1) Sure. It’s CYA. but after you have done music for media for a while it’s not a big deal and you start to learn what sorts of liberties are necessary to make an original piece and what sorts of things you need to stay with to keep the vibe.1 TAXI always having a disclaimer of "in no way, shape or form copy the references" (I took that much too literally, and it sent me off in the entirely wrong direction work wise, and 2 my own propensity to add my own creative touches, sometimes in excess.
Like tempo. Ok to keep same tempo.
Musical setting - I.e. hip hop and a certain era and ref artists.
Instruments - can’t be copyrighted.
However Musical ideas like the Audi commercial that used a track that directly copied the guitar riff from one of Eminem’s biggest hits- nope. That justifiably wound up in court.
2) It’s a journey learning to add your own touch, but it’s also a journey learning how to write very simply and make your pitch on target.