11 Answers

  1. First, I'll tell you a historical joke. In the middle of the 19th century, Gioacchino Rossini, the author of the opera “The Barber of Seville”, was famous all over Europe. A young aspiring composer persuaded the famous maestro to attend the premiere of his opera. Rossini graciously agreed, but during the performance he behaved unusually. From time to time he stood up and raised his top hat (at that time the gentlemen in the boxes sat without removing their headdresses), making polite bows. Only once did he smile, take out his notebook, and write something down. After the performance ended, the author excitedly asked questions: “How do you like my essay, why did you have to get up and what was marked in the notebook?”. To which Rossini, a great prankster, calmly replied:: “I got up every time I met the music of my familiar composers at your opera – I wanted to greet them. And in the book I wrote down one of your cute musical themes. I'm just finishing up a new opera – I'll need it. I think I can offer her a more dignified environment.”

    In the 19th century, copyright in musical works was just emerging. It was about a hundred years behind the legislation governing the copyright of literary texts. It was only in 1898 that the first law was introduced prohibiting the performance of musical works without the author's consent. Of course, there were borrowings, and in sufficient quantity, but the authors could only joke about this. For example, Richard Wagner in his opera” Valkyrie “completely borrowed the musical theme of Franz Liszt from the symphony opera “Faust”. When it was played in the theater, he confided to friends: “And I borrowed this piece from Daddy” (the composers were related – Berlioz was married to Cosima, Liszt's second daughter).

    Sound recording and royalties were not yet invented, composers lived off the fact that they gave concerts, lessons and received orders for composing music. The borrowed melody in any case did not give an opportunity to get rich and was considered something quite acceptable.

    In symphonic music, it was customary to use quotes and other people's themes-especially from folk music. But only Brahms, who created the cycle “Hungarian Dances”, always emphasized that he did not invent anything, but simply arranged folk melodies – he even refused to assign an opus number to these works. Other composers did not mind this fact at all. For example, one of the movements of Tchaikovsky's Fourth Symphony in F Minor is entirely based on the melody “There was a birch Tree in the Field”, and the famous “Ode to Joy” in the finale of Beethoven's Ninth Symphony in the original is an old drinking song. It was considered perfectly normal to take someone else's theme, make an arrangement for another composition of instruments, or add something from yourself, and then put your last name. As Franz Schubert did, taking as a basis the prelude in C major from the first volume of Bach's Well-Tempered Clavier and adding his own author's theme to it. It turned out quite ingeniously. It happens that then the surname of one of the authors is strangely lost – as, for example, in this case:

    Johann Sebastian intended this music as follows::

    It is safe to say, however, that Bach would not have been offended at such a free treatment of his music. And not because he died 50 years before Schubert was born. The fact is, he did it himself. I took, for example, the adagio from the concerto for oboe and string orchestra by the Venetian composer Alessandro Marcello and made an arrangement for harpsichord, forgetting to point out that the melody was not his at all. Since that time, the piece of amazing beauty was constantly performed at piano concerts as a work by Bach.

    Fortunately, after many years, musicologists have restored justice and now this music also sounds in the original version, as the author intended it.

    Real problems with stealing tunes and paying royalties appeared with the development of the recording industry and show business in general. To be more precise-after the Second World War, when the circulation of records-respectively, and royalties-began to be estimated in millions (copies and dollars).

    A strange story happened with the Beatles 'song” Ob-La-Di, Ob-La-Da”. This expression in the language of the African Yoruba tribe means: “life goes on.” A Nigerian percussionist named Jimmy Scott once met McCartney and told him about this interesting expression, which Paul remembered and turned into a super-popular song. Scott sued McCartney, claiming that the two words were his intellectual property that had been stolen from him. Oddly enough, he won the trial and received a monetary reward.

