Thursday, 2 May 2013

In Court with John Fogerty

America has a reputation as a ridiculously and over-zealously litigious society. Writs apparently fly around like confetti.

Whether the reputation is justified or not is beside the point. Some of the ridiculous lawsuits that have been filed in America are plain laughable.

John Fogerty, of Creedence Clearwater Revival fame, found himself in the docks defending himself against a plagiarism charge in 1985. John had just released a new solo album called "Centerfield" and had a hit heading to the top of the charts called "The Old Man Down The Road". He was then sued by a music publisher, alleging John ripped off a song that the publisher owns the copyright to.

"And so he should", I hear you say. "You can't blatantly rip off another song and call it your own." The problem is, the lawsuit alleges that "The Old Man Down The Road" rips off "Run Through The Jungle" by Creedence Clearwater Revival - a song that John Fogarty wrote 15 years earlier!

So in short, John Fogerty was sued for writing a song that sounded too much like another song that he had previously written. Thankfully the jury in the case allowed common sense to prevail and upheld the composer's right to compose music that sounds like himself.

Have a listen to the two tracks back to back and judge for yourself.

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