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Katy Perry v Flame another nail in the coffin of creativity

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https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/newsbeat-49161916

This decision is just shameful. The songs (both in the article) are nothing like each other. WTH were the supposed jury thinking!

Nowadays it seems there doesn't need to be any actual resemblance the accusation is enough to prove guilt. America, get your lawyers under control or lose thousands of potential songwriters who decide it simply isn't worth the risk in the litigious environment where they could lose everything to twelve moonbats with no ears.

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Posted (edited)

This is going to continue to happen and its going to get worse. The current state of copyright law has not seen any works enter public domain in over 20 years until this year. The works that entered this year are from 1923 - 95 years ago. Works being created today will not enter the public domain until 2114, possibly as late as 2139. So a child born today could live their entire life and never be able to use, modify or make use of anything created in their lifetime. Everything would have to be new and unique. Do you begin to see the problem?

 

As a matter of perspective,(from Wikipedia - https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Copyri..._United_States)

  • The original copyright law was for 14 years, enacted in 1790. You could renew your copyright once.
  • In 1840, copyright was changed to 28 years
  • Copyright Act of 1976 changed it to "Either 75 years or the life of the author plus 50 years"
  • The Sonny Bono Copyright Term Extension Act of 1998 (also called the "Mickey Mouse Protection Act", because it prevented the copyright from expiring on the first commercial success of the cartoon character Mickey Mouse), increased it to 120 years, or the life of the author plus 70 years

Also, intent has no bearing on the matter. Even if you never heard it, you still "copied" it.

 

Duke Law University has a website dedicated to Public Domain. It contains some additional perspectives. It can be found at https://law.duke.edu/cspd/publicdomainday/2019/. Makes for interesting reading.

 

So good luck in not copying anything for 120 years!

Edited by Mandolin Picker
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Also, intent has no bearing on the matter. Even if you never heard it, you still "copied" it.

 

 

I can see the arguments on both sides of that one. It probably isn't fair for the infringed party to have to definitively prove that the alleged infringer absolutely heard their material in order to prove infringement, but OTOH, if there was never any opportunity for the alleged infringer to have heard it, that should be a factor in favor of the accused. IOW, if you only sold 200 CD copies of your song, all at gigs in England, and I've never been to England, and never purchased one of your CDs, and I don't know anyone who did, it's highly unlikely I stole your song deliberately and intentionally. But if your song was all over the radio and I had opportunities where I may have heard it once or twice, I might have been influenced by it and copied it unintentionally / subconsciously - even if I can't recall having ever heard it previously. It doesn't prove that I did, but it does show greater opportunity / possibility IMO.

 

My main beef with some of these copyright decisions lately is they're getting to the point where they seem to be considering such fundamental "building block" elements as being covered by copyright - not just a distinctive melody or lyrics, but basic rhythmic patterns, chord progressions and musical styles - things that were never really sufficient for infringement claims in the past. I feel like pretty soon, if we keep going in this direction, you won't be able to use a I IV V progression or a shuffle, swing or 2/4 back beat without risking an allegation of infringement and a lawsuit.

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So what gets me is this:

 

If I invent a 100% effective cure for cancer, I get 20 years patent protection.

 

If I write a trite song with one chord, a catchy rhythm, and minimal melody I can get 90 years copyright protection.

 

That seems a little weird.

 

I think the 28 year with one renewal for a copyright is fair. Or make it 25 with one renewal as long as the renewal is easy to do.

 

I also think if an influenced work doesn't compete with or reduce the profit potential of the original, it should be OK. Example: Blurred Lines did not take any money away from Marvin Gaye's heirs.

 

I don't think you should be able to sell your copyright. It must stay with the creator(s)

 

And I think it should be that if the copyright holder dies before the term is up, the heirs cannot renew it.

 

But nobody who makes any laws is interested in my opinion. I don't have enough corporate funds for a tacit bribe to any lawmakers.

 

Insights and incites by Notes

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I don't think you should be able to sell your copyright. It must stay with the creator(s)

 

 

There goes basically every publishing contract / deal known to humankind... ;)

 

 

Outside of that one caveat, I basically agree with the rest of your post.

 

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Posted (edited)

Maybe I don't have the musical sensitivity of a lawyer or a jury, but I can't hear any similarity at all between those songs. Is it about the concept of inserting a short, low pitched, distorted phrase where there might have been a drum roll or a bass lick?