    The first big sensation was the story of George Harrison's song “My Sweet Lord”. Harrison did much the same thing that Tchaikovsky and Beethoven did in their time – he skillfully arranged a folk theme – the 18th-century gospel hymn “Oh Happy Day”. The ex-Beatle heard it performed by the Edwin Hawkins Gospel Choir when they won a Grammy for their performance. Harrison finished the introduction and made a new, completely original arrangement. After the song became a super hit, it was revealed that there was another version made by the New York-based women's quartet “Chiffons”. They were taken care of by the label, which wanted to get all the money that Harrison earned on this song. An army of lawyers was hired, and experts analyzed the song literally by note. The case lasted five years. The ex-beatle even had to come to one of the meetings with a guitar and perform the song in front of the judges. He felt completely humiliated. The court's decision was unique. Harrison was found guilty of unintentional plagiarism. The label received $ 1.6 million in compensation , a very decent amount for 1976. The musician after this story fell into depression, for 3 years he left show business altogether.

    But that's not the end of the story! Although the label received the full amount in court, there was a clever person who decided to make money once again on the ill-fated “My Sweet Lord”. This is Allen Klein, the Beatles ' end-of-life manager. He bought out all the label's shares and resumed the legal process, significantly increasing the amount of compensation.

    This time, Krishna in heaven interceded for Harrison and brought justice. Klein's actions were deemed fraudulent. According to the court's decision, Harrison paid 587 thousand dollars – that's how much the block of shares purchased by the adventurer was worth-and became the owner of the label, along with the rights to all the songs that were released there. Thus,” My Sweet Lord ” returned to George after 20 years (I did a more detailed account of this story due to the fact that “My Sweet Lord” turned 50 years old – you can read and listen to all the versions here).

    Just as sensational could be the process of plagiarizing the song “Stairway to Heaven” by “Led Zeppelin”. In 2014, 45 years after the release of the legendary rock ballad, the musicians of the little-known Los Angeles band “Spirit” suddenly discovered that in one of their recordings from 1968 there is a guitar bust, reminiscent of the famous chords of the introduction of “Stairway To Heaven”. The similarity was not obvious, but it was sufficient for the court to accept the claim. The trial was held intermittently until 2019. He was closely followed by artists all over the world. In America, an open letter signed by 120 well-known musicians was even published, saying that if the process ends with the loss of LZ, it will be a real disaster for many authors. Fortunately, the Zeppelins won all the courts outright.

    The problem is that there are still no clear criteria for what is considered plagiarism. The current method-the exact repetition of seven notes in a row-is considered archaic and not convincing enough. Other assessment options – based on the method of arrangement and even on general perception – are even more shaky.

    Another high-profile lawsuit was indicative-the victim was the song “Blurred Lines”, which was performed in a duet by Robin Thicke and Pharrell Williams. It became a big hit, topping the charts in 24 countries in 2013 and earning artists big money.

    The heirs of singer Marvin Gaye were able to prove in court that from his song “Got to Give it Up” in 1977, Thicke and Williams made borrowings of the overall impression in the arrangement. This means that it wasn't the melody that was plagiarized, but the instrumental parts.

    According to the court's decision, Thicke and Williams paid the heirs $ 5.3 million.

    A similar case was recently considered in Russia, when Olga Kormukhina accused Polina Gagarina and Konstantin Meladze of stealing an arrangement of Viktor Tsoi's song “Cuckoo”. For Kormukhina, a similar arrangement was made by Alexey Belov back in 2011. Meladze won the trial easily, because he registered his arrangement with the RAO (Russian Authors ' Society), but Belov did not.

    The really big money that a popular song can bring now is increasingly becoming the object of legal proceedings. After all, there are still only seven notes, and it is not very difficult to find certain similarities in the sequence of one or two bars. Given imperfect legislation and the presence of clever lawyers, it is quite possible to snatch a fat piece from the cash flow of royalties. A typical example is several appeals to the court of the French electronic engineer Didier Morouani with the accusation of plagiarism of Philip Kirkorov. These cases were initially a curiosity, because Moruani filed a lawsuit not against the author of the song “Cruel Love” Oleg Popkov, but against Kirkorov-simply because he has money. The calculation was that Kirkorov would not want to get involved with the persistent Frenchman and would prefer to buy off. It was not justified: the singer was not afraid and won all the courts quite easily.

