View Full Version : Someone is complaining...

01-14-2011, 05:43 AM

Britney has a new single out, "Hold It Against Me," but David Bellamy of the Bellamy Brothers is complaining because his group released a similar title back in 1979, "If I Said You Have a Beautiful Body Would You Hold It Against Me."

Who cares! It is quite stupid to make a big deal out of this. C'mon, we all know that we have to work with our limited letters and words in our language. Of course, a lot of words have been used before, and then to reuse, but it is obviously not a rip. These days, it is tougher to write a perfectly new song, because just about everything has been taken already.

This guy, David, was saying how unoriginal it was... Just because a new song just happens to be similar does not automatically make it unoriginal. It could be original to the song writer(s).

So.. Discuss. Do anyone think the guy has a chance with legal action against Britney?

I do not see people crying about Christmas songs being remade into different styles by different persons.

01-14-2011, 06:30 AM
Intellectual property rights and arguements over same vs similiar vs sounds alike in the music industry are hot topics. Many times artists, it seems to me, are compelled to file borderline suits to protect themselves beacause if they do not then they may loose their rights to a particular work in the future. From the articles I have read in the past it is a very strange and arcane area of law. I don't have to think hard to understand why.

Some music is considered to be "in the public domain" and most is not. Songs that are I understand are free to use by anybody and everybody.

Legitimate suit...Maybe. Silly to the nth degree...definitely.

01-14-2011, 06:45 AM
I think the Bellamy Brothers have no case. They took a popular joke and made a song out of it. Now, they're trying to claim that this gives them the intellectual rights to the joke.

01-14-2011, 08:47 AM
I do not see people crying about Christmas songs being remade into different styles by different persons.

Thunder, when someone re-imagines or re-orchestrates an already-published song, they PAY for the rights to do so, and EVERY TIME that re-imagined song is played on the radio, or that song is played in a concert, the ORIGINAL songwriters, and/or publishers get PAID royalties for that.

For example, I just saw a PINK concert the other night on Palladia. She sang "Bohemian Rhapsody" by Queen. Even though she did it in her own style in her own way (quite well, by the way), it is still a QUEEN song. The venue that housed that performance had to pay a fee to the publishers for that song. It is written into the artist contrat.

Most performance venues and radio stations, etc. pay annual license fees to the publishing houses to play those songs within the publishing houses' song catalogues.The leading publishing house where MOST songs are copyrighted in the US is ASCAP/BMI. There are a few others, but their holdings are not quite as strong.

Let's say Pink were to come to the the OKC Arena. Even if Pink plays songs written only by her, the VENUE still has to pay the publishing house that holds the rights to those songs.

This system ensures that the original songwriters continue to get paid their respective royalties even though they no longer perform, or in the case of those people who are ONLY songwriters, and not performers at all, that they are compensated.

Here's another example: ELVIS. Even though he is long-dead (or is he?), every time one of his songs is played on the radio, duing a movie, in a movie in which he has acted, in a commercial (every time that commercial airs), or is played live during a concert, the publishing group that holds the rights to his songs, gets paid. That money then goes to his estate.

Song publishing can be lucrative business.

As earlier noted, some published works are in the public domain - books, songs, etc. Other are not. Many Christmas carols are in the public domain because of how old they are. Others are not.

Songwriters deserve to be paid for their work, even long after the fact.

When another artist takes a specific riff, or even main lyric line from another song to put it in his or her own song, they are crossing a very fine line of intellectual property. In essence, it can be considered "theft." So when someone says "they stole my song," they may have a case.

I haven't looked into this case in particular, but in general, this is how the business is supposed to work.

This is why sampling was so controversial when it first hit the airways in the 80s. Actual tracks from existing songs were getting inserted into other songs and the original artists weren't getting compensated.

01-14-2011, 08:48 AM
Music and entertainment law can be a very arcane and almost smoke ane mirrors kind of deal. You never really know for sure what is what.

01-14-2011, 09:32 AM
You can't copyright titles, so if it's just the title, Bellamy should go away. However, if she does sample the song itself or her song sounds similar enough to theirs, then Bellamy might have a case. George Harrison's "My Sweet Lord" was so similar (apparently unintentionally) to the Chiffons' "He's So Fine" that he lost a lawsuit over it, and that's just one of many cases. Haven't heard Britney's song or the Bellamy Bros' song, so don't really know about this one, but as has been said, it can be quite messy dealing with music litigation...

01-14-2011, 11:20 AM
From what I understand, the only similarity between the Bellamy Bros. song and Britney Spears' song is this one line: "If I said I want your body now, would you hold it against me?" That line was old even before the Bellamy Bros. song...heck, where do you think they got it in the first place? They didn't originate the line, therefore they don't own it, IMHO.

01-14-2011, 11:20 AM
Thanks for the posts, sure is interesting. Just got up here, so I will come back later.

01-14-2011, 04:04 PM
Instead of being grouches about it, they ought to be more Groucho about it.