Dumbest copyright verdict ever was against George Harrison for the tiny similarities between his song, "My Sweet Lord" and The Chiffons' "He's So Fine".
No need to YELL! Besides, as I understand it, it's about the music, not the lyrics, and according to one source, Richard Ashcroft remains credited as a co-writer of the song.
I just read a few more articles on the subject, and it seems we might be missing a few points. First, the lawsuit against Verve was not launched by the Stones, but by their former manager, who owns copyright on all their songs written before 1970. It was through that lawsuit that Mick and Keith's names were added to the credits - one website says along with Richard Ashcroft - but that benefits the former manager, not the Stones. Apparently, that guy's is the one enjoying all the royalties.
The Wiki article manleywoman quoted also goes on to say that several companies have used Bittersweet Symphony in commercials, without permission of Verve. If that's the case, it means they must retain some rights to it, no?
They also continue to perform it, paying royalties to the former manager's company, but by doing so, as their most famous song, surely they are making money off it in ticket sales etc?
As I understand it, Verve also knowingly sampled a song and recorded it without seeking permission, and many seem to wonder why they simply didn't redo the song without the sample and move on.
It's hard to know exactly what to think without all the legalities in front of us, and I certainly don't think the Stones are saints by any means, but I don't think they are the evil party here. It's the former manager who went after them, and who benefits the most by the whole thing, and from what I can tell, the Verve did little to prevent or remedy the situation.
Here's an interesting article on Allen Klein, the guy who sued The Verve, who died two years ago. The story of Bittersweet Symphony is retold briefly at the end, this time claiming Richard Ashcroft never made a dime on the song, but that he also chose not to alter it so that he could. Again, sounds like the Stones had absolutely nothing to do with it, and were in fact greater victims of Klein's - along with the Beatles - than the Verve ever were.
And Jenny is right that in the 50s and 60s a lot of musicians got screwed out of royalties.
Here's an informative FAQ from the Harry Fox agency about mechanical rights licenses:
The fastest thing out of New Jersey since Tricky Nicky in a Muscovian handbasket
Make Me Lose Control
Never Gonna Fall In Love Again
Change Of Heart
She Did It
I Wanna Hear It From Your Lips
I'm Through With Love
Boats Against The Current
Plus he was the lead singer for the Raspberries:
Go All The Way
I Wanna Be With You
Overnight Sensation (Hit Record)
It's official. I am madly in love with Meryl Davis.
The problem with Michael Bolton is that people will buy that crap and he will end up thinking he has done music a great service.
When you are up to your arse in alligators it is difficult to remember you were only meant to be draining the swamp.
The Stones wrote "The Last Time", then The Andrew Oldham Orchestra covered it with the same lyrics and original instrumentation. Then The Verve covered the TAOO version's original instrumentation and wrote original lyrics. So, exactly how were the Rolling Stones owners? Really, TAOO should be the ones who are pissed because the instrumentation is very similar from their version to The Verve's. "Bittersweet Symphony" sounds nothing like "The Last Time".
This is the most despicable part to me:
"We were told it was going to be a 50/50 split, and then they (the Stones) saw how well the record was doing," says The Verve band member Simon Jones. "They rung up and said, 'We want 100 percent or take it out of the shops, you don't have much choice.'"