    Now the situation with plagiarism is even more confusing, because the courts have begun to consider cases using samples. The precedent was a trial that lasted more than twenty years. Electronic group Kraftwerk sued hip-hop artist Sabrina Seltur, accusing her of unauthorized use of a sample lasting only two seconds – and won it! Given that hip-hip consists of at least 50% borrowed samples, it's a real klondike for lawyers who profit from such trials. Fortunately, the results of such courts are not followed by large fines-artists are only required to obtain mandatory consent to the use of music from the authors.

    About 30-40 plagiarism trials are held annually in Russia. There have not been any sample processes yet, but we are steadily moving along the path of progress, everything is ahead of us.

  2. All the talk about “samples” and “only seven notes” is certainly true, but I think that if you took one chord, then it's not interesting. It's much more interesting when the entire music is stolen. Here are a few examples from an area I know a little bit about. The song of the Queen band -The Show Must Go On, was copied by both our and their performers:

    The last people who really reminded me of this song were the Americans W. A. S. P. with the title track of the album “Golgotha”:

    As one of my subscribers commented: Interestingly, Vasp removed not only the Queen's timbres, but also the musical intonation. Damn, isn't this marked on Yandex. Disk? There is such a clear analogy

    …Speaking to Rolling Stone magazine, Hammett (Metallica)revealed the circumstances under which he composed one of his famous riffs: “It was two o'clock in the morning. I recorded it on tape and never thought about it again. When Lars heard the riff, he said: It's really cool. But repeat the first part four times.” Based on this melody, the entire Metallica song was created, and after a while it was included in the list of “500 greatest songs of all time” according to Rolling Stone:

    It seems that everything is fine, one of the great guitarists wrote his own one of the great riffs, which is amazing. Everything would have been fine if not for one small “BUT”, namely a song by a little-known Excel group called “Tapping Into the Emotional Void”, released two years earlier:

    In 2003, ex-Excel members filed a lawsuit against Metallica. But, as they say on the sidelines of the US music industry, “Big money has solved the problem again.” The key word is not” money”, but “again”. Here, something like that…

    … Deep Purple and the famous of the most famous “Child in Time”:

    The vocalist of the legendary band said the following in an interview. Gillan: “As for music, there was once a Bombay Calling song by a band called It's a Beautiful Day (unfortunately it's not in the Yandex. Music collection). It was fresh and original when Jon Lord once played it on keyboards. It sounded good, and we thought we should beat it, change it a little bit and create something new based on it.” Just like that, they didn't freeze much then. But, at least they don't hide where the melody came from, and that's good…

    ..you can talk endlessly about Russian rock musicians. There, very often, continuous secondary and borrowing, both the main themes and the entire songs. “Time Machine” brazenly copied the songs of “The Beatles”, the group” Zoo “shamelessly” copied ” dozens of songs from such Western artists as Lou Reed, David Bowie, Alice Cooper, Bob Dylan, Leonard Cohen, Iggy Pop, Rolling Stones… you can list them for a long time. The Kino group was mainly stolen from The Cure group. They stole a lot – almost half of Tsoi's hits are more or less tracing paper from The Cure songs. However, Choi spied his most important hit “Changes”from another team, the music of this song clearly echoes the composition Barbarism Begin At Home by The Smiths. “Aquarium”, the famous song “Rock and Roll is dead”. The song is written entirely by Patti Smith (Ghost Dance). Nautilus Pompilius made it even easier: they just took the song they liked and doubled its tempo, passing it off as their own. And so, at least twice! Famous anti-war song “Khaki Balloon”:

    and “I Don't Mind”, which was performed by Slade in 1972:

    Styx song:

    Now let's speed it up:

    Butusov, by the way, is also a fan of Bruce Dickinson. Listen to Chemical Wedding and find differences in the theme with “Girl in the city”…

