We need to talk about all these crazy song copyright lawsuits

If it seems that more artists are getting sued over allegedly plagiarizing the work of others, you’re not wrong. There’s been an uptick in these kinds of lawsuits in recent years, especially after the goofy and wrong verdict in the “Blurred Lines”/”Got to Give It Up” case.

I’ll have an Ongoing History episode on the subject later this year. Meanwhile, there’s this must-read article from the New York Times.

“The past year was an exceptionally active, unusually silly and indubitably worrying one for pop music lawsuits.

“In August, after determining that Katy Perry’s “Dark Horse,” a very generic trap song, had borrowed from “Joyful Noise,” another very generic trap song by the Christian rapper Flame, a jury awarded Flame and his co-plaintiffs $2.8 million in damages. (Perry is appealing the verdict.) In October, the inactive third-rate emo band Yellowcard sued Juice WRLD for $15 million over perceived similarities between one of his big hits, “Lucid Dreams,” and one of their non-hits, “Holly Wood Died.” After the rapper’s death in December, the band announced it was still moving forward with the litigation.

“In both cases, the alleged musical connection is flimsy at best. But these are the sort of claims that have found oxygen in the wake of the “Blurred Lines” ruling in 2015.”

Keep reading.

Alan Cross

is an internationally known broadcaster, interviewer, writer, consultant, blogger and speaker. In his 30+ 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.

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