Friday, July 4, 2008

Led Zeppelin - Claims of Plagiarism

Did Zeppelin Plagiarize? by Anthony Chuinard

Like many other bands that became famous, these musical icons had their share of lawsuits regarding copyright infringements. One of Led Zeppelins song that allegedly copied was their prelude album "Bring it Home". The company that sued them was Chess Records. They did not go on trial. Both parties decided just to have an out of court settlement. However, the bands issue on plagiarism did not end there. They were again confronted with another accusation of copying when their song "Whole Lotta Love" had the same lyrics as the song "You Need Love/Woman You Need Love" by Willie Dixon. Some say that it was supposed to be collaboration between Jimmy Page and Willie Dixon. However, the communication was not that good and resulted to a lawsuit.

In an interview published in Guitar Word. Jimmy page explained that they did try to do the good thing and not copy. The problem was basically lyrics. They had instructed that the lyrics be changed but somehow it did not. The melody was definitely theirs and they only intended to make a better version of the song. I do understand his side of the story. It is actually not a taboo to make a remake of a song and make a better version. I also believe that some of the issues of plagiarism could have been avoided if the promoters and producers have just acknowledged other composers. It would have been nice to give them credit because it was what other composers want, that is to be acknowledged for their contribution.

For more information about Led Zeppelin, and a complete listing of their lyrics, visit Led Zeppelin Lyrics.

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  1. Look, in the world of music, you're bound to "draw inspiration" from existing bodies of work, especially if you're greatly appreciative of a particular artist. It's nice as an artist to put your own spin on a great song or composition, and that's what Led Zeppelin often did. In my opinion, it's their way of paying tribute to some of the greatest artists ever. I wouldn't call it plagiarism.

  2. I call outright theft.

    It's OK to to cover the song, make it better if you can, but you MUST credit the original writer, so they can receive royalties due to them.

    LZ ripped off so many old blues artists that they have zero integrity left.