12 Controversial Songs That Were Stolen


Blurred Lines
Star Trak

They say that imitation is the greatest form of flattery. It's also the most annoying. And in some cases, the most lucrative.

Given how protective artists are of their own work - particularly when it comes to things they own the copyright to - it should come as no surprise that unlawful imitation in the creative world tends to lead to an awful mess. And in the cases where justice is done, that means monetary punishment, usually.

In music, it happens all the time. And while things like samples and conscious nods are seemingly acceptable (within reason), there's a more nefarious thread of musical pilferers who have apparently outright stolen songs - sometimes wholesale - from existing works. And you can probably guess how that tends to go for the offending parties...

12. 'Shakermaker' - Oasis

Where It Was Stolen From: 'I'd Like To Teach The World To Sing' - The New Seekers

There's an old saying in music" where there's a hit, there's a writ.

In the majority of copyright infringement cases, the writ comes from the writer of the lesser-known song. This is for two principle reasons; firstly, most people have more sense than to copy a smash and secondly, it's only really worth suing if the rip off turns out to be a big seller and generates sufficient income to make it worthwhile.

Or to quote another old saying, "You can't sue the pants off someone who doesn't have any pants."

But Oasis ignored these facts in 1994 and ripped off an already well known classic. It was a textbook case of a top line melody being lifted wholesale and transplanted, with new lyrics, into a new song. The unauthorised appropriation of the vocal line from 'I'd Like To Teach The World To Sing' cost Oasis $500,000.


Freelance writer, contributing to The Huffington Post and a variety of blogs. Banned from Crufts, inventor of the Gareth Bale salary outrage calculator and one-time consumer affairs advocate. Resident of Manchester, UK.


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