There's Only So Many Ways To Combine Chords...

from the so-stop-worrying-about-copying dept

The whole Coldplay/Joe Satriani copyright fight is pretty silly for a a variety of reasons. Yes, there are some similarities, but there's a ton of stuff in music that sounds the same. There's a great chapter in James Boyle's The Public Domain all about Ray Charles' song I Got A Woman, where Boyle goes back in time to show how Charles' song basically copies from a few others (in some cases rather blatantly) in order to effectively invent soul music. Then he moves forward and looks at how others have built off of Charle's song as well. You can read the whole chapter (and, indeed, the whole book) online. The chapter in question is Chapter 6: I Got a Mashup.

Then, of course, many folks have seen the comedian who points out how many songs are based on the same basic progression as Pachelbel's Canon in D:


Along those lines, reader Bill Squire has sent in this similar video about how many songs use the same basic chord progression as Journey's Don't Stop Believing:
And yet, now some people are worried that one musician has come up with a similar song?

Filed Under: chords, humor, music, similarity


Reader Comments

Subscribe: RSS

View by: Time | Thread


  1. identicon
    Bill, 23 Jan 2009 @ 8:11pm

    Re: Rights

    > Until you have the legal or musical background,
    > please stay out of my business.

    Bzzt, wrong answer. Copyright is the business of everyone, not just the domain of elite musicians such as your esteemed self. What is written on this website and millions of others like it is all subject to "copyright." Grandma's recipes are subject to "copyright." The term paper I wrote for college is subject to "copyright." Fair use is subject to copyright and just happens to pertain to everyone.

    Get it?

    As to fair use, which means the guy buying your song, possibly Mike, has fair use rights and expectations on that work, which means you DO NOT have 100% control over the work once it is sold or released.

    BTW, I *am* a musician and a tech guy. Have a nice day.

Add Your Comment

Have a Techdirt Account? Sign in now. Want one? Register here



Subscribe to the Techdirt Daily newsletter




Comment Options:

  • Use markdown. Use plain text.
  • Remember name/email/url (set a cookie)

Follow Techdirt
Techdirt Gear
Shop Now: I Invented Email
Advertisement
Report this ad  |  Hide Techdirt ads
Essential Reading
Techdirt Deals
Report this ad  |  Hide Techdirt ads
Techdirt Insider Chat
Advertisement
Report this ad  |  Hide Techdirt ads
Recent Stories
Advertisement
Report this ad  |  Hide Techdirt ads

Close

Email This

This feature is only available to registered users. Register or sign in to use it.