A Brief History of Egregious Music Video Plagiarism

It’s sad to say it, but yesterday’s news that the ever delightful Beyoncé Knowles is being accused of stealing dance moves for her new video (again) didn’t really come as a great surprise. Now, as ever, we’re well aware that there’s nothing really new in this world, but we’re also aware that there’s a fine but fairly clear line between taking inspiration from something and just, y’know, taking it. There are arguments to be made that all the videos we’ve listed after the jump fall on the wrong side of that line. And also, we can’t help but noticing that the people doing the copying are generally ultra-successful megastars who a) should know better and b) can afford to pay battalions of lawyers to make potential problems disappear. Funny old world, eh?

Beyoncé vs. Bob Fosse

When we included the “Single Ladies” video in our roundup of much-loved music videos that maybe aren’t quite as great as people think they are, we were generally howled down in the comments section for being haters and terrible people, etc. But, shit, we didn’t even mention that apart from being perhaps not the choreographical masterwork that its fans seem to think it is, “Single Ladies” was also very much “inspired” by the dance routines in Bob Fosse’s “Mexican Breakfast.”

The original: