Sunday, April 24, 2011

BORROWED MELODIES or PLAGERISM?

Music plagiarism is the use or close imitation of another author's music while representing it as one's own original work. Plagiarism in music now occurs in two contexts – with a musical idea (that is, a melody or motif) or sampling (taking a portion of one sound recording and reusing it in a different song).

FAMOUS INFRIGEMENT PLAGIARISM CASE IN MUSIC
http://www.fairwagelawyers.com/most-famous-music-copyright-infringment.html

George Harrison vs Bright Tunes Music Corp.
George Harrison’s ‘My Sweet Lord’ was released January 15, 1971 and hit the charts on January 23, 1971 as George Harrison’s first solo single. It was released under the Apple label and enjoyed the number one spot originally for five weeks, then in 2002, again for one week. It remained on the charts for a total of twenty-seven weeks. All of this is the good news. The not so good news involves a song called “He’s So Fine” recorded by the Chiffons in 1962 and then moved under the Bright Tunes Music Corp label in 1971. The Chiffon’s song did well in the United States and received a luke warm reception in the UK.

February 10th, 1971, Bright Tunes filed a suit against George Harrison inclusive of his English and American companies. The suite also included Apple Records, BMI and Hansen Publications. Though an out of court settlement was approached, including an offer of 148,000.00, but it never reached fruition before the court case proceeded, as the attorneys for Bright Tunes Music Corp. wanted seventy-five percent of the royalties and the surrendering of the copyright for My Sweet Lord.

The case waited to be heard for five years, during which time George Harrison’s attorneys continued to try to settle out of court. The case was heard in court for the first time, in February of 1976, George Harrison’s attorneys tried to prove out the difference between the two songs, but with little success. The judge found that though he didn’t believe George Harrison purposefully plagiarized the song, the two songs were essentially the same, only displaying minor differences to note and chord. George Harrison was found guilty of ‘subconscious plagiarism’ and a judgment was filed against him
in the amount of $587,000.00 of which the full amount was paid and the judgment dismissed in 1981
.

Some Other Cases:
In March 1963, The Beach Boys released "Surfin' USA". Chuck Berry's music publisher Arc Music sued over what was a note-for-note cover of Berry's "Sweet Little Sixteen", and was eventually granted co-writing credit for Berry, and royalties from the record.[6][7]

In autumn 1984 and throughout 1985, Huey Lewis sued Ray Parker, Jr. for plagiarism, citing that Parker stole the melody of the song "Ghostbusters" (the theme from the movie of the same name), from Lewis's 1983 song "I Want A New Drug". Lewis dropped the lawsuit after the two parties settled out-of-court in 1995.


[DISCLAIMER: THESE VIDEOS CONTAIN VERY SHORT EXAMPLES OF MUSIC TAKEN FROM MODERN POPULAR MUSIC, INCLUDING LYRICS (WHICH MAY BE CONTROVERSIAL TO SOME), USED FOR THE SAKE OF COMPARISON.]


SOUND-A-LIKE SONGS PART 1
video

SOUND-A-LIKE SONGS PART 2
video

THE MOST STOLEN SONG IN HISTORY?
video

SIMILARITIES IN SONGS PART 1
video

SIMILARITIES IN SONG PART 2
video

SIMILARITIES IN SONGS PART 3
video

SIMILARITIES IN SONGS PART 4
video