″Chariots of Fire” Composer In Plagiarism Suit
LONDON (AP) _ A Greek composer who claims the theme music of the 1981 award-winning movie ″Chariots of Fire″ was plagiarized from his work told a court he didn’t complain earlier because he had forgotten his own composition.
Stavros Logarides, in a suit which began this week, claims that the theme music for the film was copied from a song ″City of Violets″ he wrote for a 1975 television series.
The movie theme was written by Vangelis, who uses a single name professionally but whose real name is Evangelos Papathanasiou.
Logarides told the judge that after ″Chariots of Fire″ came out he did not relate the theme tune by Vangelis to his work ″because I could not remember it that much.″
Also, the 33-year-old Logarides said, he did not hear the film tune ″consciously″ until 1982, about the same time a TV producer pointed out to him its similarity to ″City of Violets.″
Both works were played in court. The bewigged Judge Sir John Whitford sat surrounded by electric pianos, synthesizers, mixing desks and other equipment.
EMI Publishing Music Ltd., which issue Logarides’ music, offered expert testimony claiming that a key four-note phrase in both pieces was identical.
Vangelis, 37, maintains he did not hear the Logarides work until after composing the film tune.
Logarides claims he played his song for Vangelis in a London recording studio in 1976. But Vangelis’ attorney, Robin Jacob, said Logardes did not play ″City of Violets″ during that session.
EMI is seeking an injunction banning Vangelis and three publishers from breaching copyright. It also wants a court order requiring ″Chariots of Fire″ records and sheet music held by Vangelis and the publishers be handed to them, and an inquiry started into assessing damages.
Vangelis and the publishers, Amsterdam-based Spheric BV, Warner Bros. Music Inc. of California and London-based Warner Bros. Music Ltd., all deny infringing copyright.