Britney Songwriters Complain of Lee Hyo-lee 'Plagiarism'

    March 23, 2006 19:38

    Representatives for the writers of the Britney Spears song “Do Something” have written to the producers of K-pop star Lee Hyo-lee saying “parts” of the title song in Lee’s latest album “Get ya” are plagiarized. While this is not the first time the Korean pop industry has been accused of pilfering, it is the first time the copyright holder has formally complained.

    Universal Music Publishing Korea, which handles copyright of “Do Something” here, said Thursday it sent a recording of “Get Ya” to the composers of the Spears song and the company that manages the copyright 15 days ago. In response, three out of the four composers agreed that the Lee song was “significantly influenced” by their own work “and there are some parts that constitute plagiarism,” Universal said.

    There are no hard-and-fast criteria to decide what constitutes plagiarism in Korea, and any such allegations must be decided in court following a complaint by the author of the “original” work.

    Universal said it will meet with the songwriters behind “Get Ya” to seek a settlement, but it did not rule out legal action. Murmurs about the startling similarity between the two songs arose as soon as Lee’s album hit the stores on Feb. 9. The artist herself denies anything other than temporary precedence of one work over the other, saying, “It’s just that Britney Spears did this funky style of music before me,” but insisted “Get Ya” was different in vocals, rhythm and tune.

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