If you’ve got a hit record the next thing you’re going to get is a law suit.

It’s like night following day. Someone, somewhere is going to claim that your song is a copy of their song and sue you. The list of artists that have been dragged into court is long and shows no signs of slowing up.

That’s why the Taylor Swift victory is important. I’m not really a fan of Ms Swift and her music tends to pass me by but I’m really glad she won her legal battle.

Let’s face it, there are only a handful of notes in a musical scale, a finite number of keys, rhythms and subject matters available. In the early days of rock ‘n roll artists just liberally took ideas from each other. The Beatles, for example, just ‘borrowed’ ideas, riffs and chord patterns from their idols. And so did countless other songwriters. It was how music progressed, standing on the shoulders of giants.

Not any more. There’s an entire legal industry devoted to proving and disproving that every hit song is outright plagiarism. But music doesn’t exist in a vacuum, throughout history composers have learnt the music of others and built on that structure.

It’s the way it is and the way it should be and unless someone has stolen your complete chord structure, melody line or words you have no right to ruin their success by suing them.

Stand on the shoulders of those giants, don’t crush them.

Click here to read more about Taylor Swift’s court case

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