Do these parts of Alicia Keys’ “Girl On Fire” remind you of another song?


It’s close to Christmas Day and my plans are not yet finalized.  I don’t know where I’ll be come 12/25/2012.  But for now, the sun is breaking through (a rare event recently) and I’ve got a few things to finish this morning.

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Blog-wise, I am proceeding out of order.  I should have written the intended follow-up post – the proper one in the sequence – instead of this as I’ve got much more to write about Shuman v. Sony.  But I’ll delay that a bit as I want to do this quicker-to-write post.

Recently I wrote about ambulance chasers:

I’ve known of “ambulance chasers,” (I’m not asserting Lowell is an ambulance chaser but “size matters” and Lowell’s video was at the top of my “ambulance chasers” search) with respect to music copyright infringement lawsuits  –  people who hear similarities between songs, and then contact interested parties with the hope that lawsuits will be filed and that they will receive money and/or acclaim.”  

I also wrote these few sentences which could very much excite an ambulance chaser/copyright troll:

“If someone wanted to sue Alicia Keys for her recording, “Girl On Fire”, there is a song by a potential plaintiff with much stronger similarities than, “Hey There Lonely Girl.”  It was a very big hit song that appeared in a very big 1980’s hit film.  Do you know of the song to which I refer?  Want to take a guess?  I’ll come back to that, and all of this Blogger Friedman/Shuman v. Sony stupidity, soon.”

There are six (6) places in “Girl On Fire” in which Alicia Keys sings, “Oh oh oh oh oh.”  Listen to the Alicia Keys  “Girl On Fire” and especially these six sections.

0.35     oh oh oh oh oh

1.39     oh oh oh oh oh

2.54     oh oh oh oh oh

3.04     oh oh oh oh oh

3.15     oh oh oh oh oh

3.25     oh oh oh oh oh

Do these five (5)-note melodic excerpts, that are heard six (6) times in “Girl On Fire,” remind you of another song?  As I mentioned, the song to which I am referring was a very big hit that appeared in a very big 1980’s hit film.  If you recognize the song, do you think there is a potential copyright problem?

I hope everyone has a nice Saturday and stays away from retail, or that you are able to do stressless surgical shopping strikes.

Is Alicia Keys guilty of copyright infringement? A lawyer quotes a feebly written blog and files a foolish lawsuit



I was told about an article from AcesShowBiz entitled, “Alicia Keys Gets Sued for ‘Girl On Fire,’ Debuts ‘Brand New Me’ Video.”  The article refers to a “write-up by Roger Friedman“, a blogger for Showbiz411.  Roger Friedman seems to proudly state that “Alicia Keys is a Girl in Trouble today,” because she has been sued for copyright infringement and that Friedman is partially to blame/credit for the lawsuit  –  “some of the suit is based on my reporting.”

The songs in question are:

Plaintiff’s song  –  Eddie Holman recording of  “Hey There Lonely Girl”

Defendant’s song  –  Alicia Keys recording of  “Girl On Fire”

I was startled to read that “some of the suit is based on my reporting” as I had never heard of a copyright infringement lawsuit filed because of the “reporting” of a blogger, and especially a blogger who demonstrates his incontrovertible ignorance of copyright law.

Friedman states, “Hopefully musicologists will be called in, etc. experts who can testify about Keys’s use of two lines from the chorus of ‘Hey There Lonely Girl’ in ‘Girl on Fire.'”

This is such a poorly conceived and written sentence.  First, is Friedman stating his hopes that musicologists “will be called in, etc.?”   As a musicologist who has testified in copyright infringement cases in U. S. federal courts for 20 years, I am extremely curious as to what Friedman means by “etc….”  As I try to understand, I think he might mean that we are called in and then comes other actions – the etcetra part.  Just what does the “etc.” of his sentence mean, and have I been “etc.-ing” these past 20 years or should I start “etc.-ing” now to make up for the times in which I did not etcetera?

