A recent post on this blog discussed litigation that has erupted between an Australian song-writing team and several major music stars in the United States that many fans in Kansas and Missouri have been following. It seems another battle has arisen on the music front this week. Elizabeth Woolridge Grant, known on stage as Lana Del Rey has come out fighting, saying she intends to resolve the copyright law problem she is having with Radiohead in court.
Del Rey’s fans are familiar with a hit song she used to close out one of her most recent albums. The song is called “Get Free,” and English rock band Radiohead cried foul, saying Del Rey’s song is far too similar to its own hit, “Creep.” A copyright lawsuit has been filed, with Del Rey letting it be known that she thinks it’s outrageous of Radiohead to demand 100 percent publishing rights to her song.
She said her offer of 40 percent was more than fair as it included the possibility to remove the song from future physical copies of her album. A spokesperson for Radiohead’s publishers added to the confusion of the situation by claiming that no formal lawsuit was ever filed and that Radiohead’s intent has always been to settle out of court. The publishing rep also stated that Del Rey’s claim that Radiohead demanded 100 percent publishing rights is false.
A copyright law analyst who was consulted about the ongoing dispute says there are chord progression similarities in the two songs, but that it is not legally enforceable for infringement. He also noted, however, that if melody is the central focus, then Del Rey may have a problem. Any Kansas and Missouri musicians facing similar copyright disputes will likely want to arm themselves with aggressive legal representation before heading to court.
Source: vulture.com, “Making Sense of Radiohead’s Nonsensical Copyright Dispute With Lana Del Rey“, Dee Lockett, Jan. 11, 2018