This post originally appeared on my now-deleted blog, You Learn Something New Every Day (Almost)!
The story of how George Harrison was sued over the resemblance of his song "My Sweet Lord" to the earlier Chiffons hit "He's So Fine" is legendary.
I knew most of the facts in the case up until now.
The following is abridged from Wikipedia. I have emphasized the really cool fact included toward the end in bold print. That's the part I did not know before now, a fact which makes the whole story oh, so sweet!
Following the song's release, musical similarities between "My Sweet Lord" and The Chiffons' hit "He's So Fine" led to a lengthy legal battle over the rights to the composition... Harrison stated that he was inspired to write "My Sweet Lord" after hearing the Edwin Hawkins Singers' "Oh Happy Day".
In the U.S. federal court decision in the case, known as Bright Tunes Music v. Harrisongs Music, Harrison was found to have unintentionally copied the earlier song. He was ordered to surrender the majority of royalties from "My Sweet Lord" and partial royalties from All Things Must Pass. Former manager Allen Klein, who earlier had supported Harrison's case, became the owner of Bright Tunes, after they parted ways. In the long run this worked against Klein, but it resulted in the case continuing for years in court...
Shortly thereafter, Harrison (who would eventually buy the rights to "He's So Fine") wrote and recorded a song about the court case named "This Song", which includes "This song, there's nothing 'Bright' about it." Did you catch that, fellow babies? Harrison ended up owning both songs, meaning in effect that he both lost and won the very same lawsuit in the long run!
Thanks for your time.