[Smt-talk] Music Plagiarism Cases

lj at eumus.edu.uy lj at eumus.edu.uy
Fri Dec 18 06:59:55 PST 2009

> This question may be better directed at law scholars, but a colleague
> is interested in finding cases of music plagiarism which have been
> heard in court (in any country, but English or German proceedings will
> be easiest to read). Anyone know of any?

i guess in the pop/rock scene there are many cases. one quite notorious
was "da ya think i'm sexy" by rod stewart and carmine appice, a big hit in
1978-79. it was clearly lifted from "tah majal" by the brazilian musician
jorge ben (or jorge ben jor). stewart acknowledged the fact, but said the
he didn't do it consciously, that perhaps he had heard the song on a trip
to brazil and later the melody came to his mind without realizing it
wasn't a fresh idea but a song he had heard before (i had the opportunity
to hear stewart stating that in person at a press conference in 1990).

i don't know the legal details, but you can read this in the wikipedia

A plagiarism lawsuit by Brazilian musician Jorge Ben Jor ruled that the
song had been derived from his composition "Taj Mahal". Stewart agreed to
donate all his royalties from the song to United Nations Children's
Fund.[2] Stewart performed the song at the Music for UNICEF Concert at the
United Nations General Assembly in 1979. The song also lifts a musical
refrain from Bobby Womack's 1975 song, "(If You Want My Love) Put
Something Down On It".

the willie dixon-led zeppelin cases are also notorious.

luis jure
escuela universitaria de música
universidad de la república
montevideo -  uruguay

More information about the Smt-talk mailing list