Copying or Inspiration :: Kanye West Sued for Beat-Biting “Stronger” Lyrics

In 2010, Kanye West was sued by Vincent Peters, over the song “Stronger.” Peters claims that he gave Kanye’s manager, John Monopoly, a copy of a song he wrote in 2006, also titled “Stronger.” He thinks that Monopoly gave the song to Kanye, who then created his own version of the song. But earlier this year a judge dismissed the case, saying that there wasn’t enough similarity between the two songs to prove Peters’ claim true. Peters will not give up, though, and continues to fight the case. On Friday, Kanye and his representatives submitted a brief arguing that he got the inspiration for the song from the German philosopher, Friedrich Nietzsche, who said,

“That which does not kill us, makes us stronger.”

Besides the fact that both songs use Nietzche’s phrase as inspiration, the songs have a few other similarities. Both songs have the same title, “Stronger,” they both reference the supermodel Kate Moss, and they both use the same words to rhyme in the chorus. Here are the chorus lyrics for both.

Peters’ Lyrics:

“What don’t kill me make me stronger
The more I blow up the more you wronger
You coped my CD you can feel my hunger
The wait is over, couldn’t wait much longer”

Kanye’s Lyrics:

“N-N-Now th-th-that that don’t kill me
Can only make me stronger
I need you to hurry up now
Cause I can’t wait much longer
I know I got to be right now
Cause I can’t get much wronger
Man I’ve been waiting all night now
That’s how long I’ve been on ya”

Kanye West’s attorney, Carrie Hall, believes that none of the similarities are significant enough to prove copyright infringement. She says, if the plaintiff wins,

“it would create a dangerously low threshold for establishing copyright protection over otherwise commonplace words and phrases.”

What do WE think…..Did Kanye copy Peters’ lyrics or is this simply a case of creative similarities?


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