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Music Trivia -> Song Lawsuits -> Index

Songs that have resulted in lawsuits, either for lyrics or for borrowing too much of the music.

Other Pages: A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z Misc.

Latest Entries

The 20 most recent entries are listed below. There are 59 entries in this section.

"The Old Man Down The Road," John Fogerty
The Fantasy Records label's tyrant, the evil Saul Zaentz, claimed (falsely!) that "The Old Man Down The Road," from John Fogerty's album "Centerfield," shared too much of its refrain with "Run Through The Jungle," one of Fogerty's selections as leader of Creedence Clearwater Revival, to which Zaentz had bullied Fogerty into forfeiting the copyright as a condition of releasing him from his label contract. Zaentz litigated against Fogerty, in a petition titled "Fantasy Incorporated V. Fogerty," but Fogerty won that case. Fogerty then cross-petitioned against Zaentz, seeking the costs of his successful defense against Fantasy Incorporated's original petition; in 1993, the U.S. Supreme Court overturned lower-court rulings, and Fogerty won outright.
Parker Gabriel
"Their Entire Song Library," Mark Holmes (Platinum Blonde)
I don't know the specific details but Sony/BMG branch was caught up in a payola scandal so Mark went after them for control of Platinum Blonde's music catalog.
Celeste
"How Many More Times," Led Zeppelin
This song, from Led Zeppelin's first LP (1969) is a total ripoff of Howlin' Wolf's No Place To Go. Wolf sued and eventually won, belatedly getting his songwriting royalties. Zeppelin later stole credit for a Willie Dixon song on their second album. They were a great band but that doesn't excuse this kind of theft.
Jeffrey
"Everywhere," Tim McGraw
In 2007, songwriter James Martinez filed a $20 million dollar lawsuit against McGraw, Reid and Wiseman. The suit alleges that the singer lifted “Everywhere” from a tape containing Martinez' original track "Anytime, Anywhere Amanda." Martinez provided the tape to the same songwriters who wrote the song "Everywhere" for McGraw's 1997 album of the same name. The suit alleges that McGraw and other defendants internationally released and distributed the “Everywhere” album containing their infringing copies of a song substantially similar to the Martinez's song. McGraw's attorneys stated that they are confident the case will be dismissed altogether, and described the allegations as being "totally without merit."
harderman
"I Feel Like Dying," Lil Wayne
Lil Wayne used a sample of Karma's "Once" without permission even though it was never on any profitted release.
Mitchell
"Snoopy vs. The Red Baron," The Royal Guardsmen
Though Charles Schulz of "Peanuts" fame let The Royal Guardsmen make more songs about Snoopy, he and United Features Syndicate actually sued The Royal Guardsmen for using Snoopy without permission. Though Charlie Brown loses baseball games...he can sure win a Lawsuit!
Paul Warren
"De Do Do Do, De Da Da Da," The Police
A TV ad promoting the electronic toy SIMON featured a band that was a direct rip-off of the Police. The singer's voice was a dead ringer for Sting and the band was playing a commercial ditty that had a Police-like pop-reggae sound and a chorus chant that went, "Dah doo dah doo, dah doo dah doo". Too much an imitation of the 1980-1981 hit "De do do do De da da da". Needless to say the shit soon hit the fan and the TV ad was taken off and some sort of settlement was made with the Police. I first saw this TV commercial during the autumn of 1983 and it was blantanly obvious that it was soon going to be Lawsuit City.
Every Breath You Take, I'll Be Suing You
"Standing Outside the Fire," Garth Brooks
Brooks and songwriting partner Jenny Yates were among those sued by songwriter and musician Guy Thomas. Thomas accused Brooks and Yates of stealing some of the melody to "Standing Outside the Fire" from a hit song he wrote with Kenny Loggins, "Conviction of the Heart", which appeared on his Leap of Faith CD. Even though Loggins co-wrote the song, he didn't take part in the lawsuit. It was settled out of court.
Sutch
"Oh Me So Horny," 2 Live Crew