Also, the normal practice is for both sides to employ at least one (1) expert.  Experts are not “called in” as if to investigate a crime scene.  Experts, optimally, are hired BEFORE the initiation of a federal copyright infringement lawsuit.  In this instance of Alicia Keys’ alleged infringement, if experts are hired, they might not agree with Blogger Friedman’s position that Alicia Keys “use[d] two lines” from the chorus of ‘Hey There Lonely Girl.”

Also from that same rich sentence, it seems that Blogger Friedman may not have learned that

the possessive of   —   Keys   —   is Keys’   —   not Keys’s

unless Blogger Friedman writes “Keys’s” because he pronounces “Keys’s” as KEE – ZIHZ, and not KEEZ.

But things soon get more feeble in his writing.  Blogger Friedman states that…

“Anyway, anyone who listens to “Girl on Fire” can hear Alicia sing “she’s a lonely girl/in a lonely world” about her burning subject. Why Keys or someone with her didn’t just clear this sample is beyond me. Keys is a sampling queen, with loads of history in this department.”

“…beyond me.”  What I claim is “beyond” Friedman is this particular subject matter – sampling and copyright law.  At this point, Friedman proves that he does not understand copyright with respect to music, or practices in the contemporary music industry.

Factually, Alicia Keys did NOT “sample” any part of the “Hey There Lonely Girl” sound recording.  Blogger Friedman does not know enough about copyright law to form, possess or articulate an opinion on the subject.  Yet he uses the word, “sampling” and falsely accuses Alicia Keys of “sampling.”

To reiterate  –  Friedman is factually incorrect.  Alicia Keys DID NOT sample the sound recording of “Hey There Lonely Girl.”

I will return to this shoddy journalism and the new lawsuit,

Earl Shuman v. Sony Music Entertainment et al

filed in the United States District Court Central District of California, December 10, 2012.  I have much more to write about Friedman’s writing and Shuman v. Sony.  But I want to pique the interest of anyone who might be reading this at this point today with a final thought.

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I’ve known of “ambulance chasers,” (I’m not asserting Lowell is an ambulance chaser but “size matters” and Lowell’s video was at the top of my “ambulance chasers” search) with respect to music copyright infringement lawsuits  –  people who hear similarities between songs, and then contact interested parties with the hope that lawsuits will be filed and that they will receive money and/or acclaim.  If someone wanted to sue Alicia Keys for her recording, “Girl Of Fire,” there is a song by a potential plaintiff with much stronger similarities than, “Hey There Lonely Girl.”  It was a very big hit song that appeared in a very big 1980’s hit film.  Do you know of the song to which I refer?  Want to take a guess?  I’ll come back to that, and all of this Blogger Friedman/Shuman v. Sony stupidity, soon.

Harvard Law School Lecture – December 5, 2012


I will be speaking at The Harvard University Law School today between noon and 1:15 PM in Wasserstein Hall 3036.  The subject will be my work in, and take on, music copyright, intellectual property, tech and entertainment issues.  This is a great honor and I am very happy to have been invited.

(If you haven’t been to campus, there is a magnificent statue of John Harvard.  It has always looked like this, except for a few hours in 1996 when MIT students dressed him up to look like the Unabomber.)

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This blog post will also double as my notes or at least a guide to the order of subjects.  I’ll be able to see this post on a monitor or my iPhone while my iPad plays the music.  I’ll also bring a DVD or two, unless I choose to access the same material on the Very Wide World Spider Web.

Videos I will use:

Excerpt from film, “BASEketball”  –  Joe Cooper says the name, “Steve Perry, Steve Perry!”  He then sings the opening line  –  “And I should’ve been gone”  –  from Steve Perry’s “Oh Sherrie.”  Did this need to be licensed?

And Woody Guthrie’sThis Land Is Your Land.”  In 2004, Greg & Evan Spiridellis created a video parody of Jib Jab – Woody Guthrie.  Their docile, innocent not-for-profit two-minute video went viral becoming the first Internet mega-hit and drew the wrath of a publisher.  I was involved in the defense of this.  I might talk about it  –  maybe give my take on whether this is a parody, satire, parodic satire, satiric parody, or some of more of those words, as well as other issues that arose.

