I read quotes that had those ideas in them, so I can’t exactly accuse someone else of stealing my ideas when they were borrowed in the first place. I can’t claim that something is mine that I never owned in the first place. Even if all of my ideas were “completely original”, (and how many of us can claim that?), I came up with them based on things I’ve heard, read or come across in my life. They aren’t mine. I’m free to use them, but I don’t own them and can’t keep others from coming up with them on their own as well. We are all looking for ideas in the same places and are shooting for the same targets. We are going to write lots of the same ideas and concepts. If someone comes out with a song that has the same title as one of yours, pat yourself on the back. You’re on the right track! You are writing competitive ideas. Our job is to write the idea so well that no one else can write it better.
Don’t worry about someone writing a title that you also wrote. Just keep writing. The last thing you want to do is to accuse someone of stealing your idea and to discover that theirs was written first. Then you become the accused.
Let me give you an example of how actual stealing works. I used to have a songwriting deal with a publisher in Singapore. Mainly writing for Chinese, Taiwanese, Korean and Japanese artists. The problem with deal was I submitted more than 200 demos to my publisher and in a period of 3 years he couldn’t cut even one song. And this was happening when I was at my peak with other people. But nothing could get cut through this publisher and he was just blaming my songs. Sadly, I was stupid enough to believe his excuses and lose my confidence while I was desperately trying to improve my work! It was around the ending of the contract that one my friends who is an established Singaporean singer came to my studio with his brand new album to pass me a signed copy – which by the way is one beautiful tradition in the industry to sign a copy with a personal message and give it to your closest friends when you CD is released – as excited as I was about his album, I looked at back of the cover and guess who is the “writer”? Yes, my publisher. I played the CD and I was amazed, because 3 out of 5 songs on the CD were my songs but I didn’t know, I didn’t get paid and I didn’t even get any credit at all! That is stealing songs. Later I found out this is what that publisher does. Stealing songs from the writers under his contract and sell them to new singers at a very overpriced rate.