The work of a classic always acts as an inspiration as well as a reference to produce new works. This is how a legacy grows up. The global music fraternity follows this path and in the majority of the cases, the impact and impression of the previous works on the new composition is considered as a case of improvisation. However, this line sometimes gets blurred when a composer imitates the works of his/her predecessor, rather than imbibing and improvising on it. The eminent English rock band Led Zeppelin experience similar instances when it was accused of imitating Spirit’s Instrumental “Taurus” to compose their celebrated track “stairway to Heaven”. As per the latest report, the rock band won the lawsuit that alleged them to have made a plagiarism of the original composition. Below are three other similar cases of artists accused of plagiarism!
The Isley Brothers Vs Michael Bolton
Though the popularity of Isley Brothers never can get compared with the legendary Michel Bolton, still, Bolton was accused of a copyright infringement act. Bolton’s famous song “ Love is a wonderful thing” that was released in 1991, was alleged to have the same name with a song from the Isley Brothers, released in the year 1966. Isley Brother registered a lawsuit against Bolton for have allegedly been using some phrases of the lyrics as well as the title of the track. Though the attorney of Bolton stated that the claim from Isley Brothers is not backed by significant evidence, the Honorable court ruled the verdict in the favor of the Isley Brother. They were even awarded a compensation of 5.4 Million Dollars that made this case the biggest plagiarism debate in the history of music.
Gordon Jenkins vs. Johnny Clash
This is another case of conflict for two songs showing resembles on the part of the lyric. Johny Clash was charged to copy the lyrics from the album “The Second Dream: The Conductor”, by Gordon Jenkins. Though, Clash’s work displayed better musical skills and performance, still, the court ruled the case in the favor of Jenkins. The lawsuit extended for about 15 years.
The Queen & Bowie Vs. Vanilla Ice
Vanilla Ice earned exceptional popularity for a short while, during the 1990’s. The prime reason for this short-lived popularity was the copyright infringement of the work “Under Pressure” by Queen & Bowie. Vanilla Ice was charged for having copied the composition and musical arrangements, though, he made a bit change to the pattern of the baseline arrangement. This allegation was as clear as daylight. The case never hits the courtroom but, it is believed that Vanilla Ice went to a mutual settlement with Queen and Bowie, outside the courtroom. Though, the amount of the settlement was not revealed to the public, still, people speculate that it should be in very high amount. Many different theories appear on different newspapers and magazines regarding the amount. However, none of them is confirmed as true. Speculation is still going on.
There are innumerable other instances and stories of plagiarism and copyright infringement lawsuits happening in the musical industry. Hence, composers, lyricists, and singers should undertake special care that their works are never getting into the traps of copyright violations. You can check out tons of more plagiarism cases by using the link below!
Your Turn to Sound Off!
Aside from Ice, Ice Baby, which track accused of plagiarism do you feel is the most blatant rip-off?