Composer faces plagiarism, again

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Composer faces plagiarism, again

Plagiarism has again emerged as a hot issue in the Korean music scene after star composer Kim Do-hun was accused of plagiarizing a song by an indie band.

Netizens accuse Kim of having copied parts of the song “Blue Bird” by indie band Ynot for his song “I’m An Outcast,” which he composed for the indie band CNBLUE. To support their claims, they have uploaded text and clips of the two songs to the Web.

Meanwhile, a group of netizens has started gathering signatures for an online petition urging Kim to leave the music industry because, they say, he has built his career with plagiarized songs.

“Kim wrote a song titled ‘Lie’ for Gavy NJ and it was pretty much the same as Jennifer Lopez’s ‘Brave,’” a person with the screen name Rasmus wrote on the site Agora, a major online debate forum operated by local search engine Daum. “There were also similarities between Kim’s ‘8282’ [sung by Davichi] and Mika’s ‘Happy Ending.’ The list goes on.”

Rasmus launched the signature campaign against Kim. As of yesterday morning, 3,181 netizens had signed on.

Another of Kim’s songs, “Can’t Forget” sung by Kim Jong-kook, is said to have an introduction that is similar to that of Usher’s “Love in This Club.”

Kim refuted the allegations in a statement issued earlier this week.

“There are so many similar songs because they all belong to the same genre,” the statement said.

Kim began his career in 1995 and since then has composed songs for many of the nation’s A-list singers, including Lee Hyo-ri, Lee Seung-ki, SES, SG Wannabe, Big Mama and Fly to the Sky.

In his statement, Kim also implored netizens to stop making assumptions about his work.

The debate over whether Kim plagiarized has become heated, with celebrities chiming in to either denounce or defend him. Singer Shin Hae-chul, who is known for his catty comments, did not hesitate to snipe at Kim, saying that if Kim is proven innocent he will retire from the music industry.

Singer Jin Joo wrote on her home page that the Korean music industry is “a dirty world where plagiarism is a sure-fire way to become a star.”

In fact, the local music industry has been damaged by a raft of plagiarism scandals in past years, but there is no organization to deal with these claims. Until 1998, the now-defunct Performance Ethics Committee handled plagiarism cases, but the organization set to replace it, the Korea Media Rating Board, is no longer responsible for these issues.

By Sung So-young []
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