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Tom Petty responds to Sam Smith song credit deal

By | Published on Friday 30 January 2015

Tom Petty

Tom Petty has commented on the news that he and Jeff Lynne have been given co-credits on Sam Smith’s hit ‘Stay With Me’ on the basis it’s kinda similar to their song ‘I Won’t Back Down’.

As previously reported, the credits were given, despite neither Smith nor any of his collaborators had ever knowingly having heard that track, so there is no allegation of wrong doing or song theft or even subconscious copyright infringement here. Oh no, not at all. Not for a second. Not even a millisecond.

Indeed, there was never any talk of this matter going legal. And I know for a fact that Petty is going to be seething when he sees that I filed this story in the Legal News section. Because this story couldn’t be any less legal. This is ‘Song Sounded Slightly Similar To Another Song So The Other Song’s Writers Got A Credit News’. But there wasn’t time to create a new section header, so Petty’s going to have to live with this being listed as ‘legal’. Even though it’s not legal.

This is what Petty had to say about the matter: “About the Sam Smith thing. Let me say I have never had any hard feelings toward Sam. All my years of songwriting have shown me these things can happen. Most times you catch it before it gets out the studio door but in this case it got by. Sam’s people were very understanding of our predicament and we easily came to an agreement”.

So that’s nice. And let’s not forget, this never went legal. “The word lawsuit was never even said”, Petty adds. “And was never my intention. And no more was to be said about it. How it got out to the press is beyond Sam or myself. Sam did the right thing and I have thought no more about this. A musical accident no more, no less. In these times we live in this is hardly news. I wish Sam all the best for his ongoing career. Peace and love to all”.

Peace and love indeed. Though not to lawyers presumably. They’ll be getting no business from Mr Petty, however many pop warblers accidentally-by-coincidence rip off his songs. And praise be to that.