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Old 08-03-2019, 07:29 PM
Gorsnak is offline
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Join Date: Jan 2003
Location: Saskaboom
Posts: 9,319
Originally Posted by Go_Arachnid_Laser View Post
But there is way more than just the riff. There's the guys going, "Hey! Hey! hey!", there's the "Y'all know what it is", there's the line said in a sudden pitch drop, and I'm sure that an expert can find a lot more similarities.
Background vocals saying "Hey!" as vocal percussion underneath rap is just not noteworthy. It's like saying there's drums in both songs, and that's another similarity that suggests copying. And rappers opening a song with a phrase like "Y'all know what it is" or similar is also just something a lot of them do. There's no reason to think those elements in Dark Horse came specifically from Joyful Noise. I don't even know how you can possibly think "a line with a sudden pitch drop" is something of note.

What you need to constitute evidence of copying is some reasonably unique combination of commonplace things that is copied. But you haven't got that. If the three elements you're pointing to were related to each other in some way, or formed some part of the structure of both songs, then you might have something. What you have besides the similar riffs, effectively, is that both songs use some of the same embellishments. Those embellishments are commonplace, not related to each other within the individual songs, and are no more evidence of copying than two songs both having a trumpet flourish, or both having doo-wap backing vocals.

Really, the only remotely compelling bit is the similar riffs. And yes, they are similar, and they play similar roles in the songs. The similarity of the riffs is far and away the strongest argument. But it's still really, really weak, because it's a simple riff that anyone might write simply by tapping a key on a piano a few times and then the one just to the left of it a couple times. Because that's all the riff is.