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Two totally different harmonies can support the same melodic line. Can someone still be accused of musical plagiarism even if the melody has been reharmonized? Wouldn't that be to assume that the underlying harmony doesn't have a drastic effect on the feeling of a melody?

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    You forget to mention which national laws you want to discuss. But above all, I think legal questions are off-topic. – Matt May 15 at 4:41
  • I’m voting to close this question because this is purely a 'legal tactics" question – Carl Witthoft May 15 at 11:24
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    Lawyers will "consider" anything and everything they can to win their case. – Carl Witthoft May 15 at 11:25
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    I’m voting to close this question because legal questions are off-topic. – Dom May 15 at 14:04
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    @RishiNandha_M there's always Law. – phoog May 16 at 18:42
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An example of a work being successfully pursued for royalties based on a melodic fragment played over different harmony is "Kookaburra" as quoted by "Down Under".

In theory, someone could be accused of musical plagiarism on almost any musical basis. Cases have been won recently based on pieces having similar instrumentation and 'feel' - and although I can't find a link, I recall reading about a case being made on the basis of two songs featuring a similar sound, even though the sound was a preset from a popular synth.

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    Plagiarism is not illegal. Copyright infringement is. – phoog May 16 at 18:45
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Yes, a person could be accused of plagiarism for this. I suspect the charge would stick too, unless the defendant could show that the melody was not an important part of that music.

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    Without citations, this answer is not defensible. – Carl Witthoft May 15 at 11:25
  • Plagiarism is not illegal. The potential violation under discussion is copyright infringement. – phoog May 16 at 18:44

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