News March 5, 2019

‘Love Is In The Air’ copyright case begins in Sydney

‘Love Is In The Air’ copyright case begins in Sydney

The copyright case based around the Australian song ‘Love Is In The Air’ has begun in Sydney Federal Court.

Songwriters Harry Vanda and the late George Young’s estate, Boomerang Investments took action in January 2018 against US duo Glass Candy, its songwriters Johnny Padgett and Lori Monahan, Kobalt Music Publishing and Air France alleging infringement.

They say that their 1977 hit was copied in the Glass Candy’s 2011 song ‘Warm in the Winter’, and was used for an Air France advertisement in 2015, ‘France is in the air’.

The later song uses the line “love is in the air” and contend it uses the same melody for that line, and that the subsequent chordal structure of both songs is the same.

Yesterday the videos of John Paul Young’s 1977version of ‘Love Is In The Air’, Glass Candy performing their song and the Air France ad were played before Justice Nye Perram.

Harry Vanda and John Paul Young were both in court.

The Vanda-Young argument is that they never consented to having their song’s lyrics changed, and had turned down an offer from a hair-care company for use in its Hair Is In The Air ad campaign.

Their barrister, Michael Hall SC told the court, “We say the material was deliberately copied with writers very familiar with ‘Love Is In The Air’, who had that song in mind when they composed ‘Warm In The Winter’.”

Richard Cobden SC, for the Glass Candy and two songwriters, insisted none of his clients had heard the Vanda-Young song, that the line “love is in the air” is a common one and any similarity was “a little melodic fragment”.

Last year, when the infringement case was launched, Air France said in a statement: “Air France has acquired the rights of an existing track ‘Warm In The Winter’.”

Vanda Young wrote ‘Love Is In The Air’ for the German market after John Paul Young’s ‘Standing in the Rain’ became a hit in the German electro clubs.

JPY estimates there are 500 cover versions of the song, which went on to become a hit through Europe.

It was the theme song of Baz Luhrmann’s 1992 film Strictly Ballroom and picked up as unofficial match song of the Dundee United football club.

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