Copyrights and Music: Intentional Copying or Subliminal Suggestion?

Who says the world of intellectual property can’t be fun?  For a quick summer read, check out Tim English’s recent book Sounds Like Teen Spirit:  Stolen Melodies, Ripped-Off Riffs, and the Secret History of Rock and Roll.  You may have heard of the similarities between (and lawsuits relating to) songs by George Harrison and the Chiffons; The Verve and the Rolling Stones; or even the current action between Avril Lavigne and the Rubinoos about Lavigne’s latest hit single “Girlfriend”.  However, did you know where that famous opening guitar solo from Stairway to Heaven can find its origin?   Do the similarities show that copying occurred, or was it just a subliminal suggestion in the songwriter’s mind?

Bring your MP3 player and the book on your summer vacation and compare the songs yourself.  You can also check out a few sound bite comparisons and an interesting interview with Tim English in the July 19 episode of the Coverville podcast.  (Thanks, Brian for the tip about the book!)

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