Zimmer sued over ‘Gladiator’ music

By • June 12, 2006

Hans Zimmer has been sued by the Holst Foundation and J. Curwen and Sons, the publishers of Gustav Holst’s famous orchestral suite The Planets, according to recent news reports. Zimmer is accused of infringement of copyright – and it’s a score Zimmer himself has stated uses ”the same language, the same vocabulary, if not the same syntax” as The Planets: Gladiator. The music Zimmer is referring to, and that caused the Holst Foundation to take action, is a musical motif used in some of the action sequences of the 2000 Ridley Scott blockbuster. It is considered by the plaintiff to resemble Holst’s ”Mars: The Bringer of War”, the opening movement of The Planets, enough to ”ask for the assistance of the courts”, according to a Curwen spokesman quoted by the Mail on Sunday.

According to the same article, Zimmer’s lawyer defends the German composer, saying that “Mr. Zimmer’s work on Gladiator is world-renowned and is not in any sense a copy of Mars. Just listening to the two works is enough to tell any listener this claim has no merit.”

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