LINK: Why People Keep Plagiarizing Tom Petty

Adam Ragusea explains it in Slate today.

Sam Smith’s Stay With Me is an irritating faux gospel falsetto pop ballad that Tom Petty and Jeff Lynne now have writing credits on.

You be the judge:

UPDATE: Tom Petty released a statement about this.

OTHER UPDATE: Later in the day, after this post, I posted about another song called Stay With Me, by the Chin-Chins, without even connecting the two. Now they’re connected.

5 thoughts on “LINK: Why People Keep Plagiarizing Tom Petty

  1. Adam Ragusea is right. There are dozens who could sue Tom Petty on this basis. The more I think about it the more I think that there should be no such thing as “intellectual property.” There is nowhere to draw the line, not in any sensible sense, in the Universal Information Age. I am open to opposing views.

    I can’t believe that Petty uses “my fans made me do it” when in fact it’s strictly business, and nakedly parasitic business at that. Me, I loved American Girl and I like a few other Petty songs but he’s a journeyman with a good ear. The Nick Swisher of rocknroll.

    • I think you need intellectual property laws, to limit the wholesale copying of original material, but the current term of control (like forever, basically) is ridiculous and counterproductive. Increasingly, creative works are made as works for hire, and the corporate hiring company takes control of the copyright by paying its fee, thus transforming itself into the creator.

      That copyright control is extra valuable because it’s exploitable for such a long time, a good that the actual creator is generally not appropriately paid for.

  2. Think you are underestimating Petty, who has a terrific band and is a great live performer. And, he has written a lot of really great songs. I think more Craig Biggio-like.

    Plus, he plays a major part in the novel i wrote as a master’s thesis.

    i suspect these guys subliminally copied (“my sweet lord:), but it was Petty who was plagiarized, no?

  3. Ragusea’s point is that the things in Petty’s songs that have been plagiarized are so simple and elemental that it is awfully hard to avoid them. The video shows that the two songs are very similar, if you change the tempos and the pitches of both songs, which is why Smith relented right away, handing over a lot of royalties to Petty and Lynne. But the songs don’t sound alike in any way, which should count for something, too, no?

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