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As of now, my first Harvard Law set list will cover:

Tracks 1 – 7   Infringement?  Not Infringement?

Tracks 8  –  16   Parody?  Not a Parody?

Tracks 17  –  27   Mashups

Tracks 28  –  36   Sampling

Tracks 37  –  48   Advertising, Right of Publicity, Copyright

Tracks 49  –  74   Evidence/Exhibits I will use

Tracks 75  –  78   Licensing issues

Tracks 79  –  80   Co-Writing/Joint Works

Tracks 81  –  96   Originality, Copyright Myths

Tracks 97  –  118   Big Publishing Mistake

This is not firm and these examples vary in length from 2 seconds to 120 seconds.  I might jump around (I’ll resist the urge for a Jump Around link as it is too predictable).

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Most significantly and solemnly to me, my Dad, Edward F. Harrington, died on December 5, 1991.  This day is always very important to me.  I was the luckiest person to be his son.



Uncopyrightable introductions – Part 2, William Shatner obliquely, Martha Stewart to me


I found a way to incorporate William Shatner into this post.  You’ll see.  Keep readin’ and a-clickin’.  I really like it.  It’s way off the subject but it brings us to a better place.

I also NEEDED to link to Martha Stewart for reasons that will be obvious.

Yesterday’s post stemmed from a discussion of song introductions and to what extent they might be copyrightable.  And that discussion stemmed from my post the day before in which I claimed that the intro to the following commercial  –

Sandals – Do It All Again

had copied the intro to the Beatles’ song  –

The Beatles – Getting Better

I should add that I feel that consciously, carefully and deliberately copied the intro to Beatles’ Getting Better. did not accidentally derive this introduction, or independently create their introduction.  Some composer labored over this.

The only reader to comment on this felt that copying of the Beatles was NOT an example of copyright infringement.  I agreed with him.  I posed many questions pertaining to this  –  few were answered.  As Martha Stewart would likely say to me, “it’s a good thing,” as that means I can either

A.  answer them now

B.  answer them later at  or in an article, book or app

C.  answer them later at a conference, law school or university

D.  answer them later under oath at a deposition

E.  answer them at a restaurant/bar

F.  let someone else answer them

G.  not answer them

I’ll likely opt for option B, or B and F.

I am trying to establish that one can copy INTENTIONALLY without infringing copyright. copied The Beatles and it was not copyright infringement.  I think a statement like “one can copy INTENTIONALLY without infringing copyright” could be controversial.

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And now to continue from yesterday’s topic  –  song introductions that are likely NOT copyrightable.  Here are a few new songs.  You’ll notice that these are Neil Young-loaded.  That’s simply due to where I was looking/listening  –  it is not scientific or anti-Canadian:

Frank Black  –  Tossed

Caetano Veloso  –  Jasper

Neil Young  –  The Old Laughing Lady

Neil Young  –  The Last Trip To Tulsa

Neil Young  –  Mr. Soul

Neil Young  –  Bringin’ Down Dinner

Katy Perry – Teenage Dream

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The seven (7) songs from yesterday:

(Again, these are intros that are NOT very copyrightable.)

The Doors  –  Back Door Man

Isaac Hayes  –  By The Time I Get To Phoenix

 Frank Black  –  Hang On To Your Ego

Katy Perry  –  Circle The Drain

Neil Young  –  Without Rings

Pixies  –  Bone Machine

White Zombie  –  Thunder Kiss ’65 

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At some point soon, I really want to explore the opposite  –  COPYRIGHTABLE introductions – highly copyrightable introductions.  I’ll tease by offering a highly highly highly copyrightable introduction.  It’s by The Beatles, a band that formed in Liverpool in the 1950’s.  This was early Beatles  –  pre-Ed Sullivan Beatles  – showing off.  One of the things I think they’re saying is:

“We’re darn good.  We can play well.  Can you play this much this fast?”