    …the famous Russian metallers “Aria”, at the dawn of their career, shamelessly stole themes, riffs, verses, arrangements, songs in their entirety and the beginning of songs from Iron Maiden, Judas Priest and other famous bands. And what!!! An unsophisticated Russian music lover will swallow and not notice, and the authors of the works will never know. Here, a simple example:

    and the Judas Priest song- “Jawbreaker”:

    Right, the One-on-One show. You can continue indefinitely. After all, there are also Spleen, Bi-2, Masha and the bears, DDT and other, other, other things…

  3. Isaak Dunaevsky – “The Golden Roadside Haze Rises Up” – “Walking on the Don”. Moreover, the borrowing is quite conscious, Dunaevsky did not hide it. Just a genius joke

  4. I often find it, but the last thing I didn't like was that Take That took from Barry Manilow – Could it be magic.

    You can't do that. It should be noted that this is a remix by Barry Manilow. I always thought guys were so talented, but they weren't.

  5. Not being a super-expert, but being a music lover with experience, two global plagiarisms are caught offhand with the naked ear, and instantly:

    Eagles “Hotel California” – Konstantin Nikolsky ” My friend the artist and poet “(of course, the final guitar solo);

    Chris Rea “Road To Hell” – Ladybug “Granite Pebble” (here virtually all instrumental parts plus rhythm bass).

    I note that despite the obvious plagiarism, the Russian-language songs sound quite like independent works and I really like them-almost to the same extent as the originals. I mean, plagiarism isn't always evil.

  6. There is a song by Golden Earring called “Going To The Run”.

    The song was based on her motiveArias “Carefree Angel”.

    Someone says it's a cover, but I think it's plagiarism.

    The artist under the name Brennan Savage also has a lot of similar things.

    For example, his song “Look at Me Now” uses the accelerated motif of “In the End” by Linkin Park, and another song by Brennan, “Badlands”, contains the guitar theme from the song by the band System of a Down, which is called “Aerials”.

  7. Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart did not disdain plagiarism. He had a phenomenal musical memory, and everywhere in his compositions he inserted certain musical fragments that he had once heard from someone somewhere. For example, the main theme of the overture to the opera “The Magic Flute” is borrowed from the much-despised Muzio Clementi, from his B-flat major sonata. Those parts of the Requiem written by his pen are also largely taken from various composers, among whom musicologists name Karl Philipp Emmanuel Bach, George Frideric Handel, Michael Haydn, Francois Joseph Gosseck. And this is only in one unfinished Requiem! Karl von Zinzendorf, a well-known music lover and political figure in Austria, a contemporary of Mozart, left the following entry in his diary: “On July 30, 1782, in the evening at the Abduction from the Seraglio Theater. All the music is stolen.” In general, Mozart is an anthology of music of the XVIII century, it can be called with good reason the genius of plagiarism.

  8. Alegrova “Wedding flowers” – Kirkorov-Sweetheart

    Alegrova “Candle, candle, candle” – Madonna-La Isla Bonita

    Apina “Electric Train” – Autumn Kiss-A. Pugacheva

    Baskov Nikolay “Hurdy-gurdy” NIKOLAY Gnatyuk-Raspberry ringing

    Natalie's brilliant “And I Flew all the time” – A sea of jeans color

    Buinov “My finances sing romances” The Beatles – And I Love her

    Bulanova “Clear My Light” Boney M-Sunny

    Butusov “Breath” Secret-In distant countries

    Vaikule “Acapulco” Ah, Samara small town

    Vetlitskaya “Po Tverskaya i Neglinnaya” Army of Lovers-La Plage In StTropez

    Vitas “I'll wait a little longer” Vladimir Presnyakov-Castle of Rain

    East “Mirages” ACE OF BASE – Don't Turn Around

    Gradsky and the team “Closing The Circle” We Are The World-L. Richie

    Dynamite I won't forget VALERY LEONTIEV-Dear friend, don't get bored

    Irina Dubtsova “About Him” BONNIE TYLER-Total Eclipse Of The Heart

    Dune “Borka-womanizer” in Rotaru Village-Melancholy

    Allegrova-Cool “Unfinished Novel” Il Tempo Se Ne Va – Adriano Chelentano

    Jasmin “I will rewrite love” – Gorod 312 – “213 roads”

