BBC Homepage World Service Education
BBC Homepagelow graphics version | feedback | help
BBC News Online
 You are in: Entertainment
Front Page 
World 
UK 
UK Politics 
Business 
Sci/Tech 
Health 
Education 
Entertainment 
Showbiz 
Music 
Film 
Arts 
TV and Radio 
New Media 
Reviews 
Talking Point 
In Depth 
AudioVideo 

Thursday, 15 March, 2001, 10:17 GMT
Jackson wins plagiarism appeal
Michael Jackson
Jackson was found guility by a lower court in 1999
Pop star Michael Jackson has been cleared of plagiarism by an appeals court in Rome in a case brought against him by Italian singer and songwriter Al Bano.

Wednesday's ruling overturns a lower court's decision in May 1999 which found Jackson guilty of copying one of Bano's songs when he wrote his hit single Will You Be There.

Bano claimed Jackson stole part of his 1987 song I Cigni di Balaka (The Swans of Balaka), in composing You Will Be There.

Jackson's Dangerous album, which includes Will You Be There, dates back to 1991.

Jackson was originally ordered to pay legal costs but a four million lire (1,362) fine was suspended.

The decision was appealed by Jackson's lawyers.

Similarity

The appeals court ruling closes a criminal trial which started in 1995 - two years after Bano made his claim.

In a separate civil case also brought by Bano and involving the same song, a Milan court found Jackson not guilty of copyright infringement.

The 1997 ruling was upheld by a Milan court of appeals two years later.

In the original trial, Jackson had told the court there was some "coincidental" similarity between the two songs.

He added that he had never met Bano or heard his song.

The court had heard an expert say that 37 notes were the same in each song.

Jackson's lawyers argued simple similarity did not constitute plagiarism.

In the past, Jackson has been cleared of plagiarism allegations in the United States involving his Dangerous and Thriller albums.

Search BBC News Online

Advanced search options
Launch console
BBC RADIO NEWS
BBC ONE TV NEWS
WORLD NEWS SUMMARY
PROGRAMMES GUIDE
See also:

08 Mar 01 | Entertainment
Best man Jackson meets fans
05 Mar 01 | Entertainment
Jackson's life in the spotlight
11 Jul 00 | Entertainment
Jackson sued over diamond watch
12 May 99 | Entertainment
Jackson loses plagarism case
Internet links:


The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites

Links to more Entertainment stories are at the foot of the page.


E-mail this story to a friend

Links to more Entertainment stories