Here is their earliest Highly COPYRIGHTABLE intro:

Beatles  –  Like Dreamers Do

When Is A Musical Introduction Copyrightable? Katy Perry, White Zombie, The Pixies, Neil Young, Isaac Hayes


I really liked Frank Reynolds’ post from yesterday.  I hope he doesn’t mind but I’ve reprinted it below.  All I’ve done to change his text is italicize it and BOLD some of it:

“I believe the sandals commercial is like the Black Eyed Peas song that rips off a portion of I’ve Had The Time Of My Life. So, let’s just blame for the whole thing.

Great questions posed Dr. H.! It’s definitely not infringement in relation to copyright, and I don’t think they owe Lennon/McCartney (okay, probably just McCartney in this case) anything other than gratitude for coming up with the cool intro idea (which isn’t a copyrightable element). I wouldn’t call it copying, but rather paying homage if they’re even aware that they did it. It’s like the tradition of incorporating other people’s ideas in the blues genre. No one knows who wrote it the first time. I remember a lecture you gave on that, and it shuts up the Zeppelin haters when I use that logic on them. Cheers E. Michael!”

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I think an introduction can be copyrightable, i.e., worthy of copyright protection, but with respect to The Beatles, and Sandals, there is no problem.  I agree with Frank  –  from a copyright perspective, the intro of the Beatles’ “Getting Better” has not been infringed by the intro of the commercial.  Here are the songs again:

Sandals – Do It All Again

The Beatles – Getting Better

If we agree that there are introductions that are NOT copyrightable, i.e., do not possess enough originality to be worthy of copyright protection, does it follow that there are introductions that ARE copyrightable?  Copyrightable introductions will be worth pursuing later, but not today.

I thought I would start to listen more carefully and analyze introductions to songs to find the least and most COPYRIGHTABLE introductions, as well as the “in-between” introductions, i.e., introductions that would exhibit some copyrightable elements.  I believe that there is a sliding scale of copyright protection – that some introductions are not copyrightable as musical compositions, some slightly so, some more so, and some extremely so.  The length of the excerpt, both in terms of temporal length as well as number of attacks and/or articulations, as well as its originality would also be factors used in determining how copyright protection should be afforded an introduction.  (That last sentence also applies, of course, to music that follows the introduction.)

My quick take is that there are more introductions that ARE copyrightable than NOT copyrightable.  I need to establish a few guidelines in order to conduct my analysis and report my findings.  Let’s say that we are looking at introductions of more than a few seconds and more than a few notes/attacks/articulations.  (This can get squishy very fast, can’t it?).

I’ve also started down this road  –  1.  delving into the construction and creation of music, and 2.  how copyright is involved in, and relates to, music.  And that brings me to a line from the song, “You Made Me Love You:”

“I didn’t want to do it, I didn’t want to do it”

I am doing a few things here:

1.  I am asserting that copyright is fluid – that some things are protectible and some not, and some lie “in-between,” i.e., they exhibit some copyright worthiness.  This is driving the conversation NEAR the ballpark, but not in the ball park, of defining copyright.  [Oh no.  Not yet I won’t.]

2.  I am starting to use various words and phrases that might be identical in meaning or nearly identical.  For example – “copyrightable” might be the same as, or similar to, “worthy of copyright protection.”  “Copyright-IBLE” might be the same as “copyright-ABLE,” and so on.  But we are not yet ready for too many SYNONYMS.

To paraphrase Documentarian Marty DiBergi, “But enough of my yacking, let’s boogie…to the introductions of various songs.”  All of these introductions represent very little worthiness of copyright protection as musical compositions.  It is important to note that I am not making musical judgments as I feel these songs have great and musical introductions.  [“Musical” can be a highly complimentary adjective.]  But the copyrightability of these introductions is not analogous to their musical merit.

Here are seven (7) intros today.  Maybe we’ll do seven (7) more tomorrow.

