Songs on Trial: 12 Landmark Music Copyright Cases
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We run down 12 landmark copyright cases in music history, from the Beach Boys vs. Chuck Berry to Lana Del Rey vs. Radiohead. Michael Ochs Archives/Getty, Kevin Winter/Getty, Michael Ochs Archives/Getty

Western music is made up of just 12 notes, which yield a practically infinite number of songs. That's the theory, at least. It's only natural that composers mimic what's been successful in the past, but as Robin Thicke and Pharrell learned the hard way, there's a blurred line between inspiration and theft. And musical copyright continues to be a hot-button issue, affecting everyone from Madonna, Justin BieberEd Sheeran and Lana Del Rey to the mighty Led Zeppelin.

Read on for 12 of the most infamous copyright infringement cases in pop music history. From lyrical lifts and unlicensed sampling, to melodies that sound just a tad too similar, there are many points of contention. Are the original artists looking out for their intellectual property or their bank balance? The jury is out.