EDITORIAL – Music plagiarism is a hot topic in the music industry these days. From Sam Smith to Bruno Mars to Beyonce, artists seem to be being accused of music plagiarism more than ever. As the old saying goes: there is no such thing as an original thought.
Everyone from Shakespeare to the Beatles to Zeppelin has been accused of stealing ideas from those that came before them. We are all influenced by the world around us, and songwriters are no exception. But where is the line drawn between being influenced by something, and plagiarizing it?
The law states that anything that reflects a “minimal spark” of creativity and originality can be copyrightable, including melody, chord progression, rhythm and lyrics. In the event of a trial, the person claiming infringement must prove two things:
Access – that the infringer had heard, or could reasonably be presumed to have heard, the original song prior to writing their song; and Substantial Similarity – that the average listener can tell that one song has been copied from the other. The more elements that the two works have in common, the more likely they are substantially similar. Music plagiarism lawsuits in the music industry generate a lot of press, and seem to be more common in the digital era, where sampling, snipping and outright stealing parts of songs has never been easier.
Once again in the 2019 Eurovision Songs Contest many songs “resemble” to other songs previously released somewhere in the world. But EBU is very loose on the issue allowing almost everything going to the contest. Let’s not forget the recent Eurovision winner, Sweden (2015) the song of which was clearly copied. Aside to coy songs, EBU is very loose also on the issue of September 1st rule which many countries breach again this year. Best example was the 2016 winner, Jamala.
Back to copied songs, we have a amide. a list of all substantially similar entries this year.
Romanian entry, the choice of which was quite a controversial issue on the web, is clearly sounding like Johnny Cash’s Wayfaring Stranger
Many Eurofans claim the Maltese entry is a complete copy of Male Tevejo’s “Como tu me quieres” and ew cannot really argue on that
Norwegian entry in 2019 Eurovision should have get a big penalty. It’s chorus is the chorus of Monsters by Saara Aalto. I think it’s the first time in the recent years we have a clear plagiarism issue between two Eurovision entries
Czech Republic is also looking suspicious as their song sounds like: Hurts – “Ready to go”
Many say Cypriot entry is sounding like Fuego. But this case cannot be charged as it would have been anyway self plagiarism by the same composing team. But some sotted big similarities of Tamta’s song with Jonas. Blue’s “Purpose” featuring Era Istrefi.
One more scandalous copy entry is the one from Croatia sounding similar to: Miriam Bryant- “One Last Time”
In less scandalous examples we have the Estonian entry which resembles with Avicii’s Wake Me Up and the Swedish entry which sounds like the 2018 Austrian entry.
We also have video clips “scandals”. Dutch and Azeri video clips are based on the same idea. Also, some spotted similarities of the Russian video clip with Wookid’s “Run Boy Run”
But once again no one dares to talk about it or take an action…!