Plagiarism: Thom Yorke has gastritis and Lana del Rey reasons


Every year there is at least one big case of plagiarism that everyone talks about. This time it arrived fast. Radiohead sued Lana del Rey, arguing that the song "Get Free" (2017) by this artist replicates the iconic "Creep" (1992).

Radiohead sued * Lana del Rey for her song "Get Free" (2017) alleging that plagiarized the melody of "Creep" (1992).

(* Lana del Rey says they sued her, Warner / Chapell released a statement denying this, they can compare the two songs here)

These discussions of similarity always have conflicting positions.

The plaintiff sees everything the same,
those who defend themselves claim originality.

The discourse is always the same and equally the two sides can be right.

It's simple: if you do your own work, you develop it with your own creativity and come up with a solution that reflects it is an original work. With that, it should be enough. With that we could defend ourselves.

Different thing is to take someone else's work and publish it as such; or build on this work (build little) and take it all as your own.

What I want to highlight here is that in these cases each of the parties has an "accurate" perspective. Radiohead can see that "Get Free" is similar to "Creep" and Lana del Rey says he wrote it without being inspired by that song.

What do we have left then?

To argue that it was a subject of "unconscious inspiration" like George Harrisón round. The Chiffons?

Continue reading Plagiarism: Thom Yorke has gastritis and Lana del Rey reasons

Yes there are royalties for composers in the digital age


Composers can receive royalties for the digital use of their songs ... and it's no longer a science fiction thing.

A few weeks ago we were giving a workshop on royalties in music inCreative Space Locus in the company of Association of the GEA music industry.At some point I said that I "paid to see" if the collective management societies in Colombia knew something about digital royalties.

And so. I went to ask them. They answered ... and they do know.

The subject is complicated but it can be digested like this:

  • Every time someone creates a song they become its author and the owner of certain exclusive rights.
  • These rights may have economic content (property rights);
  • Each time the song is copied, publicly reproduced (among other things) the author / owner receives a remuneration.
  • It does not receive the compensation directly. The normal thing is that a collective management society charges for him / her and then pays him / her.

So far the story is normal.

Public communication and phonomechanical royalties

Take for example a song by Tor Erik Hermansen and Mikkel Storleer Eriksen (production duo)Stargate) as "Too good at goodbyes":

Continue reading Yes there are royalties for composers in the digital age

A matter of synchrony


Synchronization as a concept is fundamental for any audiovisual piece when it comes to music.

Label: CopyrightSynchronization is the act of adding music to a piece of content. Generally audiovisual content, but recently the growth of the video game industry has made this segment equally important. That's why we can not talk about movies or TV alone. The placement of a song in Fifa can make the difference of doing a world tour or not ... ask ChocQuibTown (Fifa '11).

The rules are simple:

  1. You have to have an audiovisual content or a video game and it needs music to accompany it.
  2. You have to define what song (and in which version) you want to synchronize.
  3. You must have the authorization of the owner of the economic rights of the musical work.
  4. You must also have the authorization of the owner of the related economic rights as a phonographic producer, on the phonogram (the recording).


That the rules are simple does not mean that they are easy to apply.

Defining what music should accompany the piece is a science in itself. The needs of the project must be understood, what the song contributes, what atmosphere it should generate, etc.

That all parties accept that the synchronization occurs (beyond the price) can be a nightmare if the authors are multiple or do not know who are the owners. You must have everyone's authorization to use the piece. Everybody. It is not always so clear.

The holders of both are paid. Of the composition, on the one hand and the phonogram, on the other.

They do not always coincide. Mentally we believe that all the music we hear is sung and composed by the same people. Nothing more false. An initial analysis leads to surprises like that neither Adele always composes her own songs ("Send My Love (To Your New Lover)" was written by Adele, Max Martin and Shellback).

As for phonograms, in the era of artists without labels, those usually do coincide. The independent artist owns his phonogram, controls it and must give approval.

The important thing is to have the process clear and ask the parties to accept.

PS: Does the theater also apply this? Well ... I would not see why not, but apart from the musical theater, I have not seen the first theater director who deigns to ask.

Related concepts

Music publishers.Managers of musical repertoire. They usually control the musical work and (depending on the contract) they look for opportunities to synchronize it.

Synchronization agencies. Companies responsible for bringing together the supply and demand of musical content for audiovisual projects. They can control the musical work and the phonogram, and (depending on the contract) they look for opportunities to synchronize them or have a close relationship with the music publishers.

Music supervisor. The person in charge of finding what musical content is adapted to the creative piece in question.

From Orson Welles to Yuya

orson welles

If something more tangled the YouTubers is the treatment of the audiovisual work. The audiovisual work as conceived in the norms is a work that necessarily is carried out by several people.

Label: CopyrightAll these rules, in their beginning were covering the space of which an audiovisual, cinematographic work was a cumbersome work to do.
Orson Welles I would agree.

