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Bernard Satchell - November 1, 2019

Thinking out loud, a total ripoff. Blurred lines, original

Jeff - November 1, 2019

When I first heard Blurred Lines (long before any law suits) I thought “oh, they sampled Marvin Gaye.” I did not immediately think “Let’s Get It On” when I first heard Thinking Out Loud, possibly because they are in different keys, but more probably because of the different vibes of both songs. Blurred Lines just seemed more like the song it was accused of stealing from than Thinking Out Loud, if that makes sense.

As I am from Detroit, was raised on healthy doses of Marvin Gaye and all things Motown (most of all James Jamerson, as I am a bass player) and I have played Let’s Get It On more times than I could possibly count I would err on the cautious side with regards to either of these suits, with a leaning towards the Estate on the Blurred Lines issue.
If we head down this path, who gets all the money for the I vi IV V progression or the more popular (in today’s pop) I V vi IV over the Bo Diddly beat?

Just my humble opinion.

Marshall J. Pierce - November 1, 2019

Is it plagiarizing the song from a strict sheet-music point of view? No. Is it a sampled? no. But it’s clearly a rip off and everyone can hear that. Solution? There needs to be a new law. Blurred Lines and Thinking Out Loud are blatant rip offs of highly influential arrangements. While perhaps they stop short of actual sampling of the original, which as we know is thoroughly covered by copyright law and was vetted by the court some 30+ years ago, they clearly do the closest thing to sampling they can muster without having to include the original songwriters in the publishing. If a rap artist had used a band to play either of the newer songs’ arrangements, and rapped over them, he or she would have been easily sued for copyright infringement under the dozens of cases that hip hop and pop generated in the 90s and Aughts. People are sued for even half second beats that bear no resemblance at all to the original, and the original songwriters – who often had nothing to do with the arrangement – are compensated. Stevie Nicks was paid millions for the Destiny’s Child sample of “Edge of 17”, when the sample was merely the session musician’s guitar riff (ironically. itself a rip off of “eye of the tiger”) – Destiny’s Child used ZERO of Stevie Nicks’ actual songwriting in their hit (“Bootylicious”), but Nicks got paid AND appeared in the video. If Nicks got paid for that, Marvin Gaye, etc should be paid for “Thinking Out Loud”. However I don’t think “Blurred Lines” quite reaches that benchmark. It’s derivative, of course. But it fails short of sounding like an actual sample. What’s it all mean? I think there is ample room here for a law that covers non-sampled plagiarizing of original arrangements. The question will be, who gets paid?

Steven Gregory - November 1, 2019

The lyrics and the melody either together or independently should be copyrighted. I think it is ridiculous to copywriter a chord progression. So many distinctly different songs share the same progression such as Mockingbird Hill and the Christmas Carole Silver Bells. It would be ludicrous to claim they are the same song. Where it gets a little fuzzy for me is when songs share repetitive riffs or motifs.

Sarah Rosen - November 1, 2019

Music’s copyright trolls and software’s patent trolls are a menace to creators in both fields and they are often one and the same. The truth is that they create a tax on existing creators and a substantial barrier to entry to new creators.

Wanderley Oliveira - November 1, 2019

Hi Rick. From my point of view, those are completely different songs. I like Marvin Gaye as well as Ed Sheeran. But in this case, I do trust Ed Sheeran, may have been, in the last case, influenced by Gaye,

Wanderley Oliveira

Johnny - November 1, 2019

I’m not a Sheeran fan but he should be sued for everything you mentioned but since the melody of the actual songs are very different.. 100 million dollars is over acting.

Peter Scott - November 1, 2019

Worrying decision. I thought the precedent was George Harrison’s case my sweet lord. Anything over 4 bars with an identical melody ,rhythm and harmony was the cut off. Private property is a bastion of our legal system protecting Property owners . So who owns 1-6-2-5- ? How long before that is appropriated.

Keith 'KDubbs' Williams - November 1, 2019

Sorry but I disagree that Lyrics and Melody ‘make up’ a song.. It’s that ALONG WITH the rhythmic components (aka the GROOVE).. MOST people don’t dance to “lyrics and melody”. Most people dance to the Rhythmic components (aka the GROOVE) of a song. The Melody and lyrics are what make it ‘memorable’ but it’s EVERYTHING (the groove, the melody AND the lyrics) that makes it a ‘song’.

Personally I believe it’s plagiarism to take a GROOVE and create new lyrical and melodic components over top of it..

IF that’s the case then NO HipHop/Rap song should have to give anyone credit for their ‘interpolations’ (which is much different than sampling – aka you pay someone-like myself for example- to simply perform the four bar section)..

In that case, NO Rock act should be held accountable for ‘stealing licks’ (Led Zeppelin stealing the Blues guys’ stuff, or the Stairway to heaven guitar riffs for example)..

What can be said then about Instrumental tracks (Jazz, soundtracks, etc.) then? The artists/groups can’t or shouldn’t be able to ‘copyright’ a ‘groove’?

Ed’s groove section almost completely sounds EXACTLY like Marvin Gaye’s groove section (especially after you transposed it) and, to me, that’s just not right…

Happy New Years

KDubbs tha Bassist

Naiya - November 1, 2019

We see the same chord progressions in so many pop songs. Pretty sure a four-chord progression isn’t an infringement. Someone with no musical background and no ear shouldn’t be judging this case.

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