greeneye656 / Blog

Plagiarism- Where Do We Draw the Line?

Plagiarism has been a problem for many years. Musicians slave themselves to make something original, beautiful, magic-like, they create something that no one can ever take away because inherently it's their baby (sort-a-speak). And then comes someone, who takes what they've painstakingly created, change the tempo a bit or root chord and claim it as their own. Recently in 2013 a well known artist producer etc., Pharrell Williams and Robin Thicke was sued by the Marvin Gaye estate for the song "Blurred Lines" claiming it was an infringement violation of a song their father, Marvin Gaye wrote and released in 1977. If I'm not mistaken Pharrell and Robin's song was composed of two chords throughout the song while Mavin Gaye's has four, both with different root chords. The percussion was somewhat similar and background noise was as well. The the question we have to ask is..."where do we draw the line'? There were probably hundreds of songs back in the 1950's that used the same doo-op formula (you guys know what I'm talking about) and no one sued back then (that I know of). Let's talk about progressions, back in 1990 a well know guitarist Eric Johnson composed a rock instrumental titled "Cliffs of Dover". In the bridge you can hear a progression that sounds a lot like K-Ci & JoJo's intro and chorus to their hit song, "All My Life" written in 1997. This is just an example of many conflicting controversies out there dealing with infringements or plagiarism. I think we have to be extremely cautious when composing instrumentals or music in general so as not to be labeled as a plagiarist, especially if profit becomes a factor. In closing, and without taking sides, I find this quote from Mr. Williams most interesting and thought provoking... "The verdict handicaps any creator out there who is making something that might be inspired by something else, this applies to fashion, music, design . . . anything. If we lose our freedom to be inspired we’re going to look up one day and the entertainment industry as we know it will be frozen in litigation. This is about protecting the intellectual rights of people who have ideas."

What's your thought?

Josie Bernales
Josie Bernales  (about 2 years ago)

We are facing a certain Point of time when/where the moves of People are almost uncontrolable no matter how undesireable they are. The Internet makes almost everything possible .... both good and bad works.Taking evil jobs seriously as a great Problem will make us ill. We should learn how to deal with this Problem to Keep our well being. If the evil has aquired property and right ot rule over the Internet, we, who are deffending God's works have the same right to move around the web !God always provide ideas and abilities without Limit ! We may find ways to protect ourselves from being acused of robbing our original ideas if one Claims it to be his own. We remain calm but WISE with God on our side. If one of our original ideas has been stolen from us, it will be replaced with even more beautiful idea. If People Imitate ideas from us, it means they have appreciated it so much that they cannot help but Claim it their own. Do not be afraid of losing something, do not get angry so that God will bless and enlighten the minds. It is our offended minds that spread out bad Karmas throughout the world, not the evil doers. For this reason, we help weak Brothers be freed from the Spirit of weaknesses. We donnot own anything. Everything we have derives from God. Our Ideas and products may even be dishonored. We cannot also control this. We take These things as one of stages in our struggle as Artists. Stages Change, improve or worsen according to our attitudes and reactions towards praises or unrighteousness we expereriece from different people. We pray to avoid being offended and angry so that God will bless and enlighten all our minds encluding those of evil doers. We Need, specially this time to be very sensible without becoming sensetive so that we can be able to introduce God who is very understanding with regards to our weaknesses. Plagiarism and all other unjust acts are works of the weak. May we become strength to our weak Brothers instead of driving them to become worst. This greatly depends on how wise we deal with them . We do our best. God has promised to do the rest.( www.sejustrisch,de)

kloudworks  (about 2 years ago)

As far as i remember Gary Moore's (or not) creation 'Still got the Blues' was at least and potentionally considered an 'unconcious adoption' of a song GM MIGHT HAVE listened to once upon. Now see how difficult it is to decide who was a 'doer' to quote Josie and how difficult it is for me to describe what the court said. And if involving God and religion in the subject copyright violation wouldn't it be extremly wise not to cast the first stone? Well, i personally think God has better things to do but getting busy with copyright violation but that's just me. Say: i create a song and somebody else tells me this is similar to song xyz from 1983. What to do? Must i trash my song that i thought was my very own creation and i created without honestly being aware of copying somebody else's work? And even worse: who would believe me for aren't we all fond of prooving others wrong and enjoying them fail and fall? More or less. Of course copyrights and their protection are important especially if business and money are involved. To judge potential plagiarism is extremly difficult though since obviously the question of conscious or unconscious (See the GM subject above) takeover doesn't really matter. On a moral level it might but questions discussed in the court are hardly about morals but about royalties. Which even perverts the concept of doing justice but that's how it is and honestly i haven't a better idea how to fix this dilemma. My personal bottom line is: I'm blessed to be a hobby musician and IF one of my songs is considered plagiarism then at least i do not inflict any economical damage to anybody since i do not make one cent with my minor arts. I recommend: be careful with judging others, be patient with them even if their songs remind you of something you know already. Remember you have listened to a zillion songs in your live and your influences quite naturally will inspire your own creativite outlet. And: Draw the lines to yourself. Be critical with yourself and less with others. This probably helps most. Sorry about my clumsy English. Am not a native speaker:) Cheers, Dave. Thanks for the interesting topic. ~ k.

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C&P or Copy and Paste Syndrome

I don't know about you but this is something that annoys me. I know the copyists and pasters(if that's a word), aren't reading this blog because they're on a mission to get as many fans, comments, messages, song hits, Facebook likes etc. as possible. Why can't we spend a minute to leave a genuine comment? I would define that as really showing support and encouragement. I realize it takes a little effort but IT IS NOTED!! The artist receiving the C&P are not fooled by this prefabricated form of flattery. Here are two examples of what I am talking about, and mind you, I have slightly changed the names to protect the C&P(s)...GREAT MUSIC! Keep up the good work! I fanned you here & Liked you on Facebook! Please return the favors! :D God Bless xoxo http://www.facebook.com/JaneDoeC&P... If you like that one here's another one...Thanks for being a fan, I'm your fan as well Lets be fans of fb too:) http://www.facebook.com/pages/JaneDoe#2/12012275278 Feel free to drop your fb link on my page and I will like you back. Have a great weekend. These are just two examples. If you receive or have receive a similar comment rest assure you have been hit with the C&P artist.

Not a Fan of Swearers

I don't curse or listen to songs that have cursing. I'm a fan of music and not swearing. I listen to songs whether it be mine or friends/fans songs that my grandchildren should be able to listen to. This world is getting so out of control that society in general accepts swearing in song or otherwise as natural way of life or form of expression. I ask you, if Jesus Christ were to come down from heaven and listen to some of the music we have today, would he find swearing in songs acceptable? If your answer is no then we too should feel the same way.

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I'm A Fan

What is a fan anyway? An online dictionary defines it this way..."A person who has a strong interest in or admiration for a particular sport, art or entertainment form, or famous person". I realize there's a lot of fanning going on in these type of sites it's understandable because it's the common language we are all use to. But are we fanning because we like or appreciate the person's art for what it's worth or are we fanning because we think they'll fan back and thus get more fans or generate more exposure all over the site? It's just a thought to ponder... stay tune for my next post and probably your favorite topic...C&P or better known as the infamous The Copy and Paste Syndrome :)