He's So Fine Vs My Sweet Lord Case Digest

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CASE STUDY GEORGE HARRISON VS. RONALD MACK (BRIGHT TUNES MUSIC CORP) BY: SHANNEN MCINERNEY In 1976, Bright Tunes Music Corp filed a lawsuit against George Harrison for an infringement of copyright. The case claimed that Harrison’s 1970 hit ‘My Sweet Lord’ had plagiarized from another successful song ‘He’s So Fine’, composed by Ronald Mack in 1962, which Bright Tunes Music owned the copyright to. ‘He’s So Fine’ was successful in both the US and England in 1963 which Harrison acknowledged he was familiar with at the time (Self, 1993). It was then in 1969 where ‘My Sweet Lord’ came about due to Harrison messing around with a chord progression matching it with the lyrics of ‘Hallelujah’ and ‘Hare Krishna’ (Self, 1993). The idea was taken further with band member Billy Preston who first recorded a version of the song, which was then re-recorded by Harrison for his ‘All Things Must Pass’ album. According to the court notes from Mcir.usc, ‘He’s So Fine’ consisted of two…show more content…
Copyright and Intellectual property law functions as a protection for creativity and insures that the maker of that work or the publisher with the rights to the songs have the control over any exploitation. But with the amount of songs and musical material out there, there is a large possibility that over thousands of years of experimenting and using other peoples knowledge to create original work, there will be similar and identical pieces of material that are created unconsciously with a vast knowledge of previous ideas. When George Harrison created ‘My Sweet Lord’, those certain arrangement of chords and combination of melodic phrases were appealing to him because in his subconscious he already knew that they had previously worked. Nevertheless it is clear that ‘My Sweet Love’ is undoubtedly similar to ‘He’s So Fine’ and under copyright law it is still an infringement despite the fact it was subconsciously

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