(Again, these are intros that are NOT very copyrightable.)

The Doors  –  Back Door Man

Isaac Hayes  –  By The Time I Get To Phoenix

 Frank Black  –  Hang On To Your Ego

Katy Perry  –  Circle The Drain

Neil Young  –  Without Rings

Pixies  –  Bone Machine

White Zombie  –  Thunder Kiss ’65 

Your thoughts?

I’ve Had The Time Of My Life & Do I Owe It All To Ripping Off The Beatles?

Yesterday (November 26, 2012) I posted about the Beatles, specifically, intros to Beatles songs.  I ended yesterday’s post with this:

The Beatles amped up the strong, loud and cutting intro with the song, “Getting Better” from Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band.  The intro to The Beatles’ Getting Better features strong sforzando guitar and keyboard again but this time, in addition, the strings of the piano are struck with mallets to make it an even more brittle, piercing sound.  Because “Getting Better” has such a distinctive and unique intro, it could be used or imitated for special effect.

I heard (and saw) a commercial a few years ago that I knew immediately was a strong reference to the opening of The Beatles’ Getting Better.  This commercial is still running and can be heard frequently on U. S. television stations, and as of last week, I have finally been able to find it on YouTube.  Do you know the commercial to which I refer?

I’ll discuss it tomorrow.  To me, this commercial is the essence of “reference” and “referencing” music, an important practice in contemporary advertising.

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Now it’s tomorrow (almost a Ringo-ism).  

The television commercial to which I have been referring is for  In the commercial, young good-looking people are taking vacations in tropical locations.  (For nanosecond subliminal flashes, one also sees an elderly but healthy looking retired couple who might have escaped from their assisted living penitentiary and are also dancing on the beach.  But they don’t count as we are lead to believe that these Sandals paradises are inhabited only by the young and beautiful.)

A famous song, “(I’ve Had) The Time Of My Life,” recorded by Bill Medley and Jennifer Warnes, that was featured in the finale of the 1987 film, “Dirty Dancing,” serves as the essential song of the commercial.  If one didn’t know better, however, one might assume that the commercial is for a song entitled, “Do It All Again,” or

perhaps a medley/mashup of three (3) songs  –

“Getting Better”

“(I’ve Had) The Time Of My Life”

“Do It All Again”

Listen to the introduction of both songs  –  The Beatles’ “Getting Better,” and the arrangement of “(I’ve Had) The Time Of My Life.”  The forceful, repeated staccato chords.  Do you think they sound the same?  Similar?  Not similar ?  Not even remotely similar?

[PLEASE NOTE:  Today, August 17, 2013, I discovered that the Sandals link below had been removed – it was suddenly “Private.”  As of 11:30 AM Central, I found this new link of the same commercial.]

Sandals – Do It All Again    

Listen especially to the opening fifteen (15) chords.  Here it is again,

or to better fit into this context:

“Do it all again, do it all again.  Do it, do it!”

Sandals – Do It All Again

Listen to the opening eight (8) chords of  The Beatles – Getting Better.   Here it is again:

 The Beatles – Getting Better


Sandals – Do It All Again

 The Beatles – Getting Better

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Q U E S T I O N S 

Does Sandals sound like The Beatles?

Does Sandals rip off The Beatles?

Does Sandals infringe The Beatles?

Does Sandals sound too much like The Beatles?

Is the Sandals/Beatles issue a copyright problem?

Is the Sandals/Beatles issue a right of publicity problem?

Is the Sandals/Beatles issue an unfair competition problem?

Would a listener/viewer think that The Beatles are associated in any way with Sandals?

Is there a Sandals/Beatles problem?

Should Sandals have to pay The Beatles?

Should the Sandals commercial be no longer broadcast (in order to remedy The Beatles)?

Should Sandals pay The Beatles and stop broadcasting the commercial?

*  *  *  M O R E      Q U E S T I O N S *  *  *

Is this practice of sounding like/referencing well-known songs common?

