Published On: Sun, Feb 19th, 2023

George Harrison lamented being caught with plagiarism charges – ‘Why?’ | Music | Entertainment

became perhaps the most successful member of to build a solo career after the band split in 1970. In that same year, he released his third solo record, All Things Must Past, the album that would become his best-known and most successful. On November 23, 1970, Harrison dropped his first single from the record, My Sweet Lord, but four months later, he was hit was massive plagiarism charges.

By February 10, 1971, My Sweet Lord had become a smash hit, reaching the number one spot in singles charts around the world, and selling millions of copies in various countries. It was then claimed that My Sweet Lord was a rip-off of the 1963 song He’s So Fine by American girlband The Chiffons.

Harrison admitted the songs were extremely similar in tone and structure, and – over the following ten years – battled to prove it was not an intentional display of plagiarism.

On this day, February 19, in 1981, Harrison was finally ordered to pay a staggering $587,000 (approximately $2 million in 2023) for the plagiarism of He’s So Fine.

Writing in his memoir (I, Me, Mine) Harrison spoke candidly about the stress this lawsuit had on his life.

“It was then I thought,” Harrison said: “‘Why didn’t I realise?’ It would have been very easy to change a note here or there, and not affect the feeling of the record.”

Things were made even worse by who had filed the lawsuit against Harrison in the first place: Allen Klein.

Klein was The Beatles’ former manager. He had been fired by Harrison, and before the band split up.

He ended up buying up the struggling music publisher, Bright Tunes. This company was also the owner of He’s So Fine, and therefore filed charges against Harrison’s plagiarism.

Klein requested an extortionate $1.6 million from Harrison for the My Sweet Lord issue.

After the legal trial began in February 1976, Klein and his company fought against Harrison to get the money out of him.

Ultimately, the court decided on the fee of $587,000, the sum Klein had originally purchased the song from Bright Tunes for in 1978.


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