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#1137767 - 02/24/18 01:26 PM Paranoia or not?  
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Martin Lide Offline
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This might be kinda fun to anyone interested enough to give an opinion.

I wrote a song called THE MARFA PLAIN a while back.

https://www.reverbnation.com/skunkofhoustontexas?profile_view_source=header_icon_nav

I recently heard a song called SALT WATER REVIVAL on Sirius.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7_yOrDBSbBY

For the 2nd time in my songwriting non-career, I was struck by what seemed to be similarites and wondered if my song had been re-written.

Thematically both songs are about spiritual rejuvenation. Nothing uncommon about that as a theme for any written form.
In my song, the singer seeks the West Texas Desert. In Salt Water Revival they seek salt water somewhere. I assume it to be the Gulf Coast.

Question?
Is my feeling that my song was possibly re-written (it predates Salt Water) have any reason for basis in reality...OR... am I just one more paranoid who falsely thinks that someone in the world might have stolen their idea?

If you care to answer, do it forthrightly. I am more interested in your opinion than not getting my feelings hurt.

Thanks,

Martin


#1137768 - 02/24/18 01:38 PM Re: Paranoia or not? [Re: Martin Lide]  
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I wouldn't say paranoia, maybe delusions of grandeur....lol

Actually I have had that happen to me in the past, hear a song on the radio and say, hey thats a lot like my song. A few years ago there was a pop hit, i cant even remember it now, shows how hard i investigated it, but there would be no way to prove it, and it probably was just that damn 12 note handcuff gettin us again

I suppose there is some risk of posting the song online, but unless you had to sign in to hear a song, it be impossible to pin

#1137771 - 02/24/18 02:38 PM Re: Paranoia or not? [Re: Fdemetrio]  
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Originally Posted by Fdemetrio
I wouldn't say paranoia, maybe delusions of grandeur....lol

Actually I have had that happen to me in the past, hear a song on the radio and say, hey thats a lot like my song. A few years ago there was a pop hit, i cant even remember it now, shows how hard i investigated it, but there would be no way to prove it, and it probably was just that damn 12 note handcuff gettin us again

I suppose there is some risk of posting the song online, but unless you had to sign in to hear a song, it be impossible to pin


No delusions of grandeur here.

My second job after songwriter is architect. And I know how closely someone has to copy your stuff for the lift to be a court case.
Basically they have to take your plans and only change the name on the title block and then build it. And you need correspondence that proves the intent of the theft. And even with all that, will likely just provide some money for your attorney to take...if you prevail. Short of that, they can tell you that they're stealing your idea, make a few changes and there is nothing you can do but harass them with a law suit, which is another wretched predicament and dead end.

And the ultimate reality is that attorneys fees and court costs dwarf architect's fees on all but large projects (which I don't do). So if you win, you probably lose and if you lose you run the risk of being buried.

No illusions here.

BUT...after I get a few responses (or not) from people who listened to the two songs, I will lay out why this song struck me differently than countless others that I have heard here and there,,,which, in the past, has caused me to think...

"I like the way they came at the same idea. Wish I had thought of it" (or not.)

Even done that here.

Thanks for your input.

Martin


#1137774 - 02/24/18 04:00 PM Re: Paranoia or not? [Re: Martin Lide]  
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Martin, there is probably not a songwriter alive, that doesn't think SOMEONE has stolen something from them. When you start breaking it down, most of the time, THEY are the ones who have picked up something from SOMEWHERE ELSE, and many times those songs were written before they were born.

There are only so many ideas, so many notes, so many ways to say stuff. There are a billion songs a month uploaded to the Internet .Probably somewhere near 100 billion songs out there since the beginning of recorded history. The chances of you writing something that has never been done are almost impossible.

I don't know either of the songs you reference, but believe I have heard that title from beach musicians for years. If you play near an ocean, chances are you are going to include that somewhere in your music.

Where would your song have been heard?
Who wrote the other song? Who was the artist? What is the story behind their musical journey?
When were each written?
How close is it to yours? Is it just a phrase or two, a musical passage or a whole song?
Did they negatively impact you to earn anything from yours?
Are you willing to spend hundreds of thousands of dollars, hire musicologists, hire attorneys and pursue litigation, often to make absolutely NOTHING on the song?