Is this practice of sounding like/referencing well-known songs in commercials common?

Is this practice of sounding like/referencing well-known songs problematic?

Is this practice of sounding like/referencing well-known songs in commercials problematic?

Is this practice of sounding like/referencing well-known songs the same as “copying?”

Is this practice of sounding like/referencing well-known songs in commercials the same as “copying?”

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Instead of The Beatles and/or a famous song, substitute an unknown band signed to a small record label, and an unknown song, in all of the questions above.

Would this change any of the answers?

I have many more questions but this is enough.  As always, I look forward to your response.

Copyright From A – Z, Crime Before Thanksgiving, my 19th Annual Berklee Lecture, Inna & The Farlanders

I always love the Tuesday before Thanksgiving because for the past 19 years I have spoken to students at the Berklee College of Music in Boston.  It has been an annual tradition, and a great honor, for me since 1993.  The second part of the tradition is our Thanksgiving Fish dinner at Legal Seafood in the Prudential Center, across the street from the Berklee classroom.  (The Prudential Center is posted as today’s photograph.  Finally, a post photo that relates precisely and without need for interpretation or metaphor-loading.)

In order to get to Boston, I’ll have to deport myself from Gloucester to Boston.  (I just wanted to use that “deport myself” phrase.)

At some points today, I’ll select some topics for my two-hour presentation.  I’ll choose from these questions and issues and more:

Can One Copy A Bass Line?

Can One Copy A Chord Progression?

Can One Copy A Guitar Solo?

How To Break The Law/How To Get Away With Crime (Crime?  “Fair Use” or The Perfect Crime ?)

What Is Fair Use?

Fair Use Done Right/Wrong

What Is Satire?

What Is Parody?

What Is Right of Publicity?

Can One Sample?

What Is A Mashup And When Are Mashups Legal/Illegal?

Publishing Done Right

Publishing Done Wrong



I will play music from North America, South America, the Caribbean, The European Union, Asia, Africa, Australia-Oceania, and The Middle East.  Even if the Middle East is part of Asia, Africa and Europe, I consider it its own place/continent.  And I’m really thrilled that the CIA agrees with me!

I also consider the Caribbean NOT part of North or South America – it’s too much its own world/continent and shouldn’t be subsumed within NA, SA or The Americas.  The CIA disagrees.

I refuse to play music from Atlantis.  I’ve been boycotting it for awhile.  I have not ruled out music from Antarctica or Arctica (why isn’t it called A – R – C – T – I – C – A?).  Both poles speak to me.  Enough geography talk.

I’ll play music by

Louis Armstrong

Beastie Boys

George Clinton

Miles Davis

Evolution Control Committee

Foo Fighters

Ghostface Killah

Jimi Hendrix

Inna & The Farlanders

George Jones

Albert King

Led Zeppelin

Bob Marley


Roy Orbison

Steve Perry


Rolling Stones


They Might Be Giants

Keith Urban


Hank Williams


Neil Young

Frank Zappa

Inna & The Farlanders  –  I assume that few of you will have Inna & The Farlanders’ The Dream Of Endless Nights album, so I included a link to a performance of “Ivan” from that album.  The studio version is better – get this album!

I could work the phrase, “A – Z,” into the title of this presentation, couldn’t I?  (Now I will.)  And discussing the music of “XSCAPE,” rather than “XENAKIS,” shows just how much of a stretch one (1) of these twenty-six (26) names was!

My questions for you  –

Do you have suggestions for adding topics?

Do you have suggestions for eliminating topics?

Should I write about these topics here at or simply include them in today’s long talk?

Does the “How To Break The Law/How To Get Away With Crime” topic annoy anyone?

I hope your Thanksgiving preparations/travels are going very well.  I’ll have a special Thanksgiving post.

How NOT To Write Great Music – Part 2

Before I delve into How NOT To Write A Hit Song – Part 2, I wonder – did you notice that today’s photo above is as colorful as yesterday’s photo?  That was intentional.  I wish I could tell you that there’s a profound reason behind my selection of colors and shapes.  I can’t but I think the bright rainbow colors unite the sustained theme of how NOT to write a hit song.