In the definitions it includes that it is also created to be able to project it; in our case, in YouTube, the platform that means (streaming on-demand).

So far, all normal.

The rules come to describe that the authors of the cinematographic work are multiple, so the director, the author of the script, the one of the music and the drawers (if it were of animation) are authors; but (and here he is but big) the patrimonial rights are of the producer.
There Yuya I would not agree.

The mess is that if one deals with the audiovisual work, necessarily as a collective work is obviating the fact that at this moment everyone has a smartphone in the pocket, that a video can be made by a single person - who is both director, producer, protagonist, editor, screenwriter and all the roles imaginable - fulfills all the roles of production and creation associated with the work.

What is deviant is the collective work label.

Clear. These rules were written to make movies, and to avoid the most problems of interpretation when many intervene. But it was not conceivable that one (1) would fulfill all the roles.
I bet that was not in the plans.

For the inkwell: under the multi-tasking scheme of today's audio-visual projects, it would be worthwhile to leave the roles clear and balance the percentages of exploitation. The normative standard model will continue to apply; but there is room for new, more equitable and contemporary remuneration schemes; there is room for production from the creative to the production from the production. Everybody will see.


Colombian and community standards

Definition of an audiovisual work: "creations expressed through a series of associated images, with or without incorporated sound, which are intended essentially to be displayed through projection devices or by any other means of public communication of image and sound" (Law 23 of 1982, Art 8, Decision 351 of the Commission of the Agreement of Cartagena, Art 3, Pérez de Castro, 2001, P. 24)

(...) "susceptible of becoming visible and, if accompanied by sounds, susceptible of becoming audible" (460 Decree 1995, Art 23, lit. f).

Photo gallery


The errors of the scenic representation contract

Scenic representation

This article is going to be technical. A remote control diatribe; But follow me. The Colombian legislation speaks of the stage representation contract ... but 30 * years later, it continues with the same error since the day it was written.

Label: CopyrightWe present the culprit:

"23 1982 Law. CHAPTER IX - " Contract of representation - Article 139º.- The contract of representation is that by which the actor Of a dramatic, dramatic-musical, choreographic or of any similar kind, authorizes an entrepreneur to have it represented in public in return for an enumeration. "
(Underline text)

 There are many things that are wrong with that article.

One that says "actor" Where should i say "Author"… I should even say "holder". The correct wording should be:

The representation contract is one by which the holder Of a work (...) authorizes an employer to have it represented in public in exchange for an enumeration.

Have that to me.

But another is the misfortune of baptizing the contract with the word representation ... without saying a representation of what. Without specifying that it was the exercise of the patrimonial right of representation; And not the ability to represent someone - which is essentially a mandate.

Of course, there was no other, it is the clearest and there is nothing to do. But it generates problems in the industry. The managers Know that management Are of artistic representation, but because they once heard something insist that it can not be called "representation". The management is a mandate, burdensome and atypical in many of its clauses (that we discussed another day). It further complicates managers... and that it is already difficult to explain exactly what they do.

That says "actor" and not "Author"Or"holder"Is vital. Confused, leads to explain an unnecessary matter. Something will have been said about the subject, right?

… do not[1].

In the jurisprudence of the constitutional court there is no mention. In that of the Supreme Court of Justice either.

The books of doctrine copyright neither reviewed you ... and nothing.

This article interests me because it shows that the theatrical environment is not well known by lawyers - and less lawmakers. That the law regulating copyright in Colombia is of the year 1983, and has had two major interventions - in 1993 and 2012 - ... and no one noticed this error; Or better, no one considered that should be corrected.

It shows that legal inaccuracies may not have as many consequences; But a creative medium like the theater deserves to have its rules in order. Let the dramatists know how the contract is called with which they can authorize their work to be assembled and represented.

The following articles are well, and do apply; The 10% of the box office (supplementary) is the market average. But the right of stage representation should be a right to perform theatrical assembly; And the theatrical assembly should be understood as a new protection object or a derivative of the dramatic text.

That the article is poorly worded also prevents this discussion; Just to mention one.

Pessimism wins me. I do not think this will change soon. Van * 34 years and counting.

PS: In article 139, where it says "choreography" should say "choreographic" ...
If they see what I say?

[1] The 20 of August of 2017 verified the online jurisprudential base of: Supreme Court of Justice of Colombia, Council of State, Constitutional Court. Also the meta-searchers of normativity and jurisprudence Vlex, LégisMovil, NotiNet and These seekers can find markers in jurisprudence of courts, circuit judges and municipal judges.


Billy Rose Theater Division, The New York Public Library. "The threepenny opera," Lincoln Center. [1976] The New York Public Library Digital

Music Division, The New York Public Library. "Sonata for viola and piano" The New York Public Library Digital Collections. 1919