Bob Dylan Plagiarism Law Suit Dismissed in Federal Court

2011-03-07 21:42:09 (GMT) ( - Copyright Law, Hollywood News, music news)

New York, NY ( Rock and roll remembered. It’s been thirteen years since a federal Judge dismissed a plagiarism law suit against international recording artist Bob Dylan.

Although The Plaintiff’s musicologist Harvard graduate Dr. Paul Greene states in his analysis that the melodic arc of Bob Dylan’s 1994 Grammy nominated “Dignity” shares the “exact melodic arc” of James Damiano’s copyrighted 1988 version of “Steel Guitars”, Judge Simandle cited “To the ear of this court, there is no substantial similarity in the structure, instrumentation or melody of the two songs.

Simandle also included in his decision the following:

975 F. Supp. 623 | District Court, D.N.J. (1996) | Damiano v. Sony Music Entertainment, Inc., and Bob Dylan Opinion by Judge Simandle

a. Access

[6] Plaintiff asserts that “the bulk of his life’s work” was submitted to Sony beginning in 1982. (Compl. at 2). He also alleges that he was told to bring his songs to several concerts which he attended courtesy of Sony. Plaintiff has produced evidence that after these concerts, he was allowed backstage and gave his work to Dylan or his agents. (Damiano Decl. at PP 2, 5; Dep. of Pam Damiano at 77-84, 97-104; Dep. of Brad Wright at 105-112). Taking these allegations as true, plaintiff has demonstrated a genuine issue of material fact as to whether defendants had access to his work.

Although the court note, “This court will accept as true plaintiff’s allegation that Sony represented to him that he would be credited and compensated if Dylan used his work,” the Bob Dylan plagiarism law suit was dismissed in Federal Court.

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