Now, let’s describe more ways  –  specific music compositional ideas  –  to finish the hit song (great musical composition) I began to describe yesterday.

How NOT To Write A Hit Song  –  Part 2

Let’s repeat from yesterday:

1.  make it 7 minutes long

2.  use 5 different singers

3.  make sure that no singing is heard for the first 2 minutes of the song

4.  make sure the bass  guitar only plays 3 different pitches (for all 7 minutes)

5.  make sure that the entire bass guitar melody is 6 notes long

6.  make sure that this 6-note bass guitar melody is played once and then repeated 51 times

NOW, here are the final five (5) steps:

7.  make sure that there are no chords (and, therefore, no chord changes) in the entire song

8.  make sure that the principal solo instrument in the song is an instrument that is not a preferred one – it should be an instrument that the audience for this song does not especially like.

9.  make sure that this song has appeal to U. S. and international audiences

10.  make sure that the subject matter of the lyrics is about a person who has no redeeming qualities

11.  make sure that this is not a love song

To repeat and expand from yesterday’s post…

Do you think the above eleven (11) constructs/stipulations are good advice for a songwriter?  For a composer?  (What’s the difference between a songwriter and a composer?  This is a question to be explored in future posts.)

Could you write a a great piece of music following these eleven (11) points?

If you wrote a song that followed these exact eleven (11) stipulations, would you be infringing copyrightThat is a complex question and one that could lead to debate, certainty, uncertainty, anxiety, anger or confusion.  Of that, I am certain.  If you’d like, please start off that discussion below.  I promise I can add to whatever discussion begins.  🙂

Do you know of anyone who has set out to write a song/musical composition, in such a foolish manner as mentioned above?


From the above description, can you name the famous popular song that fits the eleven (11) points above?  I will post the answer next week, if you don’t post it first.  Please post away!


Have a great weekend and great weekend music – start with this song:

It’s Friday, Thank God it’s Friday.  Did you just get paid? 

Do The Macarena (On A Fishing Boat In The North Atlantic With An HP Printer)


Do you like this HP Office Jet Pro commercial?  I think it is very effective.  The people are of all ages, attractive (including adorable little kids in commercials, TV shows, video and film is usually a no-brainer) and very happy.  The colors are beautiful.  Everyone seems to be having fun in the upcoming celebration of AnnaBel’s birthday.  The fishermen look like good wholesome hard working Scandinavians or Scandinavian-types, and the ocean is a sapphire blue – it must be the North Atlantic.  The wood of the ships is good wood (that sounded like something Mitt Romney would have said  –   “the trees are the right height, the wood is good wood”) .  Everything that needs to be good is good.  Everything that needs to have color has color.  And so on.

But what first caught my attention is the music of this HP Office Jet Pro commercial.  Because I am always multitasking, I am always hearing television before I am watching television  For me, the trick is – if the music and/or sound is interesting enough or familiar enough, I look up.  If not, I keep writing/goofing off at my iMac while I am also looking at my iMac, not a television screen.

While working on a project, I heard this HP Office Jet Pro commercial and looked up.  What distracted me and attracted me to the commercial was the manner in which it referenced the way-too-big hit song from the mid 1990’s, “Macarena.”  (When I just wrote, M-A-C-A-R-E-N-A, WordPress thought perhaps I meant, “Macaroni,” or “Macaroon.”  No, I meant M-A-C-A-R-E-N-A.  It might take a few more years to convince the world of words that Macarena is Macarena, just as it took a long time to make “Beatles” not be “Beetles.”

“Macarena” features its hook at these eleven (11) places in Macarena:












The hook in the “HP Office Jet Pro commercial” is heard once in HP Office Jet Pro commercial:


Do you think the hooks between these two songs are similar?

Which of the following do you think is/are true?