My suggestion is to find out, but not worry too much about it. They are just songs. You'll write more.
MAB

#1137775 - 02/24/18 04:09 PM Re: Paranoia or not? [Re: Martin Lide]  
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Sitting around today after jumping through hoops most of my unplanned week... and I noticed your post, Martin. Got my Fed Tax filed this morning and had a couple of other documents notarized... so I can jump through some more hoops next week. I decided I'd take time to listen to both links as if I were a step above an Intern at a major label's A&R division. No, Martin... you're not paranoid. There are some striking similarities in both songs even though "theirs" is a bit more "up-tempo." There are many differences as well. Theirs is craft of sorts... yours is more art. Naturally, I had heard "Marfa Plain" before but I did my best to not let that skew my thinking or judgement.

I didn't check to see who wrote what first... but assume you've already done that. The listener is led down similar paths in both songs... but I suspect it is only one of those odd coincidences that happen when there are so many songwriters, artists and bands out there today. We often unconsciously remember a melody from a song we heard sometime or somewhere in our past and try to tack on our personal embellishments. Sometimes it works and sometimes it is a miserable failure.

One thing is for sure, my friend... if I were given the choice of which one I would be required to hear repeatedly in a NOKO prison cell, Marfa Plain would be my choice every time. It has much more depth and reflectivity by a mile... and that "honest vocal" of yours makes it soar in my imagination... with that perfect backing you chose for accompaniment. You remind me a great deal of Don Mason over in Shreveport.

Would I consider suing? No! For all the reasons you stated. Why make more lawyers wealthy?

Good to hear your singing voice again. Thanks for the entertainment. ----Dave

#1137776 - 02/24/18 04:20 PM Re: Paranoia or not? [Re: Martin Lide]  
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Fdemetrio Offline
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Martin, in fairness I only passively listened, and I heard the wrong track, I listened to the first track thinking it was that one.

I will sit and listen to both, I know you only fancy certain people's opinions, but I will give me a listen.

I understand people don't have to steal all of it, heck, they can steal a title, or hook and nothing you can do about it. Sometimes the hook is the only thing that counts in songs

What you might wanna do is do a mashup where both songs are together for easy comparison, u can always take it down after

Last edited by Fdemetrio; 02/24/18 04:24 PM.
#1137777 - 02/24/18 04:33 PM Re: Paranoia or not? [Re: Martin Lide]  
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I once had an idea for a song but thought it had already been written, by somebody else So I asked my then publisher if he had ever heard it, he said no so I proceeded to write it. The Song is Entitled: I'LL TAKE IT FROM HERE. You can listen to it on the Web site under Rays Music http://www.geocities.ws/fiverosesmusicgroup/


Ray E. Strode
#1137783 - 02/24/18 07:12 PM Re: Paranoia or not? [Re: Martin Lide]  
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Dave...
You always offer encouraging words and the "soldier on." You enhance the enjoyment of the lives of others. Thank you for that.

Mark and FD....
I'm aware of the points you are making and do not disagree. I write about universal human themes, heavy on brokenhearted-ness. (Which seems to be coming back in style in country music.) Therefore, it's no surprise when I hear a song that echoes my thoughts. Sometimes closely.

But there have been two songs that I've heard, where I felt like coincidence had been defied with regard to similarities to a couple of mine. I don't want to lead anyone so I am going to wait till tomorrow to see if anyone picks out the same aspects of the songs that I see as suspiciously similar.

Tomorrow, I'll write out my case for why I feel this way and you all can decide if I am a deluded paranoid or.....maybe, possibly not.

FD...I value MAB's opinion a great deal because it has a hard-edged-reality-from-experience about it...that rings true. But I've Also read several of your posts and you strike me as a thinker. I value your opinion too.

Roy...
Riveting Story. smile smile I'll give the song a listen.
Just did...sounds like a hymnal. Nice tune.

Yall have a good Saturday night.

Martin

Last edited by Martin Lide; 02/24/18 07:18 PM.
#1137806 - 02/25/18 10:08 AM Re: Paranoia or not? [Re: Martin Lide]  
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Here is one viewpoint...

1) Both songs are about spiritual rejuvenation.

---So are a lot of songs, nothing unusual about that.

Salt Water Revival adds Jesus and church to the mix.
Marfa is secular.

2) Both songs are about achieving rejuvenation as the result of traveling to a location that has specific geographical characteristics.

The person in Marfa travels to the West Texas Desert to renew himself.

"I ride out on the Marfa Plane.
My t-shirt drenched in desert rain
Chinati winds cool down my skin
I'm finally feeling whole again."

The person in Salt Water Revival travels to the ocean somewhere. Preumably the gulf.

"Hey I go down and sink my feet in the water
And I soak up that sun and I watch it set
Yeah, I can feel the power of the saltwater gospel
I'm as close to God as I can get"

---The songs are similar in intent, but so are a lot of songs.

