Intolerance: Pistol's Manager Sued over Kill Bill Samples

Mr.Malcolm Mclaren, the former manager of punk rock group 'The Sex Pistols', is being sued for nearly 70_000_GBP in France for allegedly plagiarising a song used in the soundtrack of Mr.Quentin Tarantino's film 'Kill Bill 2'... Mr.Benjamin Béduneau, 29, a French musician who uses the professional name 'Lancelot', claims he was the creator of the song, 'About Her', and that Mr.Mclaren stole his composition, an allegation that the British music producer denies. Mr.Béduneau maintains that 'About Her' is a straightforward copy of a piece of music entitled 'Smith Ballad', which he created in 2002 by sampling the voice of the blues singer Ms.Bessie Smith with the song 'She's Not There' by the rock group 'The Zombies'. He claims he submitted the song to Mr.Mclaren for a tribute project to the designer Mr.Christian Dior, which did not come about. Mr.Béduneau says that instead of producing the promised album, Mr.Mclaren then proposed 'Smith Ballad' to Mr.Quentin Tarantino. 'About Her', which accompanied the final scene of 'Kill Bill 2', starring Ms.Uma Thurman. On the soundtrack, it is attributed to Mr.Mclaren. Mr.Béduneau said:
'A friend who had just bought the soundtrack of the film told me that one of my songs was on it.
'I ran to the record shop to buy it and then I listened to my song, listed as track number 12 on the CD,' he said.
However, appearing before a court in the western city of Angers, Mr.Mclaren's lawyer, Mr.Bruno Ryterband, said his client was the true author of the song and had been the victim of a scam. The song was created from music samples which Mr.Mclaren had asked Mr.Béduneau to compile, he said, adding that the young composer had simply carried out the British producer's instructions.
'In the same way that "Picasso", when he made collages, was considered to be a painter, Malcolm Mclaren is a producer who uses musical collages,' Mr.Ryterband said. 'Benjamin Béduneau did not compose the melodic line of this track, which is inspired by a work by Francis Poulenc entitled "Improvisation Number 13 In Minor",' he added.
However Mr.Ryterband admitted that Mr.Mclaren, 59, could not play the piano nor any other musical instrument. Mr.Béduneau insisted, however, that he was the true author of the song.
'The fact that it was influenced by Francis Poulenc does not alter the problem,' he added.
Mr.Béduneau's lawyer, Mr.Antoine Béguin, said:
'We expected this sort of defence which consists of saying that the creative genius is Malcolm Mclaren while Benjamin Béduneau is nothing more than an executor of lowly works. When in fact it was him who was on the synthesiser and who created the melody. 'I am confident. We have all the proof in our hands. I want it to be known that the author of the unpublished song on the original soundtrack of "Kill Bill 2", which Quentin Tarantino fell for, is French.'
Mr.Béduneau said he registered the score for the song with the French performers' rights body 'SACEM' in 2002-01. A verdict is expected on 2005-11-10. 'Mclaren sued over Kill Bill song ', Susan Bell, The Scotsman, 2005-10-08


Blogger Dave said...

This is confusing. The musicians are: Francis Poulenc, Bessie Smith and The Zombies. None of whom seem to be gett8ing any credit, nor any money from sales nor court awards.

Mclaren asks Launcelot to blend these samples together. The resulting collage is copyrighted as 'Smith Ballad' by Launcelot and Mclaren passes the collage as 'About Her' to Tarantino for use as a movie soundtrack where Mclaren is credited as author.

The collage/Picasso argument could apply to Tarantino, couldn't it? He's interpreting the visual aspect of the collage, adding to it... so why is he not credited?

If someone CAN claim artist/ author/ owner on the grounds of Picasso/collage, then is it Launcelot or Mclaren, is it the one who had the idea or the one who executed or engineered the work.

Is it possible that a sound engineer or cameraman can be part of the authoring process?

10/10/2005 12:57:00 am  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

As long as you credit the musicians and compositional contributors, then I think it is OK. You CAN be an artist by using samples or mixing tracks, your instrument can be the decks or the computer, the raw material can be loops and samples created by real instruments and real musicians. Classical composers borrowed themes and did variations, and the lot was played by musicians without them. Oil painters had apprentices painting backgrounds and factory producing what we call old masters...not the work of a single person at all. It's all good ;-)

10/31/2005 01:04:00 am  

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