Dolly Parton terrified of accidental plagiarism
Dolly Parton worries she might be plagiarising someone else's work when she writes songs.
The 70-year-old singer has been in the industry since the age of 10, and has become one of country music's biggest icons. During that time, Dolly has penned plenty of much loved songs, including Jolene and I Will Always Love You, made even more famous when it was recorded by the late Whitney Houston.
Despite her impressive back catalogue, Dolly admits she finds herself worrying whether she is inadvertently copying another artist's tunes when she sits down to write songs.
"I don't believe that any of the people who get sued intentionally set out to do it," Dolly told the BBC when asked about the recent spate of musicians who have been hit with plagiarism lawsuits.
"I always worry about it so much when I write. You don't set out to try and steal anything, but it can happen."
Dolly is no stranger to copyright infringement cases; she was once accused of copying Neil and Jan Goldberg's song Money World on her hit single 9 To 5. The case went to court in 1985 but a jury threw the claim out after deliberating for just 35 minutes, saying they could find "no similarity" in the two tunes.
More recently, Led Zeppelin were accused of using an instrumental track by band Spirit to base their song Stairway to Heaven on, but proved victorious after a legal battle. Ed Sheeran is also currently at the centre of two copyright cases, with claims he stole the ideas for his hits Photograph and Thinking Out Loud.
Dolly believes a lot of these cases could be down to the artist having been subconsciously influenced by other songs.
"If you write all the time, you're going to collect those things and not know it," she said. "I'm always horrified of that. If something sounds familiar, I think, 'Oh my goodness, what is that?' Then I'll track it down and, in my case, it's usually just one of my own songs!"
Dolly is currently on the promotional trail for her latest album, Pure & Simple.
- Cover Media