Sunday 04 October 1998
The Australian playwrights Andrew McCarten and Stephen Sinclair sued the makers of the most successful British film ever for $100m, claiming it significantly resembled a play they co-wrote 10 years earlier. The case was dismissed after the judge stated it would be better heard in Britain rather than California.
Steven Spielberg's slavery epic was subject to allegations of plagiarism by Barbara Chase-Riboud, who claimed material had been stolen from her novel Echo of Lions. They were withdrawn in February after a payment of $10m was made in an out-of-court settlement.
The originality of the tune of "Bitter Sweet Symphony" is not in question. But the band made the mistake of including in the violin backing a looped sample of the Rolling Stones track "The Last Time". As a result, the Stones receive all the royalties from the song.
THE SPICE GIRLS
When the tune of an obscure 1970s record - "It's Just Begun" by the Jimmy Castor Bunch - was included in the Spices' track "U Can't Dance", the famous five were landed in hot water. Minder Music, which part-owned the original, now receives 16 per cent of the song's royalties.
"My Sweet Lord" was a chart-topper in 1970. Six years later, a lawsuit proved that the former Beatle had borrowed, albeit "unknowingly", the melody from the Chiffons' 1960s hit "He's So Fine".
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The Rothschild Libel: Why has it taken 200 years for an anti-Semitic slur that emerged from the Battle of Waterloo to be dismissed?
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