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

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

All about copyright and why You Tube disclaimers are wrong

I am intrigued by ‘disclaimers’ at the bottom of some You Tube videos, insisting ‘no copyright infringement intended’ and that copyright ‘remains with the holder’. Such statements reveal a profound ignorance of what copyright is – and how it’s breached. I’ve done quite a bit of professional work in this field, though what I’m about … More All about copyright and why You Tube disclaimers are wrong

Writers’ rights with Moral Rights – a quick guide

A reader asked the other week what ‘Moral Right’ meant. It’s an interesting area for writers. Moral right differs from copyright. You own copyright on anything you create, by default. The copyright holder, alone, has the right to copy the work, but also has the power to grant a license to others to do so. When … More Writers’ rights with Moral Rights – a quick guide

Naming real people in your writing – by request

A reader recently asked me about naming people in memoirs. An interesting dilemna that hits most writers somewhere along the line – even novelists. Jack Kerouac was kicked over On the Road, even though he changed the names. The descriptions sufficed. Here’s my take. First off, a disclaimer. I am not a solicitor. I cannot be held … More Naming real people in your writing – by request