Musicology

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These guys have real names. Artem Stoliarov is suing Christopher Comstock. (he’s Marshmello.)  The complaint, filed last week, says Marshmello’s huge hit song, “Happier,” infringes upon Arty’s remix of “I Lived,” by One Republic. So, why isn’t One Republic suing since I Lived is their song? It’s because the claimed infringement is of a melody …

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Well, it’s not completely ridiculous. “I Don’t Care” is Justin Beiber and Ed Sheeran’s brand new single (as I type this, it came out yesterday.) I’d be hard pressed to think of another combo more certain to reach #1 as fast as Billboard can refresh? So everyone has heard the hell out of this track …

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The inverse ratio rule has been part of copyright law for a long time, but sooner or later hopefully we can agree that it never really made a lot of sense and we should just let it go. And to illustrate we’ll take the two most interesting copyright infringement cases in recent memory; one that …

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First, what’s a soundalike? Imagine for a minute you’re in advertising. You’re working on a campaign; a commercial maybe. You’ve been trying to figure out the perfect messaging and visuals, and you’re ask yourself, “what about music?” And then a song pops into your head, a familiar song that everybody knows and relates to, and …

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Jumping right on this one, because it’s straightforward. This morning we have headlines that Juice WRLD is getting sued again already. (Sting pretty much owns “Lucid Dreams” now, rightly.) This time because a young artist from Colorado, Jerome Willisch, who works under the name Fly Jxy, is under the impression that “Lean Wit Me” is …

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Any day seems like a good day to sue Ed Sheeran anymore. This is a retread of my post from two years ago when I first heard that Ed Sheeran was being sued, not altogether unexpectedly, because Thinking Out Loud sounds a bit like Let’s Get It On. Sheeran was sued twice that summer; the other …

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Timberlake and Will.i.am are being sued for stealing “Damn Girl.” And I’d say they’ve got a big problem. Justin Timberlake and Will.i.am (William Adams) are facing an infringement suit over “Damn Girl,” their collaboration from Timberlake’s very successful “Futuresex/Lovesounds” record. That record is a decade old. And this case was filed in 2016. But after …

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Interpolation and sampling are separate concepts. And either of them can be infringement; or not. But they get used interchangeably and confusingly. Let’s get clearer on what we mean. First, interpolation. Merriam-Webster.com says interpolation is “the introduction or insertion of something spurious or foreign.” “Interpolation” in music generally means you take something from elsewhere, often …

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Led Zeppelin vs Spirit/Skidmore v.1: discarded by the Ninth Circuit. And it’s a mixed bag at best. It’s been about a year since a jury decided that Led Zeppelin’s Stairway To Heaven did not infringe upon the copyright of Taurus, by the band Spirit. That jury ruled that although Led Zeppelin had access to Taurus the two …

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I’ll keep this one brief. Because there’s nothing to get into here. And I’m gonna predict that Miley Cyrus, Mike WiLL Made-It and Wiz Khalifa will swat this one aside in short order. Still, it’s interesting. It’s interesting that someone filed the complaint. This is the sort of thing where Musicologize might employ a Politifct …

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