Vanilla Ice case is irrelevant to this, because that was a sample. There is a diffrence between using something that someone else made (a piece of a track /sample) vs something that you made yourself although based/quoting/inspired by someone elses track.
There's not even a verbatim quote of notes in the example you stated vs FTLOG, however, even if there was, copyright law leaves room for 'fair use', which for example can be determined by length of the quote vs overal length (percentage used). Vanilla ICE would be in trouble if he made the track himself sounding like the original (thus without samples), because it runs for the entire length of both songs. Besides that, that particular riff doesn't just sound the same, it *is* the same, which isn't the case in FTLOG vs the examples you posted.
Here's a relevant case and you'll noticed it the suit wasn't about copyright infrigment but plagiarism:
"when fellow Greek musician Stavros Logarides heard "Titles" he was furious, claiming Vangelis had stolen the melody from one of his compositions called "City of Violets." Once a member of a 1970s band called Poll and actually a friend of Vangelis at that time, Logarides sued Vangelis for plagiarism in 1987. When the case came to court, Vangelis set up synthesizers in the courtroom and played for the judge and all others present, though less for entertainment purposes and more so he could demonstrate his compositional process. The judge ruled that "Titles" was a Vangelis original, being a strong, vibrant piece of music, whereas "City of Violets" was fairly sombre and somewhat mournful by comparison, and any similarities in the melody were minor."
(source: wiki page on Vangelis Papathanassiou)
Also relevant is the statute of limitations:
From what point in time does the 3-year statute of limitations begin to run?
The general rule is that the statute of limitations starts from the date of the last infringing act. However, the courts are divided as to how this applies. Some courts hold that you can recover your damages for the entirety of the infringement so long as a lawsuit is filed within 3 years of the last infringing act; others limit damages to those acts which occurred within the three years leading up to the lawsuit.
For the Love of God was written in the 80's, so motion denied, case dismissed.
Exactly what I was stating the "fair use" of which counsel would need to agree upon to make a judgment call concerning infringement of copyright.
What do you think protects artists from plagiarists? The copyright which for example for the life of the original author, or in this case Jim Helms as employed under Warner if you will scroll back in this thread and notice the original copyright and reregister by Warner.
When was Steve Vai’s filed did you look it up under the US copyright site? You are stating the Eighties so then Jim Helms existed before Steve’s legal team filed FTLOG during the eighties.
As for the statement concerning the statue of limitation concerning an infringement this doesn’t fly. There hasn’t been any filed?!
This is from a copywright web site.
The concept of fair use can be confusing and difficult to apply to particular uses of copyright protected material. Understanding the concept of fair use and when it applies may help ensure your compliance with copyright law.
Fair use is a uniquely U.S. concept, created by judges and enshrined in the law. Fair use recognizes that certain types of use of other people’s copyright protected works do not require the copyright holder’s authorization. In these instances, it is presumed the use is minimal enough that it does not interfere with the copyright holder’s exclusive rights to reproduce and otherwise reuse the work.
Fair use is primarily designed to allow the use of the copyright protected work for commentary, parody, news reporting, research and education. However, fair use is not an exception to copyright compliance so much as it is a “legal defense.” That is, if you use a copyright protected work and the copyright owner claims copyright infringement, you may be able to assert a defense of fair use, which you would then have to prove.
Section 107 of the United States Copyright Act lists four factors to help judges determine, and therefore to help you predict, when content usage may be considered “fair use.”
1. The purpose and character of the use, including whether such use is of a commercial nature or is for nonprofit, educational purposes.
If a particular usage is intended to help you or your organization to derive financial or other business-related benefits from the copyright material, then that is probably not fair use.
2. The nature of the copyrighted work.
Use of a purely factual work is more likely to be considered fair use than use of someone’s creative work.
3. The amount and substantiality of the portion used in relation to the copyright protected work as a whole.
There are no set page counts or percentages that define the boundaries of fair use. Courts exercise common-sense judgment about whether what is being used is too much of, or so important to, the original overall work as to be beyond the scope of fair use.
4. The effect of the use on the potential market for or value of the copyright protected work.
This factor looks at whether the nature of the use competes with or diminishes the potential market for the form of use that the copyright holder is already employing, or can reasonably be expected soon to employ, in order to make money for itself through licensing.
At one extreme, simple reproduction of a work (i.e., photocopying) is commonly licensed by copyright holders, and therefore photocopying in a business environment is not likely to be considered fair use.
At the other extreme, true parody is more likely to be considered fair use because it is unlikely that the original copyright holder would create a parody of his or her own work.
Thanks for the interesting reply.