Monopolising Creativity

The bread and butter of songwriting basics is four chords and the truth. And if you’re a fan of soulful pop ballads, you might’ve heard about the high-profile copyright infringement case of Ed Sheeran’s “Thinking Out Loud”, and the estate of Ed Townsend, who co-wrote Marvin Gaye’s “Let’s Get it On”. Last week, that case was ruled in Ed’s favour, but this isn’t the first time he’s faced a supposed plagiarism claim like this. Is it even possible, or indeed reasonable, to monopolise or own chord progressions and rhythms? Dr. Jadey O’Regan, Lecturer in Contemporary Music at the Sydney Conservatorium of Music delves into the root (and resolution) of this ethical minefield with Jono on Drive in this web-exclusive extended edit.

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