Inspiration Comes In Many Forms: Did Usher Copy Homer Simpson?

from the wow-wow-wow dept

This one is a bit old, and I had meant to write about it during the holidays, but got busy with some other stuff. However, it’s such an amusing story I can’t resist writing it up, even if it’s a bit late. Apparently, some radio DJs noticed some serious similarities between Usher and’s new song OMG… with a Homer Simpson song from a few years back. Of course, you have to hear it yourself:

Of course, to be fair, this is a really simple song, and there’s at least some chance that these songs were created entirely independently. Alternatively, it wouldn’t be at all surprising to find out that someone had seen this Simpson’s episode and without even remembering it, that little hook got caught in their mind, and was there subconsciously later on.

Either way, the real question should be: does it really matter? I mean, it’s amusing, but is the world any worse off if Usher and did blatantly copy Homer Simpson? Even if you don’t like one song (or the other), copying doesn’t do anything to harm the original, and obviously the Usher song is really quite different in overall tone and intent. The two are hardly competing. When this story first came out, lots of folks were quick to slam Usher and — and it may seem easy to mock them for supposedly copying a cartoon character — but music is all about inspiration and creating and building off of a variety of influences. If one of those influences happens to be Homer Simpson… is that really such a problem?

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Comments on “Inspiration Comes In Many Forms: Did Usher Copy Homer Simpson?”

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Chronno S. Trigger (profile) says:


This has the same lesson as the South Park episode “The Simpsons Already did it”.

“Dude, the Simpsons have done everything already. Who cares?”

“Yeah, and they’ve been on the air for like, thirteen years. Of course they’ve done everything.”

At this point they’ve been around for 22 seasons. If you haven’t ripped off the Simpsons, it just means they haven’t ripped off you yet.

RD says:

The only recourse

The only recourse is to sue Usher into oblivion, obviously. I mean, he STOLE from the creators, so he should pay the price. The law is the law, right? And theft is theft, right? I mean, he didnt just share it, he SOLD this STOLEN song and made money from it! Thats what the local drive-by copyright max super-supporters who comment here support, so he should be SUED to the fullest extent of the law, lose everything, and be put in jail. This is the way the IP maximalists see it, after all.

AJ says:

The only recourse

Agreed… They should also sue all the third parties that had their hand in this. The record companies, the agent, the guy stamping the disk, the guy driving the truck for UPS, the store the plastic disk’s were sold from.. let’s throw in apple as well as you know that junk is selling like hot cakes on on I-Tunes… lets make sure to get em all, LETS GET ALL THE CROOKS IN ONE WHACK!

We then need to spend millions of dollars on crooked politicians so that we can have the laws made even more severe because obviously they aren’t severe enough or this wouldn’t have happened in the first place..

Also: Just in case someone posts any small snippet of either one on you tube, lets toss go ahead and send a pre-emptive C&D……

Scot Brith says:

I see yellow people

Uhh… Somebody here knows Homer Simpson is a fictional character, right? Some guy voices his words, and other somebodies write what he says. In fact, there’s probably a whole two seconds in the credits for that episode dedicated to showing what non-fictional person(s) actually wrote the song. Maybe some other non-fictional person should find out who that was.

Jose_X (profile) says:

Shoe on the other foot

Well, does it make sense that you can mock something serious but you can’t add seriousness to something mocking?

The integrity part comes in if you try to claim credit in general without realizing how much you borrow from society.
“but music is all about inspiration and creating and building off of a variety of influences”

The integrity failure is in trying to deny others access to the work.

Jose_X (profile) says:


If it weren’t for the principle of the First Amendment and liberties in general.. if “freetard” fair use was not created.. the Simpson’s would have been nowhere nears as funny and would have had much less success.

I think you are attacking the Simpsons. I really do.

Now go tell the Supreme Court that freetards have enabled garbage like the Simpsons to exist. Then mention how denying the Simpson’s will promote the progress.

Jose_X (profile) says:


Oh, so now everything that uses a wheel has required little inspiration, huh, because the creators didn’t come up with every part by themselves?

Did you come up with all of the amazing aspects of communication called English? Did you come up with the music and dance? How about the materials and design forming your clothing? How about the technological effects used in the video and music? How about the ideas expressed in the lyrics?

What you are demonstrating is the arrogance of copyright law (and patent law) supporters. That failure of analysis leads them to anger when they suspect anyone got a whiff of what they created, but they totally fail to see how much their own work is but an amalgamation of pieces that they have experienced from others and worked their way into their thinking.

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