A lawsuit claiming pop star Britney Spears plagiarised her hit record SOMETIMES have been dismissed by a judge in Indianapolis, Indiana.

Songwriter STEVE WALLACE alleged the 23-year-old stole and copyrighted his track, originally penned in 1990, and released her version on her 1999 debut album BABY ONE MORE TIME, and on 2004's GREATEST HITS: MY PREROGATIVE.

Wallace maintained that a few weeks after finishing his song, he executed what is known as a 'poor man's' copyright - sealing his work in an envelope and obtaining a postmark - making Spears' later copyright void.

But his suit was thrown out by US District Judge JOHN D TINDER last week (31OCT05), despite a side-by-side comparison of the songs in court showing a striking resemblance.

Spears' lawyer DAVID R BAUM quashed rumours the two parties had reached a financial settlement.

He said, "I cannot emphasise enough this was not a settlement but a dismissal."