Back in August, Sony noted similarities between G-Dragon‘s “Heartbreaker” & “Right Round” (Flo Rida) as well as “Butterfly” & “She’s Electric” (Oasis). On the 21st, Sony reported their observations to the original producers of each song then waited for their response.
Furthermore, according to Freechal, “I Don’t Care” by 2NE1 (supposedly akin to Lionel Richie‘s “Just Go”) & Big Bang‘s “With U” (vs Joe‘s “Ride Wit U”) are also under the same situation.
ATV Music Publishing, the South Korean branch of Sony, just announced the verdict on these alleged similarities. On Sisa Magazine 2580 (시사매거진 2580), a news programme on MBC, it was reported that officials from Sony sent YG Entertainment warning letters regarding the plagiarism. Sony’s legal representative stated, “It was a hard decision for the music critics. However, they decided that there were similarities and accordingly issued a warning letter to the production company and composers. They have also denied YG Entertainment the permission to promote these songs.”
YG Entertainment has released an official statement regarding the plagiarism issues that have been plaguing both G-Dragon and other YG artists in recent months. Though the company has stayed quiet about this controversy for past months, founder Yang Hyun-Seok finally released a (very thorough) response to questions that have been burning in many people’s minds. Here it is…
Hi, It’s Yang Hyun-Seok.
For the past few months, there were way too many rumours and misunderstandings regarding YG Entertainment. Frankly speaking, we kept our words, because we did not think it was right to defend against every single rumours. I am feeling deeply sorry for burdening you with our silence, and decided to explain ourselves.
I will answer the questions as if we were in an interview setting.
There has been an issue of plarigiarism regarding G-Dragon’s solo album title song, Heartbreaker. How come YG has not released an official statement regarding this issue?
Apart from the part of this issue, as a person who loves music, and as a producer who is taking part in improving popular music industry, I apologize from deep below. The reason why YG and G-Dragon did not release a statement up till now, is because we heard that the publishing companies have sent the music file to the original composer, and we have been waiting for a reply.
We did not think it was right to release our opinion before the composers.
It was broadcast on “News Magazine 2580 (시사매거진 2580)” that Sony ATV has sent a warning to YG entertainment. What is YG’s response?
First of all, we are very upset towards Sony ATV. Everything they do, they try to justify it in the media as an official statement. I do not know whether they sent the warning to YG or they sent it to broadcast it in the media in the first place.
To the makers of music, the word ‘plarigiarism’ represents the worst honour. Even if the composers say ‘it isn’t plarigiarized’, it remains as unhealed deep wounds to those involved. In case of “Heartbreaker”, the other publishing companies owning 90% of the rights have remained silent, whereas Sony, owning 10% of the rights, have released their “official statement” on the media.
A few days ago, a lawyer from Sony ATV was interviewed with “News magazine 2580″, and told that they have sent a warning to YG entertainment. The only thing YG is concerned about, is that the public is thinking as if YG has been sued from the composers and YG is in a deep trouble. Contrary to the public’s belief, the warning Sony ATV sent to YG is nothing but mere document they could send hundreds of copies per day. It contained no opinions of the composers themselves, it looked like it was quickly made to be broadcast. Apart from the lawyer of Sony ATV, there was the president of Sony ATV Korea, Heo Young-Ah. You need to remember that she appeared as a board member for Korean Music Publishing Association; she concealed her identity as the president of Sony ATV Korea.
Ever since this issue of plarigiarism broke out, YG has never asked for anything from Sony ATV. We did not want to resolve this issue without the public knowing. If there needs to be any legal actions taken, YG will try its best, and is not afraid a bit. However, we have heard that Sony ATV has only two to three people working, and we have been concerned with that. “Are they able to contact the composers directly?” “Are the original composers interested in this matter at all?” For nearly a month, we have not heard a single word from the composers, and we are doubting for a bit.
In the warning Sony ATV sent to YG, there are not only G-Dragon’s “Heartbreaker” and “Butterfly”, but also 2NE1’s “I Don’t Care” and Big Bang’s Japanese song, “With U”. We were surprised to see new songs being accused, but we will think it as Sony’s new strategies, thinking that accusing G-Dragon alone is not enough. For the cases of “I Don’t Care” and “With U”, they are the works of YG’s main producers, Teddy and Perry. Teddy has been a producer for 10 years, and Perry has been for 15 years. There are hundreds of songs they composed and produced. Among them, there may be cases they might be accused, but for the past 10 years, there has been any accusations for their works. They remained in YG despite the countless scoutings from others. They have high pride
s of their music, and are hurt deeply from Sony ATV’s hush press releases. Their hurt pride is not able to be healed fast, and YG has been accused full of “composers who plarigiarize” in the public. To be honest, I think because they are famous and both producers, Sony ATV is using them for their advantage.
Sony ATV has accused that G-Dragon’s “Butterfly” has copied OASIS’ “She’s Electric” for having similar parts. The musician who appeared on “News magazine 2580″ stated that the parts the two songs are similar are 2 bars, panning approximately 5 seconds. But he also stated that because that is the main sequence melody, it may be a problem.
Now, I’d like to ask you a question as well.
A few days ago, Mariah Carey‘s new song, “Standing O” teaser was released on Youtube. Comparing this song to “In the Club”, you get 8 bars of similar parts. It is 24 seconds, instead of 5 seconds, also has it as its major motive, and adding up the similar parts together, results in approximately 1 minute. What is Sony ATV’s opinion towards this song? I don’t know, but I am sure that you can’t easily say that Mariah Carey has plagiarized 2NE1’s song that was released 3 months ago, although it contains longer and clearer motives from “In the Club”.
I have thought reversely as well. “What if this was G-Dragon’s music? What if it was the other way around?” It is quite scary.
Although embarrassing to admit, the music Sony ATV presented for “I Don’t Care”, none of the composers nor myself have heard the song, because it isn’t the type of music we listen to in the first place. Upon Sony ATV’s standards, if you were to put together pieces of any music together by force, I do not think any music could be innocent in your standards. If protecting the rights of publishers is Sony ATV’s job, you should also take a note that other publishers’ dignity and rights are just as important.
Because Sony ATV released such rash public statements, YG and G-Dragon had to receive more sarcastic remarks and offensive responses, but we decided not to release our statement towards Sony ATV through the media. It is because we respected your company, NOT because we did not have anything to say. The first and last proposal from YG to Sony ATV, is that please deliver us the opinions from the original composers to YG, and stop releasing unconfirmed statement to the media before anything finalizes. If the 4 songs you warned YG are proved to be innocent in the near-future, you should be prepared to see YG’s reaction.
2009 09 24
Found it interesting? Continue reading YG statement Here.
And finally Teddy, the composer & producer of 2NE1‘s “I Don’t Care”, seems to be ready to make his position clear as well. On Thursday (September 24), AM7 conducted an exclusive phone interview with the man himself, who firmly denied accusations of plagiarism.
“After the ‘I Don’t Care’ controversy started, I listened to Lionel Richie’s song ‘Just Go’, Teddy stated, “but you can’t call it plagiarism just because the feel (not melody) of the two songs is similar … I’m frustrated, because some people are convinced that I not only referenced, but plagiarized ‘Just Go’.”
“Even if two people live on opposites of the world in totally different environments, they can still have similar facial features,” Teddy explained metaphorically. “If you write a song and it sounds like other songs, I think it’s the composer’s responsibility to fix it. But heaven knows that I have nothing to worry about. I fight plagiarism and have nothing to be ashamed of. I’m not interested in a lawsuit at all.”
Source: AM7, munhwa.com
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