LATEST: The songwriting duo who accused Avril Lavigne of plagiarism has issued a public apology to the star, insisting she has been "exonerated" from the allegations. The Canadian singer and her songwriting partner Lukasz 'Dr. Luke' Gottwald were sued by the founders of rock group the Rubinoos last year (07) over her hit song Girlfriend, after they claimed the tune ripped off their 1979 single I Wanna Be Your Boyfriend. But the copyright infringement lawsuit was settled between the two parties last week (10Jan08), and the Rubinoos' Tommy Dunbar and James Gangwer now accept Lavigne and Dr Luke meant no harm. In a statement released on Tuesday (15Jan08) by Lavigne's record company, Nettwerk, the Rubinoos say: "We are satisfied that any similarities between the two songs resulted from Avril and Luke's use of certain common and widely used lyrics. "We therefore completely exonerate Avril and Luke from any wrongdoing of any kind in connection with the claims made by us in our lawsuit." Details about the settlement have not been disclosed.