And the musical litigation continues

Hot on the heels of the court ruling that a descending minor-scale motif in Katy Perry’s song ‘Dark Horse’ infringed a descending minor-scale motif in somebody else’s, comes news of another threatened lawsuit, this time involving Lady Gaga’s song ‘Shallow’. Allegedly this ripped off a three-note progression from a song by an unknown artist whose … More And the musical litigation continues

The obscure word of the week is kugelblitz

This week’s obscure English word is kugelblitz. It’s another word English has outright stolen – it’s the German term for ‘ball lightning’. However, in its appropriated English sense it’s got a different meaning. It’s a physics term referring to a concentration of energy so apocalyptically huge that it distorts the space-time continuum around on itself, … More The obscure word of the week is kugelblitz

All about New Zealand’s amazing giant dead parrot

In the last ten days there have been announcements about two different giant birds that used to live in New Zealand. There’s a human-sized penguin that flourished during the Paleocene – the first age after the dinosaur extinction event – and a one-metre tall parrot that lived some tens of millions of years later in … More All about New Zealand’s amazing giant dead parrot

Katy Perry, Flame and the magic four-chord progression

I’ve been a bit puzzled by the copyright suit that ended the other week in the US. According to the news reports, pop-star Katy Perry’s 2013 hit ‘Dark Horse’ copied a 2008 song featuring Christian rapper Flame, ‘Joyful Noise’. After a four-year court battle, a jury agreed and Perry, her co-authors and her label were … More Katy Perry, Flame and the magic four-chord progression