Musicology

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What’s the difference between plagiarism and copyright infringement?   It’s largely a matter of what’s immoral as opposed to what’s illegal. Let’s take plagiarism first. When we throw out the term “plagiarism,” we mean “taking and passing off another person’s words or ideas as your own, without attribution (crediting the source),” and it’s considered wrong, …

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Is this just another frivolous lawsuit? How can we tell? accessToday we learned that canadian songwriters, now plaintiffs, Ronald McNeill and Georgia Lyons-Savage are suing Carrie Underwood and claim to have composed the chorus, melody and lyrics to “Something In The Water.” Carrie Underwood’s begins her greatest hits record (hard to believe she has one already) …

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“Chance The Rapper” sued by the songwriter of Lonnie Smith’s “Bridge Through Time” — a jazz record also sampled by Jay-Z and others. Chance The Rapper is reportedly being sued for copyright infringement over his track, “Windows” which was on Chance’s 2012 mixtape 10 Day. The mixtape wasn’t directly sold at retail, so one might say, “The 10 …

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The three legged stool and why you need a musicologist before you write that complaint. I don’t know. But looking at the court decision that threw this out, I’d have to say the plaintiff, Timothy Arnett, didn’t engage a musicologist, and didn’t have his ducks in a row before filing his complaint. In it, he makes …

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I’m a forensic musicologist and the Blurred Lines verdict was wrong. Nevertheless, it is a historical fact, and a mildly unsettling one. But it shouldn’t be THIS unsettling. I’m hearing lawyers say things like “My client and I are of course operating in a ‘post-Blurred Lines world’ now, so we have to consider…” And I …

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Macklemore and Ryan Lewis and their hit ‘Thrift Shop” have nothing to fear from “legendary jazz musician” Paul Batiste’s latest lawsuit. New Orleans jazzer Paul Batiste is evidently suing Macklemore and Ryan Lewis, claiming he hears his own work in their hit song “Thrift Shop.” So of course, I was anxious to see if there was …

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“Hey, that’s my song; they stole my song!” What do you do when you’re watching a tv show or a commercial and you hear your own melodies in the background?  Or you’re listening to the radio in the car and you hear a song that sounds just like yours. Maybe it’s the same melody or …

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Could this be the biggest music copyright infringement payout of all time? I’ll put on the musicologists hat in a second and break it down but really the musicology over infringement or non-infringement is fairly simple, and unless there’s a rabbit up someone’s sleeve, we could pretty much head straight to the more interesting musicology …

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There’s a lot riding on the verdict of this soundalike infringement case that could go either way. The Eminem “Lose Yourself” case is a bit funny, but it’s by no means trivial. Musicologize thinks it’s very possible that this soundalike is going to be found to infringe upon Eminem’s “Lose Yourself,” and that makes it …

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Fight fire with fire, I suppose. We wrote a post about this action a few months ago, when we first heard that Messy Mya’s estate was suing Beyoncé for twenty million dollars over a little blurb she may or may not have used without permission to kick off her track “Formation.”This video, which has 3 …

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