[Smt-talk] Music Plagiarism Cases

Bennighof, James James_Bennighof at baylor.edu
Fri Dec 18 13:35:37 PST 2009

Sorry that I don't have time to check to see if this is adequately covered on the UCLA site or another source cited in this thread, but "Selle v. Gibb and the Forensic Analysis of Plagiarism," by M. Fletcher Reynolds, a Dallas attorney (at least at that time), College Music Symposium 32 (1992), pp. 55-78, details a case brought against the Bee Gees in 1983 by an obscure composer, Ronald Selle, who claimed that "How Deep Is Your Love" misappropriated music from a song Selle had written called "Let It End."  I read the article a long time ago, but recall that it discusses a lot of the issues and difficulties associated with expert witnesses trying to explain to a jury what kinds of measurements of similarity might truly address things that musicians would naturally perceive as being significantly similar.

--Jim Bennighof

James Bennighof
Vice Provost for Academic Affairs and Policy
One Bear Place, #97014
Baylor University
Waco, TX  76798-7014
(254) 710-6500 (office)
(254) 710-3600 (fax)

On Dec 18, 2009, at 6:22 AM, Richard Lewis wrote:

Dear SMT,

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?

Richard Lewis
ISMS, Computing
Goldsmiths, University of London
Tel: +44 (0)20 7078 5134
Skype: richardjlewis
JID: ironchicken at jabber.earth.li
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