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PostPosted: Sat Jun 7, '14, 8:24 pm 
Last night, I watched WatchMojo's Top 10 Rip off Songs video, and it got me interested in music plagiarism. The game is very simple. First, you list the victim, which is the song that was copied off, and then you list the offender, which is the song that copied off the song that was copied off. And songs using samples don't count and aren't allowed. You can list more than one song per post too, so I'll start things off to give you a good idea of how the game works.

Victim:Skinny Puppy-Dig It

Offender:Nine Inch Nails-Down In It

Unlike some music plagiarism instances, there wasn't any lawsuit that I know of surrounding this one. But NIN's mastermind Trent Reznor did admit that he had ripped off of "Dig It", so at least he was honest.

Victim:The Other Garden-Never Got The Chance
Sorry, I couldn't find this song anywhere on the web to hot link it. Go look for yourself I'm not kidding.

Offender:Green Day-Warning

Scenario:Back in 2001, when Green Day had released the second single from their album of the same name, the lead singer of an obscure indie rock band called "The Other Garden" (I never heard of them either, so don't ask) had claimed that Green Day had copied off of their 1997 recording "Never Got The Chance". Then the guy only made things worse by saying that his song and Green Day's song had similarities to "Picture Book" by The Kinks:

Victim:Killing Joke-Eighties

Offender:Nirvana-Come As You Are

Scenario:Being that I'm not a fan of Nirvana, my knowledge of this one is rather limited. From what I DID hear, Kurt Cobain had been aware of the similarities to the Killing Joke song, and was reluctant to release it as a single, but Nirvana's manager Danny Goldberg favored it over "In Bloom" which the band wanted to release as a single instead. And so they released it as a single, and it's unknown whether or not a lawsuit was actually filed, but one account claims that a member of Killing Joke had contacted Nirvana's management bringing the similarities to their attention, and they literally responded with "Boo, never heard of ya!". There's also another account claiming that there was a lawsuit, but the judge dismissed the case after Kurt Cobain's suicide as a means to try and lift a weight off their shoulders thinking that they had enough on their plate at the time.


Offender:Rage Against The Machine-Guerrilla Radio

Scenario:It's been a few years since I've actually listened to FSHARP, but from what I remember, the main riff sounded similar to Guerrilla Radio. Don't know if there were ever any lawsuits over it though.

Victim:Muddy Waters-You Need Love

Offender:Led Zeppelin-Whole Lotta Love

Scenario:The Willie Dixon-penned tune first recorded by Muddy Waters was one of many accusations of plagiarism the legendary british rockers faced. Dixon sued the band in 1985 and the case was settled out of court. And as I said it wouldn't be the last time they were accused of plagiarism. In fact, several of their songs are rip offs of songs that came before them. Even Stairway To Heaven is a rip off of an already existing song! Here, listen if you don't believe me:

PostPosted: Sat Jun 7, '14, 8:31 pm 
Victim:John Lee Hooker-Boogie Chillen

Offender:ZZ Top-La Grange

Scenario:Just by listening it should be pretty clear of the similarities, but I don't know if this one ever went to court either.

Victim:Huey Lewis & The News-I Want A New Drug

Offender:Ray Parker Jr.-Ghostbusters

Scenario:In 1984, Huey Lewis was approached by Columbia Pictures to do the theme song for their upcoming supernatural horror/comedy film "Ghostbusters". Lewis turned their proposal down and instead decided to write songs for "Back To The Future". When Ghostbusters was released that June, Lewis noticed the similarities between "I Want A New Drug" and it's theme song, and he wasn't impressed. Both parties reached some kind of settlement, but in 2001, when Lewis talked about the case on TV, Ray Parker Jr. sued Lewis for breaching confidentiality of the settlement.

PostPosted: Sun Jun 8, '14, 3:34 am 
Victim:Tommy Tutone-867-5309/Jenny

Offender:Bruce Springsteen-Radio Nowhere

In 2007 when Bruce Springsteen released his first album with the E-Street Band since 2002's "The Rising", many had noticed similarites to 80's one hit wonder Tommy Tutone's classic "867-5309/Jenny". It was brought to the attention of Tommy Tutone frontman Tommy Heath, who when asked about it said "Everybody’s calling me about it," and that, "I think it's close enough that if I wanted to take legal action, I could work with it."

Victim:Creedence Clearwater Revival-Run Through The Jungle

Offender:John Fogerty-The Old Man Down The Road

Scenario:In 1984, John Fogerty released his first new recording in 10 years. But Saul Zantz, the owner of Creedence's record label, Fantasy, and the publishing rights owner of his songs with the band claimed The Old Man Down The Road was a rip off of Creedence's hit "Run Through The Jungle", and had filed a lawsuit against him for sounding too much like....himself. Fogerty took the stand in the court room with his guitar and played both songs back to back demonstrating that while they did have similarities, they were both completely different, and also pointed out that nobody can plagiarize themselves. Really, how can someone be guilty of having a signature sound?

Last edited by MrKite on Sun Jun 8, '14, 3:34 am, edited 1 time in total.

PostPosted: Mon Jun 16, '14, 11:30 pm 
Yeah... I'm gonna say, let's not make a Forum Game out of this. Plagiarism is too serious of a subject that gets people too riled up for that. If we want to discuss music plagiarism in a historical context, like talking about quotes of people that made accusations or lawsuits that were filed, that's fine. Actually accusing some music group of plagiarism, that's not something I want to see here. That could too easily go into territory that might get me sued.

I'll move this to the music forum. If we want a serious discussion on the music plagiarism subject, that's fine. But not a game, sorry.

PostPosted: Tue Jun 17, '14, 4:43 am 
I think there's a story that Johnny Lee Hooker actually approached ZZ Top at one point and admitted that he cribbed some of their style for an album, and one of ZZ Top's members (probably Dusty Hill) said "Nah, it's cool. We've been cribbing your style for years, ourselves!" and many a laugh was had.

Moral of the story: ZZ Top is awesome.

PostPosted: Tue Jun 17, '14, 11:48 am 
Snorb wrote:I think there's a story that Johnny Lee Hooker actually approached ZZ Top at one point and admitted that he cribbed some of their style for an album, and one of ZZ Top's members (probably Dusty Hill) said "Nah, it's cool. We've been cribbing your style for years, ourselves!" and many a laugh was had.

Moral of the story: ZZ Top is awesome.

It's cool when musicians (or artists in general) admire each other and exchange like that. There is so much more to the expression of art than being exclusive and making a profit.

PostPosted: Thu Jul 17, '14, 12:24 am 
I love ZZ Top

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