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 Posted:   Jul 26, 2013 - 5:24 PM   
 By:   Shaun Rutherford   (Member)

the "Gladiator" thing really caught me off guard. i'm guessing the Holst estate never heard "Gunfight Montage" from Silvestri's great score "The Quick and the Dead"?

There could be a whole thread of scores that were based around "Mars." Hell, even Tin Cup used it!

 
 
 Posted:   Jul 26, 2013 - 6:05 PM   
 By:   dan the man   (Member)

TO ANABEL BOYER- Love that remark-------- PHILLIPE SARDE tried to sue himself many times. Of course if he suffered the way SYBIL did it would be understandable.

 
 Posted:   Jul 26, 2013 - 6:36 PM   
 By:   Justin Boggan   (Member)

For a few years there every Christmas we were getting TV commercial music that was clearly cribbing a certain Elfman score. I remember Elfman in an interview stating something to the affect he would sue anybody who did that. I don't know if he ever brought any cases.


The Holst estate could make a living off of just suing people for using Mars, Bringer of War. If they really knew just how much it was used.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uH1PLjWZIvs

 
 
 Posted:   Jul 26, 2013 - 7:18 PM   
 By:   dan the man   (Member)

With some artists it is flattering to have your music or creative endeavor used by others. We of course have heard this many times over the years. There would be nothing more depressing that to have done a creative venture where nobody would care to used it.Don't get me wrong of course it is not right, but the sensitive mind of a artist is another issue. Of course one might draw the line if suddenly you see pieces of your film inserted in porn films out of SOUTH KOREA[HA-HA] Unless of course they use your face and insert a well endowed actor for the lower part of the body[HA-HA-HA]

 
 
 Posted:   Jul 26, 2013 - 8:03 PM   
 By:   ronei666   (Member)

there is the case of francis lai's love story being sued as a plagiarism of Stelvio Cipriani's Anonimo Veneziano

 
 Posted:   Jul 26, 2013 - 8:09 PM   
 By:   Mr Greg   (Member)

The Holst estate could make a living off of just suing people for using Mars, Bringer of War. If they really knew just how much it was used.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uH1PLjWZIvs


They are really quite knowledgeable about these things...and there are at least two people who are closely associated with the estate that are bigger score-geeks than I will ever be...I'm sure that pretty little gets past them...but if I were in their position I would pick my "fights" sensibly.

 
 
 Posted:   Jul 26, 2013 - 8:23 PM   
 By:   Eugene Iemola   (Member)

And then there's the old chestnut about our friend Franz Waxman, composer of Bride of Frankenstein, writing a short note to old Richard Rogers of South Pacific circa 1949, and remarking how similar the first 6 notes of Bali Ha'i were to his theme for the female creature.

Settled like gentlemen, I believe.

 
 
 Posted:   Jul 26, 2013 - 8:31 PM   
 By:   pp312   (Member)

Miklos Rozsa sued over Walter Schumann's use of Rozsa's "The Killers" motif in the opening bars of Schumann's "Dragnet" theme. Both composers were at Universal. The march section of Schumann's "Dragnet" theme first appeared (at least the germ of it) in his score to the 1947 picture THE WISTFUL WIDOW OF WAGON GAP.

Not quite right. According to Rozsa: "I didn't sue--the publisher sued."

 
 
 Posted:   Jul 26, 2013 - 8:39 PM   
 By:   Sean   (Member)

Can James Horner sue himself? He must love double jeopardy.

cool

 
 
 Posted:   Jul 26, 2013 - 9:15 PM   
 By:   Doug Raynes   (Member)

The Holst estate could make a living off of just suing people for using Mars, Bringer of War. If they really knew just how much it was used.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uH1PLjWZIvs


They are really quite knowledgeable about these things...and there are at least two people who are closely associated with the estate that are bigger score-geeks than I will ever be...I'm sure that pretty little gets past them...but if I were in their position I would pick my "fights" sensibly.


As I said before, Holst's music became out of copyright in 2004.

 
 Posted:   Jul 26, 2013 - 9:52 PM   
 By:   SchiffyM   (Member)

So what about parody? Can a composer parody a theme and get away with it? Like Richard Band did with Psycho theme for Re-animator? Great interpretation smile

Parody is protected by US law, but getting away with using somebody else's work is not as simple as just saying "this is a parody." There are specific rules about what makes one thing a parody and another thing not. The word lawyers often use is that the new work, to be a parody, must be "transformative" of the original work. What does that mean? Basically, the new work has to comment on the the original one.

