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In this copyright lawsuit, the Defendant’s musical composition “Christ Be Our King” is alleged to infringe Plaintiff’s musical composition “Emmanuel.”

Take a look at the musical notation and compare the two works for yourself:

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The Complaint (below) details the elements of the two compositions that the Plaintiff considers “strikingly similar”:

  1. The first eight notes of “Christ Be Our Light” are precisely the same as in “Emmanuel:” the same notes, the same key, and the same time signature.
  2. “Christ Be Our Light” omitted the ninth note that was present in “Emmanuel” but ended the phrase on exactly the same tenth note from “Emmanuel.”
  3. The second phrase of notes in “Christ Be Our Light” is again almost identical to the second phrase of “Emmanuel.”
  4. The third phrase of “Christ Be Our Light” with its climbing melody is remarkably similar to the third phrase of “Emmanuel.”

What do you think? Copyright infringement?

This is an interesting case…stay tuned for updates.

Ambrosetti v. Oregon Catholic Press et al.

Court Case Number: 3:19-cv-00682-JD-MGG
File Date: Tuesday, August 27, 2019
Plaintiff: Vincent A. Ambrosetti, The King’s Minstrels Charitable Trust aka International Liturgy Publications
Plaintiff Counsel: Donald J. Schmid
Defendant: Oregon Catholic Press, Bernadette Farrell
: Copyright Infringement
Court: Southern District of Indiana
Judge: Jon E. DeGuilio
Referred To: Michael G. Gotsch, Sr.