John Mayer: No 'Superfly'
Friday, October 13, 2006
John Mayer is in trouble with the family of the late Curtis Mayfield.

Kirk Mayfield, the late R&B great’s son, wants Mayer put on notice publicly. The singer’s latest single, “Waiting on the World to Change,” Mayfield believes, is uncomfortably close sounding to his father’s classic, “We’re a Winner.”

Indeed, one listen to “Waiting” and it’s pretty obvious that the music is pure Mayfield. Even Mayer’s performance of it sounds like Curtis, who was famous for “Superfly,” “I’m So Proud,” “People Get Ready” and many other classic songs.

Of course, this kind of thing seems to be happening a lot lately. I told you last week that John Legend lifted the music from “Stormy,” by the Classics IV, changed the lyrics and pretended he wrote a new song called “Save Room.”

This used to be called plagiarism. Now it’s called “sampling.”

Mayfield, I’m told, is also listening closely to the new Legend album, which may contain a sample of his father’s work.

But Mayer, at least, hasn’t contacted the Mayfield estate for use of “We’re a Winner.” That, says Kirk Mayfield, won’t be tolerated.



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posted by K.C. at 12:14 PM | Permalink


At 3/20/2010 2:03 PM, Blogger cl.adrs

I have in fact been ripped off by John Mayer--possibly inadvertently at first--for several albums worth of lyric co-writing. I share a belated copyright with him, granted by the Library of Congress in 2006, for most of the songs on "Room For Squares."

But using part of a chord progression used by someone else isn't a copyright violation. Blues, for instance, uses almost all the same chord progressions for many, many songs. A song copyright consists of lyrics, melody, and chord progression all together. Lifting of more than the legally allowed number of notes or combined notes or a phrase is a violation.


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