When I talked about Apple vs. Apple the other day and their really looooong drawn out trademark infringement battle I started thinking about other trademark and copyright cases that I personally think are a little ridiculous. The title of today's post is an informal legal term that was first used in a British case between two newspapers and was also used in Apple vs. Apple. I'm not a lawyer so I don't claim to get all the legal issues involved but I'm willing to be your Moron In A Hurry. You have to admit I'm uniquely qualified.
First up is what I think is the most absurd plagiarism claim in the history of the world: the time John Fogerty was sued for sounding like John Fogerty. Wrap your brain around that for a second. Essentially, Fogerty bought his way out of his contract with Fantasy Records by handing over the copyrights to his music with Creedence Clearwater Revival (plus a cool $1M from David Geffen and Asylum Records), which included "Run Through the Jungle." When our Unfortunate Son released the album Centerfield the song "The Old Man Down the Road" apparently sounded a LOT like "Run Through the Jungle," at least to the copyright holder. Fogerty actually took his guitar into court to play the two songs, presumably the one time he didn't have to pay a royalty to play a CCR song that he freaking wrote.
Centerfield also contained two songs that were direct swipes at the owner of Fantasy Records, Saul Zaentz, which kind of makes you wonder if that wasn't what the suit was really about. Okay, it makes me wonder. In any case, a jury found for Fogerty and Fantasy Records had to pay his legal fees, which then probably went right back to them when Fogerty settled the defamation suit that Zaentz filed against him for the two swipey songs. Makes your head spin, doesn't it? That's why I'm a moron and not a lawyer. Have a great weekend, kids.