Radiohead's Publishers Dispute Lana Del Rey's Claims About Copyright Dispute

Angelo Anderson
January 9, 2018

The old guard versus the new.

The reality is more complicated.

Lana Del Rey opened a can of worms with her Tweet and comments on similarities between her song "Get Free" and Radiohead's 1993 hit "Creep." . Radiohead themselves gave a percentage of the original song's publishing to songwriters Albert Hammond and Mike Hazelwood, who sued the band over similarities between "Creep" and "The Air That I Breathe", a 1972 hit that the duo penned for the Hollies. To win a copyright infringement suit, the band's lawyers would have to persuade a jury that Del Rey's song is "substantially similar" to "Creep", both qualitatively and quantitatively. "Their lawyers have been relentless, so we deal with it in court".

"Get Free", it seemed, was the latest victim of the so-called "Blurred Lines" effect: a new song accused of stealing from an old one by borrowing chords, texture or "feel", the kind of generic elements that have always been considered fair game.

Del Rey revealed the dispute in a tweet on Sunday, saying that Radiohead has demanded 100% of the publishing revenues from the song.

This wasn't the first time Radiohead going through some legal issues with "Creep". "I just want to let you know", she said.

Now, a spokesperson from Warner/Chappell has issued a statement to Pitchfork, confirming that "discussions" have taken place between the two camps but denying that a lawsuit has been issued. "It's clear that the verses of "Get Free" use musical elements found in the verses of "Creep" and we've requested that this be acknowledged in favour of all writers of "Creep". So, this could mean that depending on the outcome of this situation, Hammond and Hazlewood could potentially also receive songwriting credits on "Get Free".

Anna Codrea-Rado contributed additional reporting.

Other reports by Iphone Fresh

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