 

What are they going to claim next? That the mixes are identical because the drums got louder in the measure right before the chorus? Or there's a ukulele in the rhythm section?

Edited by MikeRivers
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On the pulse as always Rick Beato weighs in. An incisive analysis from a true pro.

 

[video=youtube_share;W4MuhPqfIk4]

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I feel compelled to fart in on this. What if people copyrighted their theory 101 homework which incidentally the rapper gets an F/incomplete - ? There should be a legal genre called music fraud wherein "musicians" need to demonstrate content worthiness . Failing there would result not only in dismissal of any compensatory action but severe penalties as well. As Rick Beato attempted to say, Ghuck Dis.

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What if people copyrighted their theory 101 homework ...

 

Actually, as soon as you commit it to paper (or electrons as the case my be), it is copyrighted under current US copyright law. Copyright is now assumed. There is no requirement to register a copyright (although it is still recommended to enhance your prospects of a favorable ruling in a copyright dispute).

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I think to protect ourselves, we should dig up public domain examples of the chords, scale fragments, and so forth of the music we write. Then we can say the person suing us and ourselves are both plagiarizing a public domain work so no money should be awarded.

 

Notes

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I think to protect ourselves, we should dig up public domain examples of the chords, scale fragments, and so forth of the music we write. Then we can say the person suing us and ourselves are both plagiarizing a public domain work so no money should be awarded.

 

Notes

 

You can always play folk music......

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You can always play folk music......

 

I know lots of people who do...and some of them write their own songs too.

 

Excuse me... gotta run... I need to go file a Form PA with a bunch of acoustic guitar strumming.... ;)

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Maybe I don't have the musical sensitivity of a lawyer or a jury, but I can't hear any similarity at all between those songs. Is it about the concept of inserting a short, low pitched, distorted phrase where there might have been a drum roll or a bass lick?

 

What are they going to claim next? That the mixes are identical because the drums got louder in the measure right before the chorus? Or there's a ukulele in the rhythm section?

 

Since there are no similarities of lyrics or melody, the claim rests entirely on the instrumental track. There's a descending, staccato synth part that is similar in both songs. Though as many have pointed out, the Art of Noise did that in "Moments in Love" over 30 years ago. I bet that the jury was also influenced by the shout out at the beginning of the song where Juicy J. says, "you know what it is." It's really skimpy evidence of copying.

 

I wonder if other hip hop, dance and electronica producers are salivating now at what else might be copyrightable. Like, could Diplo sue anyone who creates an instrumental track that contains a distorted kick drum playing the bass line, a "drop" between the transition between verse and chorus, and a monophonic synth sound that sounds like a vocal sample?

 

 

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Hi everyone. :)

 

The keyboard line is 1 note different, though in a different key. The shout is the same and in practically the same spot. Those things along with the similar kick do carry some weight, particularly with such minimal content, and I can see how the jury might have been convinced. I agree with Beato for the most part though...15%. Maybe 17.235%.

 

That said, it's all too easy to take the foundation or essence of a song and then get *creative and place upon said foundation an entirely different edifice. And if questions arise, it's not hard to point out at least a dozen differences.

 

Wasn't the Vanilla Ice song much the same? The same bass line as "Under Pressure" but one note different, or less or more? Did the rest of his song bear any resemblance?

 

Anyway, it maybe was a bit of a knick. I dunno. That or there's an odd synchronicity that seems to occur sometimes, I think.

 

I've got some programming that I did 2-3 months before Britney released "Toxic" and my verse is a lot like her chorus... motion/groove-wise. Synchronicity, or a service tech managed to get the mangled box it was in to play it a few weeks before said release and said to himself, "That's hot! I'm sending it to Britney right now!" I know which I prefer to believe. :lol: My particular effort in that regard ceased and desisted upon first hearing "Toxic". Don't need no trouble now see...

 

 

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You can always play folk music......

 

My main instrument is saxophone - not much interest in safe-sax in folk music.

 

I don't do much writing, and what I do is write parodies, which are fair us items. I mostly play cover songs to an appreciative audience in places that pay their ASCAP dues.

 

I do care about fairness though,

 

Ms.Perry is being sued by a Christian band. To me this is out and out theft. But as I've often said, "It's a lot easier to call yourself a Christian than to act Christ-Like." And when I was in "religious instructions" we were told to always try to act Christ-Like.

