Here is a great post about the blues and how the genre was appropriated by others and on many occasions the original creator is not even credited.
The 60s blues explosion from the UK happened because the artists took the blues standards from the 30s and made em their own (either by building on an existing work or by just saying that they wrote the song without any credit to the creator).
Remember that histories are written by the winners.
I watched a documentary on “The Australian Sound” and there is no mention of the black blues musicians who influenced the white musicians. It just goes back to the white blues musicians from the 60s and it moves forward from there.
Music is all about influence and experience. What you hear, what you read, see, smell, taste and live, all end up in the song.
Similar sounding songs is big business for lawyers. When you have an artist covering another artists songs and claiming that songs as their own, well, that’s morally wrong and also big business for lawyers.
It’s all because Copyright lasts 70 years after the death of the creator. Remember that Copyright was designed to give the creator a brief monopoly on their works so they could make money and as a by product, an incentive to create more works.
These terms originally were 14 years to 28 years. And if the creator passed while they still had a copyright it expired on death and it all went to the public domain for it to be built on and reused.
So what incentive is there if the creator is dead.