Six Musicians Who Got Busted for Plagiarizing

Musicians who can prove their work was plagiarized have scored some big financial wins

Sam Smith performed at Madison Square Garden in New York on Jan. 15, 2015.

Photographer: Theo Wargo/Getty Images

British singer Sam Smith agreed in October to pay royalties to Tom Petty for the song Stay With Me, a soulful single that topped Billboard charts and that is essentially a remix of Petty's 1989 classic Won't Back Down. U.K. newspaper the Sun broke the news this week. Stay With Me has sold more than 3 million copies, and Smith's album had the third-highest U.S. sales overall last year, behind the soundtrack for Frozen and Taylor Swift's 1989, according to Nielsen (PDF). Taking plagiarists to court has often been a good bet for a wronged artist, as shown by a brief review of musical theft and its fallout.

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