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Forensic Musicology: Analysis Methods Used in Music Copyright Infringement Disputes

This is a past event.

Friday, January 13 at 12:30pm to 2:00pm

WPAC - Wertheim Performing Arts Center
10910 SW 17th St., Miami, FL 33199

Forensic musicology is the practice of analyzing music to investigate whether a song is copied from a previous song. It is used in music copyright infringement disputes to establish the extent of plagiarism, and in film, radio and TV to ensure that new music is not too derivative of older music. Two main methods are used – musical comparison with prior art research, and audio sample authentication. In this 90-minute session, Professor Bennett will provide an overview of the field, with live demonstrations of the techniques that Forensic Musicologists use to answer the often difficult and contentious question “how similar is too similar?”. The session will include examples from copyright infringement lawsuits in the United States, including the notable “Blurred Lines” and “Stairway To Heaven” cases of recent years.

Presented by Dr. Joe Bennett,  a musicologist, writer, and researcher, specializing in popular music and songwriting. He teaches songwriting, music copyright, and song analysis at Berklee College of Music in Boston, USA. As an expert witness forensic musicologist, Professor Bennett advises lawyers, publishers, artists, and songwriters on matters of musical similarity. He blogs about songwriting copyright at

We are proud to co-host this session with the Herbert and Nicole Wertheim School of Music and Performing Arts. 

Register for free at

Event Type

Academics, Lectures & conferences


Students, Faculty & Staff, Alumni, General Public


seminarseries, GFJC


Global Forensic and Justice Center
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