Lana Del Rey’s Legal Battle with Radiohead Finally Ends

The smoke has finally cleared after a brief legal battle between Radiohead and Lana Del Rey. Nnews continued to float around regarding Radiohead’s apparent lawsuit claiming that “Get Free” by Lana Del Rey shamelessly infringes on the composition of the famous alternative rock anthem “Creep” by Radiohead, released in 1993 from their debut album Pablo Honey. 

Last week, reports tumbled across the table of social media, shedding light on the final closing of Radiohead’s legal case against Lana Del Rey, which supposedly was never opened legally. Despite Lana’s talk of “lawsuit” all over the media, Radiohead said they never filed against Lana officially; however, the two parties have been in discussion since January.

Lana attempted to reason with the band, denying any means to infringe on the band’s composition. All of her counteroffers were refused, and the parties struggled to come to a suitable agreement at first. Originally, Lana claimed that Radiohead would accept nothing other than 100% of the publishing royalties of “Get Free”, but according to the band’s publicists, the demand was never on the table to begin with.

At a recent show, Lana told the crowd, “Now that my lawsuit’s over, I guess I can sing that song any time I want, right?”

Is Copyright Infringement at Play?

Take a listen for yourself…

There is no doubt that the songs have clear overlapping key, chord progression, and melody. The mood of the songs even mirror one another. However, is this enough to put the nail in the coffin and label it copyright infringement? A popular and vaguely similar case has recently been thrown around in the media; Robin Thicke’s “Blurred Lines” stacked against Marvin Gaye’s “Got to Give It Up”.

Ironically, Radiohead fought legal allegations in 1993 because “Creep” sounded vaguely similar to a song written by The Hollies in 1972 called “The Air That I Breathe”. Thom Yorke was sued shortly after. Surprisingly enough, Radiohead agreed to mark songwriters Albert Hammond and Mike Hazlewood as co-writers and share royalties.

So did Lana really mean to set out an rip off Radiohead? It’s very possible, but there’s also that slim chance of basic coincidence. Think about how many creative works are in existence. There are several, even dozens, of songs that bare clear similarities, but it doesn’t necessarily point to a clear intent to infringe on the rights of the original artists, per say.

Cases of copyright infringement in the music industry are nothing new, and many of them have altered the way business and legality are handled in relation to creative artistry. Where is the line drawn? It’s being constantly reconfigured and cases such as these are the ones to be aware of moving forward. Landmark court cases in the past have established the grounds for a stronger music community. Learn from them.

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