According to this article, the Rock and Roll Hall of Famer is suing timepiece maker Seiko for copyright infringement based on Seiko’s use of the melody to "Bridge Over Troubled Water" as the wakeup chime for a line of alarm clocks. The lesson behind this one is clear: copyright infringement is not limited to unauthorized copying or performance of songs in their exact format. Transforming a song into a ringtone or other limited use commercial format, including alarm clock chimes, whether one is using the entire song or just a few notes, is a bad idea (you can discount the notion of fair use when you’re using "just a little bit") to sell over 100,000 alarm clocks…
But, we can’t let this go without noting the other very bad decisions Seiko made here.
There are so many questions to be asked, including:
Why "Bridge over Troubled Water"? Isn’t "Wake Up Little Suzie" more appropriate? or a series of choices based on particular theme that might include:
"Wednesday Morning, 3 AM" (for those early risers)
"Bye, Bye Love" (for those who might need to rush out on a partner)
"Fifty Ways to Leave Your Lover" (for those that might need to rush out on a partner he/she just met the night before)
"The Sound of Silence" (that which most of us really want to hear instead of the alarm at that time of day).