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Songs in the dock: landmark lawsuits and what they cost

10 January 2018

A spokesman for Radiohead's publisher Warner/Chappell Music has acknowledged that the publishers have "been in discussions" with Lana Del Rey's representatives about her 2017 song "Get Free" over its alleged compositional similarities to Radiohead's own 1993 hit "Creep".

But on Tuesday, after a few days of silence, Radiohead's music publisher, Warner/Chappell, made a statement confirming that it had requested credit for Radiohead, but denying that it wanted all of Ms. Del Rey's songwriting money.

ANDY BUCHANAN via Getty Images                   Thom Yorke of Radiohead
ANDY BUCHANAN via Getty Images Thom Yorke of Radiohead

As it stands, co-writers Kieron Menzies and Rick Nowels are credited on the track along with Del Rey.

"As Radiohead's music publisher, it's true that we've been in discussions since August of previous year with Lana Del Rey " s representatives", the statement reads.

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"Although I know my song wasn't inspired by Creep, Radiohead feel it was and want 100% of the publishing", she said. The band had rejected her offer of 40 percent of the song's publishing royalties, she claimed, demanding 100 percent.

Here's where thing get even more complicated: Radiohead was once in a similar situation with "Creep".

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Read Lana Del Rey's original tweet below. "So we will deal with it in court".

"Fantano also goes on to note how Radiohead's "Creep" was originally sued itself for infringing upon the chord progression in The Hollies" "The Air That I Breathe". "Radiohead agreed that they had actually taken it", Hammond once said. "Because back in the day they were sued over this song, because this track had a similarity to another track". She even said that this legal drama could force her to cut the song from the album.

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These situation nearly always involve only melodies and chord progressions, and not other elements, less definable, elements of songs, which would open up a whole more lawsuits.

Songs in the dock: landmark lawsuits and what they cost