• Tom Petty Receives Writing Credit for “Stay With Me;” Sam Smith Claims it Coincidence
  • March 16, 2015
  • Law Firm: Goldberg Segalla LLP - Buffalo Office
  • Over the weekend, it was reported that Grammy-nominated recording artist, Sam Smith, agreed last year to a settlement with Tom Petty over a copyright dispute with Smith’s song “Stay With Me.”

    Sam Smith’s three time Grammy nominated hit single “Stay With Me” released last year, has drawn considerable attention for its catchy melody over the last year. It has also received considerable attention for that melody’s unmistakable similarity to Tom Petty’s 1989 hit “I Won’t Back Down.” The clear similarity raised between the songs raised copyright concerns for Tom Petty’s publishers, who then contacted the publishers of “Stay With Me.” Smith and his writers, unfamiliar with the song, gave it a listen and immediately recognized the similarities between the melodies of the chorus.

    Smith’s representatives told Rolling Stone that the similarity was complete coincidence and that everyone involved came to an immediate and amicable agreement last October. While the full details of the settlement have not been released, Tom Petty and ELO’s Jeff Lynne (who co-wrote “I Won’t Back Down”) have been co-credited with writing Smith’s single.