Mathematicians will explain that there is a finite number of chord progressions available to composers, so commonality is not only likely, it’s inevitable. Then, lawyers will explain that copyright lawsuits are inevitable.
The most recent lawsuit pits Radiohead against Lana Del Rey. Radiohead asserts that Del Rey’s “Get Free” copied elements of “Creep.” Ironically, “Creep” was the subject of an earlier copyright infringement lawsuit, which resulted in Radiohead now sharing royalties and writing credit with the authors of The Hollies’ hit ““The Air That I Breathe.” So, if “Creep” was inspired by the chord progression and melody from the 1970’s song by Albert Hammond and Mike Hazlewood, can Radiohead claim that its creative rights were violated by the release of a song some 25 years later? The answer is “Yes, they can.” But is it morally and ethically right to do so. We vote “No, it’s not.”
According to Lana Del Rey, she offered 40 percent of the royalties of “Get Free” to Radiohead, but Radiohead's lawyers want 100 percent. We do not know the percentage of the "Creep" royalties Radiohead must send to Albert Hammond and Mike Hazlewood, but it is less than 100 percent. Hummm!