Saturday, October 04, 2008

Hans Zimmer VS The Holst Foundation

Zimmer VS The Holst Foundation

Back in 2000, Film Composer Hans Zimmer wrote the amazing score to the film Gladiator. One of the best tracks from the score is named “The Battle”. This track is heavily influenced by Gustav Holst’s classic The Planets. Given the Greek/Roman connections, I can see the influence there.

Well, someone from the Holst Foundation thought the between the similarities movie score and the suite were too close.

Mars: Bringer of War

Gladiator: The Battle

Yes, Zimmer's Gladiator music has a lot of influence from Holst's work, but there is no reason for this lawsuit to even exist. Nearly every modern score has been influenced by Holst's music. Why go after

Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country features the same trumpet fanfare as Mars in the opening credits. Nicholas Meyer wanted to used the actual music from The Planets, but realized that the cost for getting the rights were too high.

Star Wars IV: A New Hope: John Williams' amazing score features a great deal of influence from The Planets, even more so with this score than the sequels and prequels.

I just find it odd that they'd go after Zimmer's score when the entire film scoring community has used something from The Planets. Did it have something to do with the high profile of the score? Makes you wonder...

By the way, if anyone has news on how the lawsuit turned out. Tell me.


Anonymous said...

A business associate of Zimmer told me personally that the Holst foundation won $10M. I cannot find any confirmation of this, though.

James Chang said...

The issue now is no longer valid, since Holst's works fell out of copyright in 2004. U.S. Copyright laws state that a copyright law is in effect up to 70 years after the author's death, and Holst died in 1934.

Semaj said...

Okay, thanks for the new info James. However, doesnt the family still own the rights to "The Planets"

James Chang said...

I don't know why they were being so tenacious about the issue, since The Planets is now in the public domain... I don't know for sure, but it doesn't seem right to me

Unknown said...

Just an FYI, you're right about US copyright law, but the film was international and the rights last longer in the UK. The differences in different national laws is something to keep in mind anytime you read about a suit like this.

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