05 famous songs accused of music plagiarism
"The Lion Sleeps Tonight” - Solomon Linda
We often think of plagiarism as stealing the idea. In fact, it is also related to the copyright of the song when used for commercial purposes. Solomon Linda is a concrete example.
Solomon Linda is a South African musician, singer and songwriter best-known as the musician of the song "Mbube", which became the popular song "The Lion Sleeps Tonight”. Although very famous for the song, Linda died in poverty in 1962 due to kidney failure.
In February 2006, Linda's heir reached a legal agreement with Abilene Music, which licensed music worldwide and licensed Linda's song to Disney. Linda's heir receives payment for the use of "The Lion Sleeps Tonight" in the past and future from the use of the song throughout the world. Solomon Linda is only recognized as a co-editor of "The Lion Sleeps Tonight".
"Photograph" - Ed Sheeran
Ed Sheeran was accused of plagiarizing the song for "Photograph". Richard Busch, lawyer representing musicians Martin Harrington, Thomas Leonard and HoloSongs, filed a lawsuit in Los Angeles, claimed $ 20 million and accused "Photograph" of having similarities with the song "Amazing" that X Factor champion Matt Cardle released in 2012. The "Photograph" rhythm is thought to have 39 notes that are identical to "Amazing" from pitch, rhythm, melody and hunch. In particular, the chorus of the two songs is 70% similar. However, Ed Sheeran was seen as winning the lawsuit and only had to pay some court fees.
“Come Together” - The Beatles
John Lennon used a line of Chuck Berry’s "You Can’t Catch Me" is “Here come up flat top / He was movin' up with me/” for the song - “Come Together” released in 1969. The case was later settled out of court when John Lennon agreed to record three songs for label Big Seven as a "redeeming" move. However, in 1974, John Lennon broke the contract and had to compensate the company for another sum.
"Blurred Lines"- Robin Thicke and Pharrell William
"Blurred Lines" was a single written and performed by American recording artists Robin Thicke, TI, and Pharrell Williams. Recorded in 2012, the percussion ideas of the song were primarily inspired by Marvin Gaye's "Got to Give It Up", and apart from TI's rap, it was entirely Williams's. The song had become a hot topic for Gaye and Bridgeport Music's family about whether the song infringed on "Got to Give It Up". Robin Thicke and Pharrell William had to compensate nearly $ 7.4 million for copyright infringement, including $ 4 million in damage compensation and $ 3.4 million in profit that Thicke and Williams earned from copyright infringement.
"Uptown Funk" - Mark Ronson and Bruno Mars
"Uptown Funk" is a song that producer Mark Ronson and singer Bruno Mars composed for Ronson's fourth studio album, Uptown Special (2015). The song has become a worldwide phenomenon with a great impact on pop culture. "Uptown Funk" has spent 14 weeks at No.1 on the Billboard Hot 100 in the United States, seven non-consecutive weeks at No. 1 on the UK charts.
Not only one but several times, Bruno Mars and Mark Ronson were sued for suspicion of creating "Uptown Funk". In 2015, The Gap Band also filed a lawsuit over "Uptown Funk", due to the similarity between this song and the song "Oops Upside Your Head". Eventually, the band was recognized for their work and the commissions were divided. In February, another group, The Sequence, filed suit alleging that "Uptown Funk" was a plagiarism of the band's "Funk You Up", released in 1979.
By: Gitta Russell