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  Worksheet: Robbie robs words from old song
Updated 06 February 2002, 13.01
Robbie Williams
Robbie Williams

Put a line through the irrelevant facts, leaving only the information that is relevant to the headline.

Robbie robs words from old song

Robbie Williams, who was born on February 13th 1974 and has the middle-name Peter, may be forced to hand over a big sum of money to another songwriter, because he used some of his words without permission or asking him first if he could use them.

A judge decided that Robbie's song 'Jesus In A Camper Van' sounds very similar to a song written by Woody Guthrie called 'I Am The Way'.

Another singer, Loudon Wainwright III whose first album came out in 1970 later changed the words slightly and recorded an updated version of the song, but got permission to do so.

The judge must now decide exactly how much money Robbie, who penned the song with writing partner Guy Chambers who he met on January 8th 1997, owes Guthrie.

Record company knew in advance

Guthrie's lawyers said that Robbie's record company, Chrysalis (which has a butterfly as its logo), knew about the similar lyrics before the album was released, but decided to put it in record shops anyway.

They said Chrysalis, which was founded in a tiny flat in West London in 1967, offered some money to Guthrie, but when he decided it wasn't enough, the record company left the song on the album and released it.

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