    Banned Drummers “Killed a Negro” Vaya Con Dios-PUERTO RIKO

    Roots Of “Crying Birch” In Legkostupova-Yagoda-raspberry

    In Legkostupova-Berry-raspberry-Julio Iglesias – Vous les femmes

    Lel Katya Doletai Mylene Farmer-California

    Leshchenko Farewell Song of the Olympics-80 The Beatles-Hey Jude

    Dream “Pilot” Shoking Blue-Venus

    Nikolaev “A man in love with Sakhalin” – Murka

    Pugacheva “I know, honey, I know what's wrong with you…” ABBA-Fernando.

    Shooters “Resort romance” by Anna Herman – And I like it.

    Marina Zhuravleva “Snowflake” – The Song of a mammoth cub. (The baby mammoth is looking for its mother.)

    Friske Jeanne “La La “”Help me Dr. Dick” by E-Rotic

    Yana “Dove” No Doubt – Dont Speak

    V. Syutkin 7000 above the ground-Dune – “Borka the Womanizer”

    Avariya Disco “Fathers” – Radiorama-Yeti

    Freestyle – “It Hurts Me, it hurts” – – Status Quo “You're in the army now”

    Bi-2 “Nobody Writes to the Colonel” – Cranberries-Zombie

    Vitas – “Opera No. 1” – Alexander Rybak “Fairytale”

    Vlad Stashevsky “Summer photographer” – Shooters “at the party”.

    Alexander Aivazov “Butterfly-moon” – Funny guys – “Write me a letter”

    Zhanna Friske “Somewhere in the Summer” – Mr. Zivago Little Russian

    Roots “”Happy Birthday, Vika” – Lyudmila Gurchenko “Team of our youth”

    Oleg Gazmanov “Ice and flame” – Sofia Rotaru “Only this is not enough”

    Oleg Gazmanov “Don't say goodbye to your loved ones” – Mikhail Boyarsky “Island of Childhood”

    Yevgenia Otradnaya “Go away” – m / f “Bremen Town musicians “”Duet of the King and Princess”

    Nikolai Baskov “Natural Blonde” – Jeanne Friske “La-la-la”

    Alexey Chumakov “Here and There” – Vladimir Presnyakov Jr. “Castle of rain”

    Mikhail Shufutinsky “Palma de Mallorca” – Children's songs “Beautiful far away”

    Totti Chanson “A Painter Takes paint” – Yuri Shatunov – “A Summer of Color”

    Alekseev – “Drunken sun”, “And we fly together with the birds”, Ani Lorak – “Slowly”, – Valery Meladze and VIA Gra-One hundred steps back.

    Irina Krug “Come and Stay” – C. C. CatchI Can Lose My Heart Tonight

    Viktor Saltykov “Tanechka, Tanyusha” – Philip Kirkorov “Valentine's Day”, Adrenaline “Waddle slowly”.

    Irina Dubtsova “Love me for a long time”, … DiBilan “I run away, the sky is under my feet” – Polina Gagarina “Love under the sun”.

    A. Rybak-Fairytale-Vitas Opera No. 1

    ARKADIAS-Artist-Yuri Shatunov-Summer colors of the sky.

    Little Big-Uno-From “Nu, pogodi” Pop had a dog”

  9. Listen, there is so much music written that the similarity can be found in any melody. At the same time, the” plagiarized “performer may have not only never heard the” source code”, but even never heard the author's name. For example,” Therefore I Am ” by Bili Eilish is one-in-one “Downpour” by A. Marshall. Only in a different arrangement.

  10. “White Roses “of the band” Tender May ” has been popular for many years, as the melody was cut from “Electric Light Orchestra” from their best composition “Hia de news” of 81 years.

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