Music: Judges on Plagiarism

In Manhattan last week the U. S. Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed what many a plain citizen has long suspected: that most popular songs sound pretty much alike. Jack Darrell, author, decade ago, of a not very successful ditty called Does Anybody Want a Kewpie?, had brought suit for plagiarism against Al Sherman and Abner Silver, whose It Happened on the Beach at Bali Bali was a hit five years ago. Darrell showed that the same eight-note theme recurs in each song. But the Circuit Court dismissed his complaint. Said its three learned judges: although there are plenty of combinations of...

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