Today in Madonna History: March 18, 2005

On March 18 2005, a resolution was reached in a UK copyright lawsuit (Coffey v Warner/Chappell Music Ltd. & Others) which alleged that elements of the Madonna & Patrick Leonard composition, Nothing Really Matters, had infringed on the copyright of claimant Elizabeth Coffey and her song, Forever After, performed by Peter Twomey.

The case took almost four years to reach the court and went under a considerable number of amendments by the plaintiff during that time. Coffey eventually alleged that the recording of Forever After included an original musical work, which consisted of the combination of vocal expression, pitch contour, and syncopation of or around the words “does it really matter,” but did not extend to the melody or lyrics surrounding those words.  She pleaded that the words “does it really matter” comprised the song’s lyrical hook and alleged that the copyright in Forever After was infringed by the defendants’ activities in relation to Nothing Really Matters.

In turn, the defendants moved to have the claim struck out as the method the plaintiff had identified the alleged copied elements was contrary to copyright law in general. Another defense offered was that, in any event, no copying had occurred.

The case was dismissed on the legal grounds that, in copyright, one cannot cherry pick the elements of the song that are the most similar in an attempt to build a stronger case. In his findings, the presiding Judge Blackburn, noted:
“The three somewhat elusive features identified by the claimant as her musical work cannot by any stretch of the imagination be said to be sufficiently separable from the remainder of the song as themselves to constitute a musical work. […] What the copyright work is in any given case is not governed by what the claimant alleging copyright infringement chooses to say that it is. Rather, it is a matter for objective determination by the court.”
A summary analysis and MIDI clip of the claimant’s song (which, incidentally, bears no perceivable resemblance to Nothing Really Matters) can be found here. The complete judgement in the lawsuit can be viewed here.

 

Today in Madonna History: January 11, 2005

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On January 11 2005, Madonna.com announced that Madonna would perform during NBC’s Tsunami Aid: A Concert Of Hope, to air on January 15th:

“More than a dozen musical acts have signed on to perform in NBC Universal’s tsunami benefit special, which will raise money for the American Red Cross’s relief efforts. Among those scheduled to perform in the special, titled Tsunami Aid: A Concert of Hope, are Madonna, Sheryl Crow, Lenny Kravitz, Eric Clapton, Mary J. Blige, Kenny Chesney, Brian Wilson, India.Arie, John Mayer and Gloria Estefan. A number of other stars, including George Clooney, Usher, Halle Berry and Uma Thurman, are also set to appear. The concert, airing ET Saturday (Jan. 15), will be broadcast on NBC and all its cable networks. The PAX network, which is partly owned by NBC, and Spanish-language broadcaster Telemundo will also air the benefit. During the benefit, viewers will be directed to a phone number and web site for the American Red Cross International Response Fund, which is working to provide victims of the Dec. 26 disaster with food and water and to prevent disease in the areas hit by the tsunamis. The Red Cross is at work on long-term aid efforts that include mental health counseling and disaster preparedness initiatives.”

Madonna performed a cover of John Lennon’s Imagine during the broadcast, which had been part of the set-list of the previous year’s Re-Invention Tour.

Today in Madonna History: December 14, 2005

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On December 14 2005, Madonna’s Confessions On A Dancefloor was certified Gold and Platinum by the RIAA for sales of 500,000 and 1,000,000 in the USA.

Today in Madonna History: November 27, 2005

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On November 27 2005, Confessions Of Madonna – a one-hour interview conducted by Dermot O’Leary which focused mainly on promoting the television broadcast of I’m Going To Tell You A Secret – aired on Channel 4 in the UK.

Today in Madonna History: November 8, 2005

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On November 8 2005, Madonna recorded an interview with Michael Parkinson for an episode of the British television series Parkinson, for broadcast on November 12th.

Madonna was in great spirits during the appearance, which also included performances of two songs from her soon-to-be-released album, Confessions On A Dance Floor: lead single Hung Up along with the very first live performance of Get Together.

(Thanks Amalio for sharing the video!)

Today in Madonna History: November 3, 2005

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On November 3 2005, Madonna opened the 2005 MTV Europe Music Awards in Lisbon, Portugal with her first live performance of Hung Up.

Less than three months after suffering several broken bones in a horse riding accident, Madonna’s performance was triumphantly received by fans and the press – not to mention the very enthusiastic audience who attended the show in Lisbon.

Today in Madonna History: October 20, 2005

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On October 20 2005, Madonna was dared by David Letterman to get back on a horse – the first time since her fall (in August) which led to three cracked ribs, a broken collarbone and a broken hand.  Madonna accepted the dare to ride again.

When asked why she hadn’t been on a horse since the fall, Madonna explained, “because my record company is not very keen on the idea of me injuring myself.”

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