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Woody & Loudon: 1;Robbie:0

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GUEST,Roger the skiffler 03 Oct 00 - 11:13 AM
Steve Parkes 03 Oct 00 - 12:04 PM
GUEST,Ewan McVicar 03 Oct 00 - 01:50 PM
Rick Fielding 03 Oct 00 - 02:18 PM
simon-pierre 03 Oct 00 - 07:17 PM
Mike Regenstreif 03 Oct 00 - 07:36 PM
GUEST,Roger the skiffler 04 Oct 00 - 04:03 AM
Jim the Bart 04 Oct 00 - 02:29 PM
wildlone 14 Feb 02 - 01:44 PM
breezy 14 Feb 02 - 02:56 PM
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Subject: Woody & Loudon: 1;Robbie:0
From: GUEST,Roger the skiffler
Date: 03 Oct 00 - 11:13 AM

From BBC News Online (Pity the publishers seem likely to be the only ones to profit!):
Pop singer Robbie Williams "substantially copied" a song originally written by Woody Guthrie, the High Court has ruled.

The Williams song Jesus in a Camper Van, co-written with Guy Chambers, was a breach of copyright of the late Guthrie's song I Am The Way, and of an adaptation by Loudon Wainwright III, a judge decided.

Williams and his record and publishing companies now face a trial to determine the amount of royalties or damages owed to the owners of the original copyright, Ludlow Music.

High Court Deputy Judge Nicholas Strauss QC said that the Williams song, from the album I've Been Expecting You, copied one of the four verses of the original song, later parodied in the Wainwright version.

Ludlow Music had originally agreed to the Williams song but a dispute arose over the company's demand for a half share in the copyright.

EMI had described the demand as excessive and offered 25%. The Williams album also stated that the lyrics had been reproduced "by kind permission" of Ludlow.

Guthrie's song, written in 1961, includes the line "Every good man gets a little hard luck sometimes" while the Loudon Wainwright version, described by the judge as a parody, ran: "Every Son of God gets a little hard luck sometimes, especially when he goes round saying he is the way."

In the Williams and Chambers song the lines were: "I suppose even the Son of God gets it hard sometimes, especially when he goes round saying I am the way."

The judge said: "In my view, the extent of the copying is substantial, although not by much."

He said that Jesus in a Camper Van took the central idea from the Loudon Wainwright version that the Son of God attracted bad luck by going round saying "I am the way".

"I think that this is of sufficient substance to amount to an infringement of copyright," the judge added.
(c)BBC News Online

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Subject: RE: Woody & Loudon: 1;Robbie:0
From: Steve Parkes
Date: 03 Oct 00 - 12:04 PM

Reminds me of the time the Strawbs ripped off Woody's "Union Maid" as "Part of the Union". Oops, did I say "ripped off"? I mean "wrote a song remarkably similar to but legally distinct from"!

Steve (allegedly)

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Subject: RE: Woody & Loudon: 1;Robbie:0
From: GUEST,Ewan McVicar
Date: 03 Oct 00 - 01:50 PM

But it is not surely that "the publishers seem likely to be the only ones to profit!" The report says the publishers 'own the copyright', but unless they bought it outright from Guthrie and Wainwright, then that is just the usual sloppy journalist's way of avoiding finding out the whole picure. I assume (and fervently hope) that as is almost invariably the case the publisher is a collection agency and rights administrator on a percentage. Mind you, the percentage is usually entirely too high, and reflects what publishers used to do rather than what they do these days i.e. they used to publish the songs on paper, and sell that way.

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Subject: RE: Woody & Loudon: 1;Robbie:0
From: Rick Fielding
Date: 03 Oct 00 - 02:18 PM

"Every good man gets a little hard luck some time"??? THIS is where they found plagerism? Jeezus, I guess they don't listen to much traditional music...or Woody, for that matter. Always bucks, ain't it?


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Subject: RE: Woody & Loudon: 1;Robbie:0
From: simon-pierre
Date: 03 Oct 00 - 07:17 PM

I don't know Robbie Williams, but... who cares? He copied Woody Guthrie? Good for him! Hope he'll stay in that way. And keep the justice away from folk music.


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Subject: RE: Woody & Loudon: 1;Robbie:0
From: Mike Regenstreif
Date: 03 Oct 00 - 07:36 PM

I'm not sure who's responsible, but there is some incorrect information in the original post vis-a-vis the original songs.

"I Am the Way" is Louson Wainwright III's parody of Woody Guthrie's "New York Town."

Woody wrote: "I was standing down in New York town one day, singing hey hey hey hey."

Loudon wrote: "I was standing down in Jerusalem town one day, singing I am the way."

The publishing rights on Loudon's song is shared by his publisher (Snowden Music) and Woody's (Ludlow).

BTW, Woody's melody for "New York Town" was adapted from Blind Lemon Jefferson's "One Dime Blues." Woody was adapting melodies for his songs 20 years before Dylan.

Mike Regenstreif

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Subject: RE: Woody & Loudon: 1;Robbie:0
From: GUEST,Roger the skiffler
Date: 04 Oct 00 - 04:03 AM

One of the newspaper reports stated that Loudon agreed to assign his rights (it implied all but may have been part), as Mike says, to Ludlow in return for permission to adapt. As Woody isn't around to get any reward from this and it implied his publishers owned his rights, I assume they (and the lawyers) rather than heirs or performers would be the ones to benefit. I hope the heirs get something.

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Subject: RE: Woody & Loudon: 1;Robbie:0
From: Jim the Bart
Date: 04 Oct 00 - 02:29 PM

By the way - Robbie Williams is that incredible wanker whose song "Millenium" plagued the airwaves toward the end of last year. He "sang" it on about a million TV shows surrounded by "dancing divas" while he strutted around like a goof.

Bart, hoping that Jesus (or someone like him) will save him from pop culture

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Subject: RE: Woody & Loudon: 1;Robbie:0
From: wildlone
Date: 14 Feb 02 - 01:44 PM

For the latest in the saga Click here

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Subject: RE: Woody & Loudon: 1;Robbie:0
From: breezy
Date: 14 Feb 02 - 02:56 PM

does this make Robbie a folkie? or one more off to pay his rates/
Nice one Vin

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