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Thread: Stairway to Heaven - No Copyright Infringement

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    Stairway to Heaven - No Copyright Infringement

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    I think its a fair outcome. Randy California never claimed it was taken from Taurus, it was his estate that brought the lawsuit. The minor chord with decending bass line is a commonly used theme, certainly not something novel. Michelle used the same line.

    Greedy relatives and lawyers were the problem.

    Can you imagine that it was ruled that the use of the simple chord progression was a violation? Every blues song with a I VI V pattern could be judged to be a copy of another blues song that came before it. Robert Johnson's relatives could be wealthy beyond their dreams.

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    It wasn't even family...it was some "trustee" that started the lawsuit, looking for big $$$.

    And yeah...glad to see that the court is saying simple chord progressions or a few notes of similarity, do not count as copyright infringement...or that just because there is ample access to some previous music, it doesn't make it more obvious that some intentional infringement is going to happen.

    These last few months while doing my new studio construction...I've had the radio on all day and night while working...and I've heard many new songs that instantly reminded me of some older tune...either the chords or some of the melody, or even the style of production...but I never got the feeling they were copying them in any way. I think a lot of the lawsuits are just attempts at cashing in..."that beat sounds like my beat"...which is totally dumb, because if you dig deep enough, you find that it's all been used before in some way.
    I'm glad the courts are throttling back some of that lawsuit nonsense...otherwise, everyone will be suing everyone!

    I always go out of my way to avoid writing anything that has any obvious resemblance to some known music...but these days...some guy in Argentina may have a very similar song, and there is no way know that. When it comes to Pop/Rock/Country/R&B/etc...most of it is built on the foundations of what came before...it's pretty basic stuff when you get right down to it.

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    Quote Originally Posted by miroslav View Post
    It wasn't even family...it was some "trustee" that started the lawsuit, looking for big $$$.
    The decision was correct...If Randy Wolfe actually believed such a thing he and his label would have had the lawyers digging for gold in a heart beat.

    Besides we all know Wolfe ripped the riff off from the Mary Poppins Chim Chimary tune anyway Sheesh! ...a sweep is as lucky as lucky can be
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    Frivolous and specious copyright claims are appearing more frequnetly.

    This guy defends, in a video, Warner and Kate Perry when they are taken court for a purported copyright claim. Now Warner has demonetized him because he used bits of the song in his defence of them:


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    Robert Johnson's family SHOULD be rich. And EVERYBODY ALIVE owes Chuck Berry's family money.
    "One thing led to another and, before we knew it, we were dead." --Michael O'Donoghue

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    Quote Originally Posted by notCardio View Post
    Robert Johnson's family SHOULD be rich. And EVERYBODY ALIVE owes Chuck Berry's family money.
    Well...if you're going to go way back...how about all the classical composers who hardly made any money from their highly complex work, from which so much of modern, Western Music has been directly derived from...including the foundations of Blues music.

    This is why some of the frivolous lawsuits over copyright need to be curbed when they are reduced to basics like chord progressions and a few notes worth of similarity.

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    does this mean you cant record yourself playnb it and put it on you yube ,, for a non financial purpose

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    You can record yourself and put it on YouTube. If it is copyrighted material you will get a take down notice, a notice to acknowledge the copyright owner, a notice that the copyright owner will monetize it, or maybe no-one will care. It all depends on how militant the copyright holder is.

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    They don't sound very much alike. Just one small portion of the Spirit song is slightly similar.

    Now, if you want to make the case against the Eagles that Hotel California was based on Jethro Tull's "We Used to Know" (released back in 1969) you'd probably have a pretty good case!

    Judge for yourself...

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