3) The means of travel to the geographical place of rejuvenation is a very personal vehical that the traveler has a clear affection for.

Marfa
"I dust off my motorbike and fill it up with gas
I fire the engine up and point it to the west"

SWR
"Me, I get in my old Bronco and point those headlights out"

That's what the written lyrics claim to be but if you listen without reading them, I suspect that you will hear;

"Me, I get in my old Bronco and point those headlights South"

When I listened to the song and heard that, the totality of it made me wonder if Marfa was re-written..

In other notes,

The Band is from Denton, Texas, not Sydney Australia for example.
I looked the writer up. Don't think that he is in the band, Not sure.

He has a RVN page. I have an RVN page for Houston that usually floats between 10 and the low 20's.
The song has been up since I wrote it. Access was there.
I sent him a note on RVN remarking nice song and that I have one named Marfa that he might like also.
Haven't heard back.

It's the totality of this...that makes me unable to dismiss the prospect that I was re-written.

Opinions?

Last edited by Martin Lide; 02/25/18 10:08 AM.
#1137811 - 02/25/18 10:45 AM Re: Paranoia or not? [Re: Martin Lide]  
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Well,
I went and listened. If I heard the right songs, they sound nothing alike. Maybe the message. Good luck.


Ray E. Strode
#1137812 - 02/25/18 10:47 AM Re: Paranoia or not? [Re: Martin Lide]  
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Martin,

Not being there I can't tell you, but there is not one word or one line in those examples I haven't heard and USED in songs thousands of time before. It's reality .We all live it. Do you think you are the only one that ever got into a Bronco or motorcycle and turned the headlights on? Ever hear of the OJ Simpson case? When that happened, you would have thought the "Ford Bronco" was the most popular car model on earth. And headlights? Well, we kind of use them every night in our lives.

I believe it is simply coincidence. There are a few reasons. Overall, "song stealing" is a complete myth. You can't copyright ideas, visual furniture titles, etc. Most, in fact, in my opinion, "ALL" song theft, is simply overthought. People write the same stuff. They have the same melodies. As a matter of fact, finding something that HASN'T been done a million times is what is nearly impossible.

I was in Canada about 6 years ago with a woman who had this song lyric and melody idea. She had booked me to help her write music to this thing she had had for five years. She had been meticulously working on it bit by bit and had every line and note the way she wanted. She was beautiful and funny, and so when she started closing her eyes and singing, I didn't mind at all. But as I heard what she was doing, I very quietly went to my lap top, went to YOU TUBE, and pulled up what I was looking for.
She finally finished and I went, "Does it sound like this?"

I clicked the mouse and played the video. It was GRAND FUNK RAILROAD'S "Bad time to be in Love." Her lyrics, melody, and entire song WAS that song. Virtually note for note, line for line. Except where the Grand Funk song said "She and Her" she said "He and Him", just flipping the gender on the song. She was five years old when that song was on the radio, yet thought her version was original. It has been on hundreds of places, classic hit radio, television commercials, movies. At that time it was actually on a commercial. She never saw it.
But subcounciously had picked it up over the years and absorbed it into what they were doing.

This has played out over and over. Everybody thinks THEY have written something that has never been written before and someone else is STEALING their songs. Usually you can show them where the same lines and notes have been done hundreds of times and usually THEY picked it up from somewhere else.

The recent "Led Zepplin" "STAIRWAY TO HEAVEN"/SPIRIT" case was the latest example of this. After decades of working through the court system and finally getting into court, they proved that not only did Jimmy Page NOT rip off the melody progression of the song from a group called "SPIRIT" who was on tour for Zepplin for a brief bit in the 70's, but THAT GUY from SPIRIT had picked up the progression from a blues song from the 50's and THAT writer had nicked it from a progression from the 1700's and THAT composer had nicked it from someone in the 1600's.

This is the deal. Everything's been done before, and you really have to PROVE someone actually defrauded you which is nearly impossible. Having "ACCESS" on the Internet, is a big order because there are BILLIONS of songs out there.

Now, it's not that they take or "borrow" your ideas, Certain genres, like Rap and hip hop, simply SAMPLE THE TRACKS of existing songs and put their own lyrics and their own take on it. Check out "THE EAGLES vs. Rapper FRANK OCEAN" who just took the music tracks from Hotel California and put his own rap lyrics on his song selling hundreds of thousands of copies, before Henley and Frey had cease and desist orders against him.

