The cleptophobic songwriter

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  • @torsten  Feb 9

    In view of recent trials about copyrighted chord progressions (Marvin Gaye / Ed Sheeran) or samples (Rolling Stones / The Verve) I became sceptical about my songs origins. I can trace my lyrics back to ideas that appeared in my mind and that I worked into verses. BUT I almost never know how I found my chords or melodies and I'm afraid I might intuitively have stolen them from a another song. Am I the only one who is afraid to be torn in front of a jury?

  • @fuzzy  Feb 9

    I steal freely and am proud of it!
    Those coppers will never catch me, hahahaha!

    I'm guessing that unless you become famous because of your song no one will care.

  • @torsten  Feb 9

    So I can never become famous??? *throws guitar out of window*

  • @fuzzy  Feb 9

    It's not called "stealing", it's called "inspired by".

  • @bootlegger Feb 9

    I worry too sometimes that my melodies or sometimes the songs themselves are too derivative. But then I go with them anyway until someone says that what I'm doing is too close to someone else's song. No issues so far I don't think.

  • @calumcarlyle  Feb 9

    I actually think the one i am writing today is probably a lift of a song i heard last week on FAWM! I actually went back and listened to the track i thought i'd lifted it from, and it sounds nothing like it, and yet that niggle persists.....

  • @johnstaples  Feb 9

    McCartney famously worried that he had unconsciously copied Yesterday (and he may have!) Don't worry about it!

  • @metalfoot  Feb 9

    The bigger issue is with judges who don't understand the history of music insisting you can copyright the 'feel' of a song or the chord progression of a song. It would be fun for someone to do the musical historiography and file a counter-claim against the estates of Marvin Gaye or the Rolling Stones because it's about 99% likely you'd find something older in music that they reused unconsciously to create the pieces they won their lawsuits with!

  • @torsten  Feb 9

    @metalfoot : One case that springs to my mind is the 1948 jazz standard "Nature boy" by Eden Ahbez. It has been subject to a lawsuit in 1951, when another composer, Herman Yablokoff, could prove to have written the melody in the 1930's already. The case was settled out of court and Ahbez hat to pay 25.000$ (which was quite a huge bit back than.) - In fact although the motif of both versions of the song stems from Dvorak's Piano Quintet No.2 from 1887. And I bet Dvorak "stole" it from a Czech folk song. (And of course the Czech's stole it from us German's sometime earlier in Pleistocene.)

    It's ridiculous but still it frightens my a bit.

  • @frenchcricket  Feb 9

    the Marvin Gaye ruling was absurd and unjust and such laws can be ethically ignored

  • @dasbinky  Feb 9

    In a sense, it's a bit like worrying about the high taxes you'll pay on the royalties from your FAWM songs. If it becomes an issue, you'll probably have a lot of other good stuff going on to balance it. 😀

    Musically, everything is derivative. Unless you're maliciously copying I wouldn't sweat it.

  • @torsten  Feb 9

    @dasbinky : Good point, which indeed soothes me a bit.

  • @keithcuts Feb 9

    @dasbinsky good point dasbinsky
    @torsten if you put out 10 songs that are hits and one of them is a rip off and you go to court, the earnings you will lose are at most only the profits on that one hit. You still have 9 others working for you because you didnt let paralysis of analysis freeze you.

  • @torsten  Feb 9

    @keithcuts I hear you. Let's hope it's not the other way round with my 10 songs 😉

  • @timfatchen  Feb 10

    @dasbinky FTW! I'd love to be earning so much as to be worth suing!

  • @spikedirection  Feb 10

    I deliberately and consciously rip off me talented musicians constantly, that's what you're supposed to do. 😂

  • @frenchcricket  Feb 10

    Let's not forget that it was (is?) standard music industry practice when one band or singer goes massive to find loads of soundalike artists to cash in on it.

  • @klaus  Feb 10

    There is lots of songs and music than can be called original: Brian Wilson's Pet Sounds & Smile, all of Syd Barrett, Judee Sill, Frank Zappa, Eno, Captain Beefheart and uh... Gentle Giant. If somebody knows where Macca stole Yesterday please tell me. Let's compare notes. 😀

    Don't worry about stealing or copying. It's a necessary first step in finding your own style and voice. Just keep trying to find your own voice, don't settle for being a mere "copy cat". "Everybody does it" is often only an excuse for laziness. At least for me. 😀

  • @cts  Feb 10

    I have no problem admitting that my melodies and arrangements may very well sound similar to artists that have influenced me. I'll even go further and say that there are specific songs that somehow resonate with me that without fail, they'll be incorporated into one of my compositions. I don't think it's stealing...

  • @torsten  Feb 10

    @cts : Absolutely. I am not ashamed to say that half of my style is more than inspired by Belle & Sebastian, half by Kings of Convenience and half by The Beatles.

  • @mikeb Feb 10

    Don't worry about it - if your song becomes famous enough to make enough money to be sued, you're in the big time!

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