Famously, a few years ago, somebody wrote a novel that retold "Gone With the Wind" from the perspective of one of Scarlett O'Hara's slaves. The publisher of the original sued, but the court ruled that the new work was protected as parody, because it commented on, rather than simply exploited, the original. On the other hand, if you made a parody of the Anthony Weiner controversy using Mickey and Minnie Mouse to portray the Weiners, Disney would likely sue you and win, because the thing being commented on was the Weiners and not the Mouses. (Your lawyer would likely argue that you were using the Weiners to somehow comment on Disney films, and it would be up to the court to judge the merits of that argument.)

I have never seen "Re-animator," but if somebody chose to sue over the use of the Herrmann theme, the producers of the film would have to argue that their use of the Herrmann theme was somehow commenting on, and thus parodying, the "Psycho" film or score. The composer/filmmakers might also argue that, though the Herrmann theme was an obvious influence, they had changed it enough to make it an original work. And then it becomes a judgement call on the part of the court.

 
 Posted:   Jul 27, 2013 - 2:40 AM   
 By:   Basil Wrathbone   (Member)

.

 
 
 Posted:   Jul 27, 2013 - 8:02 AM   
 By:   jenkwombat   (Member)

Considering there are only 12 notes to work with, it would seem to me that just by the laws of nature and limitation, songs and compositions would just eventually start sounding alike, intentional or not. And given how many people aspire to write music, I'm surprised there aren't non-stop plagiarism lawsuits going on in the life of every composer by now.

 
 Posted:   Jul 27, 2013 - 8:13 AM   
 By:   SchiffyM   (Member)

Considering there are only 12 notes to work with, it would seem to me that just by the laws of nature and limitation, songs and compositions would just eventually start sounding alike, intentional or not. And given how many people aspire to write music, I'm surprised there aren't non-stop plagiarism lawsuits going on in the life of every composer by now.

Because it's not as easy as some seem to think to win such a lawsuit, for exactly the reasons you cite. Plagiarism is not defined as a certain number of notes in a row, but a substantial similarity in composition. Bringing a lawsuit is expensive. You want to be pretty sure you have a case.

 
 Posted:   Jul 27, 2013 - 8:17 AM   
 By:   WILLIAMDMCCRUM   (Member)

is YOR go to sue someone?


You know ROY, the Vegetarian from the Past? He no ever invite Yor to dinner. They have issues.

 
 Posted:   Jul 27, 2013 - 8:23 AM   
 By:   WILLIAMDMCCRUM   (Member)

And then there's the old chestnut about our friend Franz Waxman, composer of Bride of Frankenstein, writing a short note to old Richard Rogers of South Pacific circa 1949, and remarking how similar the first 6 notes of Bali Ha'i were to his theme for the female creature.

Settled like gentlemen, I believe.





But there's also the famous tale of Waxman's playing a part of 'A Place in the Sun' to Shostakovich on the latter's visit to Waxman's home for one of the festivals, well attested by Waxman's son. Shosty was supposedly stunned by the similarity to one of his own passages. No-one remotely assumes he could've heard Waxman's piece.

Which only proves that these things happen spontaneously.

 
 
 Posted:   Jul 27, 2013 - 10:53 AM   
 By:   TerraEpon   (Member)

There's at least two pieces by Mozart which sound like things (famous works) that Beethoven later wrote, however it's pretty much universally agreed Beethoven couldn't have heard them.

 
 Posted:   Jul 27, 2013 - 11:00 AM   
 By:   solium   (Member)

Considering there are only 12 notes to work with.

Why are there only 12 notes? Can't you make new notes? Is that all we can hear? Can instruments only play 12 different notes? I'm serious I really don't know. I can Google it but maybe someone has an easy answer.

 
 
 Posted:   Jul 27, 2013 - 11:12 AM   
 By:   Octoberman   (Member)

Considering there are only 12 notes to work with.

Why are there only 12 notes? Can't you make new notes? Is that all we can hear? Can instruments only play 12 different notes? I'm serious I really don't know. I can Google it but maybe someone has an easy answer.



For years Wendy Carlos has experimented with different temperments and tunings and some of her CD's have songs that were performed in this way. But when I try to get into even just the basics of musical theory my brain starts to hurt so I can't be more specific than that. My grey matter just don't work that way, I guess!

 
 Posted:   Jul 27, 2013 - 11:32 AM   
 By:   Stephen Woolston   (Member)

It seems to me this thread has de-railed.

The question was: WAS A COMPOSER EVER SUED?

Not: DID TWO PIECES OF MUSIC EVER SOUND ALIKE?

LOTS, yes, LOTS of film music can be tracked back to influences in classical music. Holst's THE PLANETS pops up as an inspiration in LOTS of places. Even HANDS OF THE RIPPER has similarities in parts.

But, there is a HUGE difference between an inspiration, a similarity and PLAGIARISM.

Let's get back to the question: WAS A COMPOSER EVER SUED?

 
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