If you feel you have been defrauded, talk to the guy and see if he wants to cut you in as a writer on his. Other than that, unless you can have some proof, and have a large budget for legal wrangling (not to mention 10-15 years you want to wait around till your case gets heard), you might want to just move on. Consider it the sincerest form of flattery, and keep your song the way you like it. You have your's. No one can take that away.

MAB

#1137814 - 02/25/18 11:03 AM Re: Paranoia or not? [Re: Marc Barnette]  
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Marc

I'm not making the claim that I've been defrauded. I have no proof of that or anything else.
I'm just wondering out loud and wanted to see what someone else thought about it.

There is no legal case regarding the song. On the face of it, there is no theft to be able to prove.
If....my song was re-written, it was changed to the point of being in-actionable.
If the guy sent me a notarized letter saying that he lifted it, I'd see no point in pursuing anything. But that is not a real consideration.

And if I were to make contact with him and accuse him of re-writing me and demand credit...well....I can stand in front of a mirror and say FU to myself. I don't need him for that. And, most importantly...the accusation could very well be baseless. At the point that I took what I know and made an accusation from it, I would have become a complete fool.

Like I said, I'm just wondering out loud. And I appreciate you for interacting with me.

Martin

#1137817 - 02/25/18 11:34 AM Re: Paranoia or not? [Re: Martin Lide]  
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Martin, I remember hearing Marfa Plane, a while back, I really like the song.

Having said that, motorcycles and cars as a transcending concept, both physically and spiritually has been done literally thousands of times. That's how people get from one place to another

You probably subconsciously picked up in it from others. It doesn't take away from your take on it in Marfa

These guys could have easily lifted their idea from Springsteens,The River, or Racing In The Street, his stuff uses both yours and this other groups idea many times.

Water has been used since Biblical times to symbolize renewal and cleansing.

I thought at first it was a musical thing you were speaking of. That I'm not hearing.

I have written guitar riffs that songs that came after sound a lot like it, but I probably lifted it from somewhere else

You got a nice song, I'd say it's yours.


Last edited by Fdemetrio; 02/25/18 11:39 AM.
#1137826 - 02/25/18 12:33 PM Re: Paranoia or not? [Re: Martin Lide]  
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Marc Barnette  Offline
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Joined: Jan 2009
Posts: 5,039
Nashville, Tn.
Martin,

I've found myself on both sides of this topic. I have been all excited about some new song, only to find out there is one JUST Like it already out there that I accidentally picked up. In one instance one of my co-writers, (who was a number one songwriter with George Strait hits) called me after a song we had written two days before and said "WE have to stop that song, because there is another one just like it on the radio." He had subonciously picked it up after hearing the song about a year before at a music conference. I had never heard it. At any rate, neither one of the songs ever amounted to anything.

At one point, Thirteen of my titles, melodies, general ideas, ended up on hit songs. I Was around the writers of all of those, including two on a number one song. I perform all the time, and am heard quite a bit. But to even think they lifted anything from me is nonsense. I actually had to drop my song, because there's was just huge. And there are only a few similarities. It just happens. We all write the same stuff.

Most of the point is HOW DOES SOMETHING GET HEARD IN THE FIRST PLACE. And this is where it really gets interesting. Because just random songs floating around out there, are almost NEVER heard past the friends and family of the writer artist. That is the reason that the only real infringement cases are one major artist suing another major artist, such as the case in the "BLURRED LINES" suit, or any of the more recent suits. And there are only about ten major cases that ever went anywhere.

I understand this is not about any legal action. But I Would suggest that the person who wrote the other song would have had to HEAR your version, or possibly, YOU heard his version and just subconciously picked it up.
Overall it just happens. Only so many notes, so many ways to say something and only so many subjects. Overall it is the TWIST on the subject that separates anything.

MAB

#1137830 - 02/25/18 12:46 PM Re: Paranoia or not? [Re: Martin Lide]  
Joined: Aug 2007
Posts: 1,155
Martin Lide Offline
Top 500 Poster
Martin Lide  Offline
Top 500 Poster

Joined: Aug 2007
Posts: 1,155
Houston, Texas
FD...
Very interesting , well stated and compelling post. Like I said...I had you for a thinker.

MAB and FD and Dave...
Thank you all. Question asked-Question answered.
(To quote Jack McCoy) smile

Martin

Last edited by Martin Lide; 02/25/18 12:46 PM.
#1137837 - 02/25/18 02:52 PM Re: Paranoia or not? [Re: Ray E. Strode]  
Joined: Aug 2007
Posts: 1,155
Martin Lide Offline
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Martin Lide  Offline
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Joined: Aug 2007
Posts: 1,155
Houston, Texas
Originally Posted by Ray E. Strode
Well,
I went and listened. If I heard the right songs, they sound nothing alike. Maybe the message. Good luck.


