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Giving Credit Where Credit Is Due

All you composers and arrangers out there: listen up. There is something I think you ought to know.

If you are going to “borrow” music from another source and then pretend it is original material, it is extremely likely that someone will recognize the music you “borrowed” and it could potentially be extremely embarrassing for you.

I am not talking about albums like AKA Pella or Schlock Rock. Neither CD Eichler nor Lenny Solomon claim to have composed the songs they parody. The entire point of those albums is that they are putting a new twist on existing songs. I am sure someone out there will let me know if I am wrong, but I think the only original song AKA Pella ever did was Naar Hayisi, on AKA Pella 2. And if I remember correctly, when Lenny Solomon released his first parody, Hit Me With Your Best Pshat on Kesher I, the album cover specifically said something like “with apologies to Pat Benatar”, the artist who sang the original song.

No, I am talking about taking a song that someone else wrote, changing the lyrics, and then claiming it as original material. It’s not like this hasn’t been going on for years. But in this day and age with so much information literally at your fingertips, it is pretty much a given that if you recycle parts of someone else’s song, it is going to get noticed, no matter how obscure you may think the song is.

And people just aren’t going to look at you the same way if you try to pass someone else’s material off as your own.

Warning: While comments are always welcome, please refrain from naming names, pointing fingers or accusing anyone of anything inappropriate in any comments you post. Any comments that cross the line will be deleted.

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