The Verve Intellectual Property Case: A Bittersweet Example

| Total Words: 420

Intellectual property’s tentacles are long and strong. Maybe the largest battlefield in IP is the music industry. Composer, producers, interpreters and license owners might get unexpectedly involved in legal battles regarding the misuse or abuse of a song of their property. Sometimes it is just something as little as a sample of the song but are legal frictions can deal with millions and millions of dollars.

Time is not an issue to underestimate when dealing with Intellectual Property. If by any chance, you use a song that was written forty years ago, and one of its owners is still alive, he/she can claim unfair use and suddenly, legal lawsuits can flood your desk. When working with someone else’s work, you should be extremely careful, no matter if you already got permission to use it.

In 1997, the British band The Verve sampled an orchestration in one of their songs, “Bittersweet Symphony”, from the Rolling Stones’ “The Last Time”. Prior the release of the album, the group did the proper negotiations concerning the license agreement with the Rolling Stones to utilize the sample. When the album came out, the song was a...

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