 

Insights and incites by Notes

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Hi everyone. :)Wasn't the Vanilla Ice song much the same? The same bass line as "Under Pressure" but one note different, or less or more? Did the rest of his song bear any resemblance?

 

I think Ice Ice Baby is an actual sample, so he was sunk from the beginning. He probably gave up songwriting credit because he had no leverage. I don't know if a jury in 1990 would have necessarily found Ice Ice Baby to be a copy of Under Pressure.

 

Same story with the Verve's "Bittersweet Symphony." Nobody really thinks it is a copy of "The Last Time." Songwriting credit was agreed to as part of an out of court settlement.

 

 

 

 

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I think to protect ourselves, we should dig up public domain examples of the chords, scale fragments, and so forth of the music we write. Then we can say the person suing us and ourselves are both plagiarizing a public domain work so no money should be awarded.

 

Notes

 

I believe this is partly a consequence of people who only know loop based music and Hip-Hop. A musical fragment or motif in their minds becomes a full fledged composition - especially if this little musical fragment is repeated over and over.

 

I think someone should employ a team of knowledgeable musicologists to pore over music by Bach, Schubert, Mendelssohn, The Beatles, Rolling Stones, Perry Como, Robert Johnson, and so on and so on. Then find corresponding patterns in the form arrangement ideas and little motifs like the Katy Perry/Flame. Then illustrate these things to the ignorants who are bringing bogus litigation.

 

As a lifelong musician who's still working at cultivating my musical skills, I'm frustrated by the level of ignorance in the legal puppet masters.

 

I listened to about 2 minutes of the Katy Perry and 2 minutes of the Flame - I heard a repeated motif - in the key of Bb minor Db C Bb in the Katy Perry. In the Flame song I heard C B A. This constitutes a copyrighted composition ?

 

Some more fodder below for some scum-sucking lawyers. With a little thought , others could come up with more examples using the "compositions" (i.e. tiny musical idea).

 

 

Boogie Chillin Boogie Riff "Spirit In The Sky"/Multiple Canned Heat songs/ ZZ Top "La Grange"

 

Hang On Sloopy I IV V "Guantanamera"/"Louie Louie" (with a minor V chord)

 

Pink Descending accompanying motif similar (but not the same) to Katie Perry "Dark Horse"

What About Us

 

 

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I struggle a bit not to see some just desserts here. Not for Ms. Perry necessarily, but for a determinedly imitative and moribund pop music industry.

 

Maybe it's about time if not long past...to start trying to be really unique again and to celebrate some differences. Real differences - not little tiny happenstance differences.

 

 

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I think someone should employ a team of knowledgeable musicologists to pore over music by Bach, Schubert, Mendelssohn, The Beatles, Rolling Stones, Perry Como, Robert Johnson, and so on and so on.

 

As soon as the do and start making comparisons to the works of everyone else, 99% of us are done for! :lol:

 

 

”We were the biggest nickers in town - plagiarists extraordinaries.” - Paul McCartney

 

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In 1960 Chubby Checker sang a song written by Kal Mannn called Twistin' U.S.A. It was a lot like "Sweet Little Sixteen" by Chuck Berry.

 

It was covered by Danny And The Juniors and Others. Nobody seemed to notice.

 

Then in 1963 Brian Wilson adapted it and with his fellow Beach Boys and Wrecking Crew released "Surfin' U.S.A.". In the meantime Chuck Berry got out of jail and recognized it as similar to his "Sweet Little Sixteen" and settled out of court. Since 1966 both Brian Wilson and Chuck Berry are listed as songwriters. I believe it was settled out of court.

 

BTW, Chuck Berry has been quoted as saying he loved "Surfing' U.S.A." and should as he got part of the royalties and recognized it was homage.

 

Notes

 

 

 

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Posted (edited)

 

As soon as the do and start making comparisons to the works of everyone else, 99% of us are done for! :lol:

 

 

”We were the biggest nickers in town - plagiarists extraordinaries.” - Paul McCartney

 

And if the current legal ignorance existed circa 1967, the Beatles could be cleaning up legally. Anyone old enough to remember all the harpsichords in pop songs after Sgt. Pepper ? And harpsichords with tambourines ? Harpsichords combined with tambourines. Any musician would spew out his coffee if it were suggested to be copyrightable in 1967. It's not remotely laughable these days, legally speaking.

