More of IU’s songwriters have released statements addressing plagiarism accusations.
Earlier this week, it was reported that a complaint was filed against IU on the violation of copyright law with regards to her six songs “The Red Shoes,” “Good Day,” “BBIBBI,” “pitiful,” “Boo,” and “Celebrity.” IU’s agency EDAM Entertainment has since released an official statement regarding the accusations and ensured strong legal action against malicious rumors.
On May 12, music producer and Mystic Story president Jo Young Chul released the following statement on IU’s recent plagiarism accusations:
As the producer who was responsible for the production of IU’s past albums, I thought I should make a few comments.
While I’ve monitored all the songs that continue to claim plagiarism on YouTube and were recently accused, I was unable to discover any suspicion of plagiarism. Just because you’ve taken one part of a song and think there’s a song that has a similar melody or chord progression to it does not make that plagiarism. This is not my personal opinion as this is the court precedent. The parts of the songs being accused do not even have the same melody or chord progression.
I saw an article saying that German band Nekta reached out regarding plagiarism and did not receive any response, but this is different from the truth. At the time, Nekta’s legal representative sent mail to LOEN [Entertainment, now Kakao M] and LOEN and their legal representative responded. They sent mail and notices confirming the basic facts, but the case closed as they stopped responding. The agency and law firm likely still have the mail and notices sent at the time.
The copyright dispute is basically an issue between copyright holders. I question whether a third party has the right to make accusations, and they must be held legally responsible if this is [an attempt of] malicious defamation.”
Songwriter Han Sang Won, who composed IU’s “Boo,” also took to his Instagram to share the following detailed explanation:
“1. The start of composing “boo”
In 2008, I received a song request from then-rookie singer IU, and the genre I chose was ’80s female dance pop, a genre I personally like.
After seeing IU, who was a young student at the time, I thought of ‘a dance track about a bright and cute love story.’ I first created the key lyric “You’re my boo,” inspired by the word “boo,” and the hook’s “image melody,” and then made the song by implementing the arrangement method and common beat of “’80s female dance pop.” (This is often referred to as a “reference.”)
The melody of the chorus lyric “You’re my boo” is borrowed from IU’s other song “Merry Christmas Ahead,” and I believe this is the biggest reason why this song received so much love, to the point where this part was left and remade into a rap song by Geeks.
2. The malicious cross-editing of only the “intro”
The image (’80s disco dance pop) of the intro’s rhythm for the song being accused by a YouTuber may feel similar to the four-bar progression (5-2-4-1 structure) of an intro of nine to twelve bars with a four-second female back chorus line for a total of three bars, but if you make claims in this manner, most of the songs in the world can be called “plagiarism.”
(For example, Hall & Oates’ “I can’t go for that,” which was inspired by Michael Jackson’s “Billie Jean,” are two different songs but the former’s key intro beat and theme baseline are the same, so it’s cross-editing just four bars of its intro and claiming this as “plagiarism.”)
3. Exactly what song is the “melody” of IU’s “boo” similar to?
I reveal that the melody of the song “boo” is 100 percent my original song from start to finish. It’s the same now, but “boo” is the song I made after staying up all night thinking and working to create a melody that was more original than any song in the world.
Aside from the “back chorus melody” of the “3 bar 4-second part” intro that the YouTuber is claiming, is there any part of the melody in the song’s 3 minute 32 second play time that feels similar? Can you claim plagiarism if “boo” was proposed to a different music arranger and the intro and accompaniment (MR) were done differently? The melody of the song has no similarities with the song claimed by the YouTuber.
“boo” was made with the “’80s female dance pop” genre and as a result is a song that highlights the Funk Rock genre in which the key is the “intro’s repetitive main electric guitar riff,” so I reveal that it’s different from the dance pop song you claimed that highlights bass and rhythm.
4. Re-emphasizing malicious editing and instigation
I feel deeply sad for the YouTuber who made the malicious comparison edit of only the similar intro parts. (For your information, the (5-2-4-1) process is a chord progression used in Eco’s “Happy Me” and many other songs.)
5. The intention of the complainant. That’s what I want to know.
What was the intention of the person who accused IU when I, the composer of “boo,” am right here? I am ready whenever to discuss with “the composer who wrote the song” who claims plagiarism regarding my song, so if you are that song’s “composer,” please contact me.
For 14 years, from releasing “boo” up until now, I have never once been contacted by a “composer” claiming that “boo” plagiarized their song.
6. Summary – “Is it plagiarism if the intros are similar?”
From songwriter Han Sang Won”
Earlier this week, the songwriters of IU’s “Good Day,” “The Red Shoes,” “and “BBIBBI” also shared statements addressing the plagiarism claims.