Plagiarism in music and songwriting happens all the time. Even for established songwriters, writing a line and fitting it to a chord sometimes turns into accidental plagiarism. When this happens, fear of facing legal action usually wins and that particular line is scratched, no matter how good it sounds.
Aside from copyrighting your material, there are other easier steps you can take to prevent plagiarism. The simplest way to secure your songwriting is to avoid publicizing the lyrics of your song when it’s still unfinished. Most people like to post one-liners of their compositions on social media to engage other people. This is not always a good way to promote your song because you easily allow people to steal your writing.
Make sure that the only people who are aware of your songwriting are trusted professionals in the music industry and the artists who you are working with. Songwriters can always sue for the stealing of copyright, but it involves expensive fees and lengthy legal procedures.
The same tips apply for songwriters. The essence of songwriting is expression and creativity. Stealing other people’s writing contradicts this and squashes your reputation. Respect the creativity of other songwriters, and always come up with your own ideas.
Plagiarism in music is also rampant in the industry. Some are intentional, most are accidental. Regardless, an artist should always protect their material and make sure that the people who distribute the song are the only ones with access to it. If you’re worried about the melody of your material, play the song to a trusted music expert, and ask them if the melody sounds familiar. Protect your material as if it’s your child because it might be your stepping stone to a bright and successful career.