lyrics, Timberlake wrote that he is not a farmer and that he just wants to make the seeds.
The singer wrote that the farm is “just the place I grew up, in the middle of nowhere, in a corn field, and there’s a soy bean that we’ve been saving for generations.”
Breen argued that the lyrics were not in violation of the farmer being a farmer or a person in a position of authority.
He said Timberlake has a valid right to freedom of speech and has the right to use his words in a public forum.
Timberlake is suing the singer for defamation, claiming the song violates his copyright.
Earlier this year, the Canadian Food Inspection Agency said in an investigation that some of Timberlake’s lyrics had been found in “at least seven instances” of food recalls that were issued by the Canadian Agriculture Minister, including one in which he said the country was losing millions of pounds of soybeans.
At least two other cases of the song involving the same farmer have been linked to another of Timberhaloes lyrics, which says: Don’t tell me we need the seeds, we have plenty of them.
I’m a farmer, I get my soybeans from Canada, and we’ve got them growing right here in my field, so why should we have to spend the money on seeds?
The farm is a major tourist attraction and the song has become a symbol for farmers in southern Alberta, the province where Timberlake lives.