Last Word: Musician Hears His Work In Beijing

The source of the American national anthem being played at the Beijing Olympics during medal ceremonies is in question. Peter Breiner wasn't watching the Games until his friends starting calling to say, "That sounds like your arrangement." It does. Especially the "Rockets Red Glare" section — an unusually soft string rendition that brought some controversy when it was used in Athens in 2004.He got paid for that rendition in 2004. Now Mr. Breiner says he's "100-percent positive" that the Chinese borrowed it from his work. In an email to The Washington Post, the Chinese insist they came up with the arrangement themselves.

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STEVE INSKEEP, host:

Today's last word in business is about something else that may have been recycled: an arrangement of the national anthem as it's been played at the Olympics when Americans win the gold. Peter Breiner was not watching the Games until his friends starting calling to say, That sounds like your arrangement, which it does. Especially the "Rockets Red Glare" section — an unusually soft string rendition that brought some controversy when it was used in Athens in 2004. Breiner got paid for that rendition in 2004. Now he says he is 100 percent positive that the Chinese borrowed it. In an email to The Washington Post, the Chinese insist they came up with the arrangement themselves. Hands over your hearts, please.

It's MORNING EDITION from NPR News. I'm Steve Inskeep.

(Soundbite of "The Star-Spangled Banner)

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