7 famous cases that are setting the agenda in the music industry

Copyright is a very controversial concept that we come across frequently, especially in works of art. For this reason, there are frequent discussions about copyright and plagiarism in the music world. Disputes over a word or note in a song can often be resolved in court. Moreover, sometimes even world famous musicians can be party to these lawsuits! Here are 7 of the most famous music cases in recent history that caused a stir in the music industry.

1. Ed Sheeran and Sami Chokri

Ed Sheeran released his song “Shape of You”, which became a worldwide hit in 2017. In a short time, the popular song has been listened to billions of times. After the song was released, another musician named Sami Chokri filed a plagiarism complaint against Sheeran! According to Chokri’s claim, the words “Oh I” in her 2015 song “Oh Why” were stolen by Sheeran! Claiming that Sheeran used these words in the song “Shape of You”, Chokri accused the singer of theft… Thus, the plagiarism debate that began between the two musicians was taken to court…

Court-appointed musicologists conducted careful examinations of both songs. They carefully searched for similarities between the songs. But they couldn’t decide which musician was right. In addition to this, the judge in the case ruled that Sheeran deliberately did not use the relevant parts of the song “Oh Why”. So Sheeran won the case…

2. Sam Smith and Tom Petty

music case

British singer Sam Smith released a song called “Stay With Me” in 2015. The song’s chorus caused a stir in the music industry due to its similarity to Tom Petty’s song “I Won’t Back Down”. Because the song “I Won’t Back Down”, released in 1989, was one of Petty’s most important and well-known songs.

The argument between the two musicians did not go to court. The musicians reconciled without going through the courts. Smith said in a statement that he had never heard the song “I Won’t Back Down” before. He did, however, admit that there were “coincidental” similarities between the two songs. Sam Smith then paid Tom Petty a royalty for the song “Stay With Me”.

3. Radiohead and Lana Del Rey

music case

published in 1992 Creep” is one of the most popular songs by the famous music group Radiohead. It is also one of the band’s most “controversial” songs.

In 2018, American singer Lana Del Rey announced that Radiohead was suing her. The subject, of course, was the song “Creep”. Radiohead claimed that part of the song “Creep” was used without permission in Rey’s song “Get Free”. This musical trial, which took place in the recent past, also ended with the amicable settlement of the parties.

However, this was not the first “incident” of “Creep”. The group “The Hollies” claimed that part of the song “The Air That I Breathe”, which they released in 1972, was used in the song “Creep”. Thus, Albert Hammond and Mike Hazelwood of The Hollies co-wrote the song “Creep”…

music case

American music publisher Moris Levy sued the Beatles in 1969. Apparently a quote from Chuck Berry’s song “You Can’t Catch Me” was used in the Beatles’ song “Come Together” . “Come Together” was defended in court by John Lennon.

Another case that gave the Beatles a “headache” took place in 1970. The song “My Sweet Lord” by Beatleas guitarist George Harrison was quite similar to the song “He’s So Fine” from “The Chiffons”! The lawsuit was settled in 1976. The court ruled that Harrison “quoted” the song “He’s So Fine”…

5. $5 Million “Blurred Lines”

music case

The song, released in 2012 by Robin Thicke and Pharrell Williams, marked the days of its release! However, this situation could not prevent the song from being “short”…

A copyright lawsuit has been filed against Thicke and Williams by the family of American soul singer Marvin Gaye. The family claimed there were “significant” similarities between Gaye’s 1977 song “Got to Give It Up” and “Blurred Lines”. The case was settled in favor of Gaye’s family. The court ordered Thicke and Williams to pay $5 million in damages!

6. Queen, David Bowie and Vanilla Ice

The band Queen and David Bowie, who are among the biggest names in world music, have had to deal with copyright issues. The “similar” melody of the Queen and Bowie co-produced song “Under Pressure” was used in the song “Ice Ice Baby” by American singer “Vanilla Ice”! On this “likeness”, Vanilla Ice paid compensation to Quen and Bowie. However, the amount of compensation was not disclosed.

7. Led Zeppelin – Stairway to Heaven

Led Zeppelin’s 1971 piece “Stairway to Heaven” is one of the most important and beloved songs in the music world. However, this famous and beloved song could not escape being the subject of copyright disputes. Thus, this iconic song has taken its place among the most famous lawsuits in the music industry…

“Stairway to Heaven” has been accused of being “significantly” inspired by a 1968 instrumental song by American band Spirit. However, “Led Zeppelin” won the lawsuit which began in 2016 and ended in 2020.

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