HP Office Jet Pro commercial  copies  Macarena

HP Office Jet Pro commercial  infringes the copyright of  Macarena

HP Office Jet Pro commercial  references  Macarena

HP Office Jet Pro commercial  does not reference  Macarena

Please post your thoughts.  Maybe I’ll post mine.

One final thought re these videos:

“I like, uh, I like seeing the, uh, I like seeing the videos.  I love the videos.  There’s something very special here.  The great videos but also all the little inland videos that dot the, uh, the, uh, parts of Michigan. Um…” 


Haiku 101, Intellectual Property Haiku (IP Haiku)

I’ve written thousands of haiku.  It all started one morning in Pittsburgh.  I woke from the strangest dream.  In my dream, I tried to convince people I was a composer (I was and am a composer) but they wouldn’t listen.  They found a poetry journal from Australia and in the journal were haiku I had written.  They told me I was an INTERNATIONALLY PUBLISHED POET who specialized in haiku.  I told them I was a composer, not a poet, but I couldn’t convince them of this.  Strangely, after I awoke, I laughed at this bizarre dream but then started to research haiku.

I found out that the most common form of haiku was a three-line poem consisting of 17 syllables.  And there was a nice symmetry to the structure.  The first line consisted of 5 syllables, the second had 7 syllables and the third had 5 syllables.  An “A – B – A” form.  In music a “rondo” has an A – B – A form (and a rondo can have a few other forms).  I had never written a rondo (and still haven’t) but I decided to start my RONDO CAREER as a poet instead of  a composer.  So, I started to write   5  –  7  –  5  haiku.

My haiku obsession – haiku career – began that way.  I’ve gone through periods of writing hundreds in a few hours.  Sometimes my haiku tell a story.  Other times they are related to a theme, and still other times they are disconnected and without any purpose, like my life.  (I do not have a purposeful life – I have a purpose-less life.  An ambient free-form, drifting life.  Enough of this theme.)

I used to get reprimanded by poets and scholars who knew better than I (knew better than I about everything – just ask them).  Even my Japanese girlfriend told me that haiku were supposed to be about nature, not vehicles for telling deranged and absurd stories that would be parodic and unauthorized episodes of   –  –  –  –

The Dating Game

Leave It To Beaver

The Brady Bunch or

Love Boat

Or that haiku were not supposed to be vehicles to criticize and protest President Reagan, Barry Manilow or American pop culture.  My haiku started out as an escape mechanism – I was composing too much complicated concert music and found that if I got away from the music and started to write in this happy 5-7-5 format, I’d feel better.  My escape would be realized.

Here is one installment of a bunch.   These are about copyright and intellectual property and date back to 2004.  If I can find my first analog book of haiku, I’ll break those out over a period of time at  But for now, here are some IP haiku.


Copyright haiku
Musings manipulations
And sometimes held thoughts

If you can publish
Them they might bring you good luck
Forward them to friends

(Maybe I’m confused
Maybe it’s email that needs
To be forwarded)

In any event
Here is the first installment
Of  I. P.  haiku

Chapter 1

I just bought a bomb
It came from Best Buy and I
Think it is legal

The bomb has a name –
Jay-Z’s “A Cappella Black
Album.”  Still, a bomb

I think of it as
Silly Putty; a means for

But this Putty is
Also copyrighted stuff
So, fun with limits

Press Silly Putty
Onto newspapers and watch
The print get copied

I now have a new
Cool thing –  an embodiment
And derivative

My Silly Putty
Has infringed the copyright
Of a newspaper

Chapter 2

And it gets worse – I
Copied an Op-Ed piece from
Today’s New York Times

I took the writer’s
Best part and transferred it to
My Silly Putty

This Silly Putty
Is worth more financially
As I took good stuff

My idea was
To combine Putty and print
And make something new

There were thousands of
Print sources for me to use
I had to choose well

Or I could phrase it
This way – there were thousands of
Sources I could steal

Not “use” but “steal.” But
Isn’t all expression at
Some level not new?