The singer Sam Smith has finally settled a long running dispute over a song “Stay With Me” with Tom Petty.
But there appeared to be a hitch between the two that refused to go away. Sam’s song “Stay With Me” bore an uncanny resemblance in its tone and melody to Tom Petty’s “I Won’t Back Down”.
The latter was penned in conjunction with Jeff Lyne. Finally, after countless trips to the court of law over copyright infringement and plagiarism issues, the matter has been settled amicably.
The rights to the award winning song of Sam Smith has gotten equally divided between him and Tom Petty/Jeff Lynne. The jury said that while the resemblances were too many to even start listing, it was miraculously a big coincidence of sorts.
Such a thing very seldom occurs in real life. But like the song “Blame it on the Rain” once upon a time in the early 90s, this one too seemed to be a ditto copy by sheer luck of Tom Petty’s number.
It all started when Tom Petty and Jeff Lynne wrote a letter to Sam Smith and his agents requesting them to listen to the similarities between the two songs. And while Sam and his underlings agreed that the sheer coincidental similarities were very eerie, they let matters linger.
But soon enough the issue reached the long arm of the law. Since the royalties on songs last for quite awhile, both Tom Petty and Jeff Lynne had their eyes set on Sam’s song.
They will indeed be amassing a small fortune via this new decision taken by the jury that the song’s royalties are to be shared equally between Sam Smith and Tom/Jeff.
This by the way is not the only time that Tom Petty’s sound works have been exploited by another person. Another group “The Strokes” too are guilty of a little plagiarism as regards Tom Petty’s song “American Girl”.
The field of musicology is, like language, a very sensitive and delicate creation-system. There have been instances of writers that were poles apart on the globe coming up with similar textual material.
This is because the words and linguistic signs are actually trapped somewhere in the stratosphere like a goldmine. And so it goes for mellifluent sounds. They too come from a common source up in the sky.
And so Tom Petty and Sam Smith /4/not be at fault at all since it was actually just pure coincidence that their songs share the same musical rhyme and rhythm.
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