The Carly Rae Jepson/Owl City Plagiarism Lawsuit

There are only so many notes on the scale and there are only so many ways these tones can be combined to create pleasing music.  Because there’s so much music being made in so many places, the chances of someone independently coming up with the same melody and arrangement as you is almost guaranteed. Therefore, being accused of plagiarism is pretty much common practice for singers/composers of hit songs.  

The latest accusation of plagiarism comes from Allyson Nichole Burnett, an Alambama singer/songwriter who claims that “Good Time,” a #8 Billboard hit from Carly Rae Jepson and Adam “Owl City” Young,  is a ripoff of her 2010 recording, “Ah, It’s a Love Song.”

Reading the complaint, it’s alleged that a “unique vocal motif” from Burnett’s song is repeated throughout “Good Time,” and “has a catchy pop vibe that both draws people in and sticks in people’s heads.”  From there, it gets really, really arcane on points of musicology and composing.

Judge for yourself.  An attempt to cash in?  Or just an unfortunate sonic coincidence?

Much more at The Hollywood Reporter.

Alan Cross

is an internationally known broadcaster, interviewer, writer, consultant, blogger and speaker. In his 40+ years in the music business, Alan has interviewed the biggest names in rock, from David Bowie and U2 to Pearl Jam and the Foo Fighters. He’s also known as a musicologist and documentarian through programs like The Ongoing History of New Music.

5 thoughts on “The Carly Rae Jepson/Owl City Plagiarism Lawsuit

  • October 31, 2012 at 2:24 pm

    You have got to be kidding. I'm pretty sure you can't copyright "oh ah oh". Needless to say both songs suck ass.

  • October 31, 2012 at 3:21 pm

    I hear it. I don't think it's lawsuit worthy (it's like 4 notes) but I definitely hear it.

  • October 31, 2012 at 3:55 pm

    I tried to get it, I tough I did, so I paid a little more attention to discover that… these songs really does suck ass!

    Now I'm going off to wash my ears with Clorox.

  • October 31, 2012 at 7:11 pm

    that's quite the stretch. And yes, both songs suck ass.

  • October 31, 2012 at 7:13 pm

    "pop vibe that… sticks in people's heads."

    Much in the same manner as an icepick, a brain aneurysm, or a stray nail from a nailgun, perhaps?

    If those two want to duke it out to see who came up with the crappiest piece of fluff being passed off as "music" (that will be forgotten sooner than the shelf life of a banana), so be it.


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