I overlooked this on my phone. Sorry.
The similarity for me was more in theme and lyrics. Thematically and somewhat lyrically, the Salt Water song seemed to lay right over the top of mine.

Thanks for your opinion on it.

I will always wonder a little bit, but am dismissing the issue at a personal level and moving on to federal politics or meerkats. Not sure which. wink Always had a fascination for meerkats.

#1141310 - 06/03/18 05:39 AM Re: Paranoia or not? [Re: Marc Barnette]  
Joined: May 2018
Posts: 85
Delmont Offline
Serious Contributor
Delmont  Offline
Serious Contributor

Joined: May 2018
Posts: 85
Originally Posted by Marc Barnette
Martin, there is probably not a songwriter alive, that doesn't think SOMEONE has stolen something from them. When you start breaking it down, most of the time, THEY are the ones who have picked up something from SOMEWHERE ELSE, and many times those songs were written before they were born. . . .

'Zackly!

Artists are magpies. We never create anything new. Our nests are made entirely of things we've picked up from all over the place. We put our energy into rearranging all the swag we've stolen into something we like. Of the hundreds of songs I've written, not one has a single original word or note.

I don't aim at original. There's no such thing. I aim at good.

Last edited by Delmont; 06/03/18 08:31 AM.
#1141311 - 06/03/18 07:28 AM Re: Paranoia or not? [Re: Delmont]  
Joined: Dec 2008
Posts: 8,844
John Lawrence Schick Offline
Top 20 Poster
John Lawrence Schick  Offline
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Joined: Dec 2008
Posts: 8,844
PA
Originally Posted by Delmont
Originally Posted by Marc Barnette
Martin, there is probably not a songwriter alive, that doesn't think SOMEONE has stolen something from them. When you start breaking it down, most of the time, THEY are the ones who have picked up something from SOMEWHERE ELSE, and many times those songs were written before they were born. . . .

Artists are magpies. We never create anything new. Our nests are made entirely of things we've picked up from all over the place. We put our energy into rearranging all the swag we've stolen into something we like. Of the hundreds of songs I've written, not one has a single original word or note.

I don't aim at original. There's no such thing. I aim at good.


Yes, as with all music past and present. We all use the same ingredients. Beethoven was heavily influenced by Mozart. Yet, there’s an original difference between them. As with The Beatles, Gershwin, Ravel, John Williams, etc. We can still achieve an original fingerprint where the listener can identify us. Original melodies can still be created if one thinks outside the narrow box that the majority use.


John smile

#1141312 - 06/03/18 08:36 AM Re: Paranoia or not? [Re: Martin Lide]  
Joined: Feb 2005
Posts: 6,894
Dave Rice Online content
Top 30 Poster
Dave Rice  Online Content
Top 30 Poster

Joined: Feb 2005
Posts: 6,894
Texas
Knowing this is an old thread, suddenly resurrected... and on a Sunday, to boot... I'll go ahead and "chime in." Nobody has dared steal a song of mine (as of this writing) for fear of being "booed" off-stage, LOL! John mentioned Ravel... and it struck a long dormant nerve with me. When I was a kid, I would sneak over to my grandmother's house and ask her permission to let me hear a few records from my Uncle's vast record collection. (He was away at war, somewhere in the jungles of New Guinea.)

She would graciously consent and I would go find my favorite LP Album of works by Ravel. Most of Uncle Shep's collection was classical. I always thought "Bolero" was later tagged with a bad rap... when that movie came out with that Babe on a Beach.

But I digress. ----Dave

#1141316 - 06/03/18 08:47 AM Re: Paranoia or not? [Re: Dave Rice]  
Joined: Jun 2011
Posts: 3,259
Barry David Butler Offline
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Barry David Butler  Offline
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Joined: Jun 2011
Posts: 3,259
Sebring, Florida USA
Did you ever see the movie with Danny Kay the Five Pennies....? The Battle Hill of The Republic in there was classic Dixie Land. After that movie I made my Mom buy me a cornet/trumpet.....I took a few lessons and then switched to the Sax and then Violin and then of course in 1962 the Guitar.....I did take piano lessons all through my youth but was always in trouble with my Teachers because I was making up my own songs and not playing what was on the sheet music....lol They hated me but nobody ever encouraged me to keep writing my own songs then.....not even my Mom understood what I was doing and it may have needed some nurturing.


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