Osborn and Anderson examined the various issues musicians face in relation to plagiarism. “A song is actually a bundle of copyrights” they explained “with the lyrics attracting protection as a literary work and the music as a separate musical work under the Copyright Designs and Patents Act 1988. The law forbids the copying of a whole or substantial part of a protected work, but unhelpfully does not define what is meant by substantiality.”
This lack of definition is where the issues arise. Osborn and Anderson describe the dispute over Lana Del Rey’s Get Free and Radiohead’s hit Creep, and its’ further complication based of the existence of a previous law suit from composers Albert Hammond and Mike Hazelwood who successfully sued Radiohead, claiming that Creep breached copyright infringement of their track The Air That I Breathe.
The Authors describe the artistic similarities and examine the lack of clarity that legal precedent gives in relation to music plagiarism.
Read the whole article on The Quietus.
Cover image: The Air That I Breathe (Hammond/Hazlewood) Ⓒ Imagem Songs Limited. Creep (Selway/Yorke/O'Brien/Greenwood/ Greenwood/Hammond/Hazlewood) Ⓒ Warner Chappell Music Ltd/Imagem Songs Limited. Get Free (Nowels/Grant/Menzies) Ⓒ EMI Music Publishing Ltd/Cosmic Lime (ASCAP).