Broward County police hauled in 2Live Crew into court because the album As Nasty As They Want To Be was banned in Broward County Florida due to its obscene lyrical content. But the case and Broward County's anti-obscenity laws were struck down and thrown out because the song was protected under free speech.
Celeste
"Fight Test," The Flaming Lips
The melody and chord progression during the verses as well as the chorus of Fight Test (2003) by the Flaming Lips are nearly identical to that of Father and Son (1970) by Cat Stevens. Fight Test has a faster tempo, but the melody is right there. After a non-contentious suit between record companies, both the Flaming Lips and Cat Stevens (Yusuf Islam) are receiving royalties.
bromosexual
"Xanadu," Electric Light Orchestra feat Olivia Newton John
During a radio interview (King Biscuit Flower Hour?) in the 80s, Jeff Lynne mentioned a lawsuit about satanic backmasking. He didn't give many details, other than he lost the suit and it involved his vocal performance coaching of Olivia. He refused to discuss the matter and told the interviewer that the details were in Variety magazine.
Jim
"Black Hole Sun," Soundgarden
This 1994 grunge hit was a big hit for Soundgarden in 2006 it was ruined by Peter Frampton by March 1996 synth legends The Moog Cookbook covered it
Karl 1332
"Pretty Woman," 2 Live Crew
The rap group was sued by the owners of Roy Orbison's song "Oh, Pretty Woman" for copyright infringement. 2 Live Crew won because the song was a parody.
dxman
"The Band's Name," Nirvana
In 1992, The U.K. Band from the 60's also named Nirvana filed a lawsuit against Kurt Cobain's Nirvana. The case ended with both bands calling themselves Nirvana and both Nirvana bands were to release "Nirvana Sings Nirvana", but it was shelved once Kurt Cobain died.
Paul Warren
"Business Sh*t," Beatles
I'm surprised this wasn't mentioned already. I watched the Beatles Anthology miniseries on ABC-TV (Ay-Beatle-Cee, geddit?). When their manager was found dead in a hotel the Fab 4 took on the management duties on TOP of all the stressful pressures they already had. There were several business enterprises such as Apple Corps Ltd. and their new record label Apple. The Beatles were very naive about business matters and later on they hired Allen Klein to straighten out the mess. When the burnt out superstars split up the business situation was in an extremely horrible shape. Lawsuits between Klein and the Beatles were filed back and forth. It took about 5 years just to get the band legally disbanded. Then the Apple Corps mess and more troubles with the distributor record labels took years to settle. The Fabs repeatedly referred to this legal madness as "that business sh*t".
We Can Work It Out
"Land Down Under," Men At Work
Almost thirty years after the song was released, it was found that in a musical interlude that it used certain chords from the children's song 'Kookaburra'. How they didn't notice it before I'll never know, but I'll never look at the song the same way again.
WhyBother
"Boulevard of Broken Dreams," Green Day
Oasis sued because they claimed that Green Day added new lyrics to their song, "Wonderwall". P.S. I'm surprised this isn't on here already.
JeReMy
"Girlfriend," Avril Lavigne
The Rubinoos sued Lavigne for incorporating certain lyrics of their song "I Wanna Be Your Boyfriend" in her song "Girlfriend." The case was eventually settled.
dxman
"Come As You Are," Nirvana
In 1993, Killing Joke sued Nirvana for incorporating the riff for the song "Eighties" for the song "Come As You Are." The lawsuit was dropped after Kurt Cobain's death.
dxman
"8 Way Santa (Album)," Tad
Ask Seattle grunge conisseurs at the turn of the '90s who they thought would break through to the mainstream and Tad would come up a hell lot more than Nirvana, Soundgarden or Alice In Chains. This was all geared up to be as groundbreaking as Nevermind or Jar of Flies, but it was banned due to the photo on the cover, of a couple in a photograph bought at a garage sale. As expected, lawsuits went a-flyin' and Tad were never heard from again...
Jakko Wakko

Other Pages: A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z Misc.

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