Friday, June 24, 2016

"Stairway to Heaven" on trial

Maybe you saw yesterday's headlines:

(In order, those were from the Hollywood Reporter, Rolling Stone, and the Seattle Times, .)

But do you really understand what the fuss is about? Spend a few minutes with Professor Sean O'Connor, an expert in intellectual property and, not incidentally, a rock guitarist. If not with Prof. O'Connor himself, spend a few minutes reading his blog post, Why “Stairway to Heaven” Doesn’t Infringe “Taurus” Copyright: analysis & demo of “scenes a faire” motif common to both (June 15), and watch and listen to his video clips walking you through the riffs. And you don't get just the litigated bits of "Taurus" and "Stairway to Heaven"—the tunes in the lawsuit—there are also bonus tracks of "Michelle" and "Time in a Bottle" (just enough to show a chromatic descending line and keep you humming the rest of the day).

One of Prof. O'Connor's video clips.

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