 

Edited by davd_indigo
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Posted (edited)

Oh the tambourine days. Thanks for reminding me. ;)

 

I guess we should steal from the classics.

 

Dan Fogelberg's "Same Old Lang Syne" uses the melody of Tchaikovsky's 1812 overture

 

The Moody Blues lifted a passage from "Capriccio Italien" in "Question" (and did a great job)

 

Zeppelin quoted Holst's "Mars" from "The Planets"

 

Eric Carmen's "All By Myself" borrows heavily from a Rachmaninoff Piano Concerto

 

Elvis Presley's "It's Now Or Never" is "O Sole Mio" with different words

 

Freddy Mercury took Leoncavallo's "Vesti La Giubba" and used the melody in "Its A Hard Life"

 

Procol Harum's "Whiter Shade Of Pale" uses Bach's "Air On A G String" and his "Orchestral Suite #3"

 

Barry Manilow lifted Chopin's "Prelude in C Minor" for Could It Be Magic (and gave Chopin shared writers credits - WTG Barry)

 

Chopin's "Prelude #4 in Em" found it's way into Radiohead's "Exit Music for a Film"

 

"Because" by The Beatles is part of Beethoven's "Moonlight Sonata" played backwards

 

And this is just a sampling. The composers are dead over 75 years, so if you borrow from them, and someone in between sues you, you can refer to the source and say you stole from something in PD.

 

Notes

 

Edited by Notes_Norton
typo

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Eric Carmen's "All By Myself" borrows heavily from a Rachmaninoff Piano Concerto

 

 

 

 

Piano Concerto #2. And suing, were it possible, would not suffice.

 

Rachmaninoff's living relatives should be taken care of for centuries. And there should be a special place in hell as well.

 

 

 

 

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Piano Concerto #2. And suing, were it possible, would not suffice.

 

Rachmaninoff's living relatives should be taken care of for centuries. And there should be a special place in hell as well.

 

 

 

I go to classical music concerts, and I especially like romantic to modern era Eastern European and Russian composers. Eric ruined Rach 2 for me, I won't buy tickets unless something else I want to hear that isn't commonly performed (like Shostakovitch #4) is also on the bill.

 

Yes, a special place in hell, stuck in an elevator, listening to a sappy 101 strings version of his "All By Myself" over and over and over and over ad infinitum ;)

 

Notes

 

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Posted (edited)

I go to classical music concerts, and I especially like romantic to modern era Eastern European and Russian composers. Eric ruined Rach 2 for me, I won't buy tickets unless something else I want to hear that isn't commonly performed (like Shostakovitch #4) is also on the bill.

 

Yes, a special place in hell, stuck in an elevator, listening to a sappy 101 strings version of his "All By Myself" over and over and over and over ad infinitum ;)

 

Notes

 

And "Never Gonna Fall In Love Again" is taken from Rachmaninoff's 2nd Symphony 2nd mvt. - lock, stock, and barrel.

 

All but ruined here. I say "all but" because I've performed those works and at such times Rachmaninoff won. It still is a bit of work not to *go there* though.

 

Talk about damage. Ya know, I don't think anything speaks better for humanity than the music of the great composers. It is in my humble opinion the highest of arts. And someone can put a mustache on the Mona Lisa - and the next time I see the real thing it won't be a problem. But music, and words, they stick. Top 40 in the 70's = arc welder.

 

Stealing great, classic, masterpiece level music and putting words to it...as if it needed them... has got to be the greatest crime of all (mentioned in discussions of this sort). Not to mention the sheer pomposity and unmitigated gall. :barf:

 

"A Fifth Of Beethoven" doesn't rise to the level, for me. There's a difference between paying homage with a quote or the thorough reworking of a motif and outright theft and defacement. At least there was some imagination involved.

 

It's a shame. Someone should have stopped him, or them. No doubt the eyes were rolling with the $ signs.

 

 

And I kinda liked The Raspberries at first. :( I was about 8 I think and one of their albums was the first my older brother let me borrow. (I guess that's saying something). Even then Eric struck me as kinda drippy. But I think that section in "Go All The Way" where the guitars rock out and he gets some grit in his voice might have been the first time I rocked out...a bit. :lol:

 

Rant over. :)

 

 

 

Edited by RockViolin

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