Kim Shin Il vs Park Jin Young on Plagiarism
The plagiarism debate surrounding IU’s Someday rose to new heights during a second court battle.
In early 2011, Kim Shin Il sued the lyricist and composer of Someday, President Park Jin Young of JYP Entertainment, for 110 million won, saying that the song plagiarized his song To My Man, which first appeared in singer Ash′s second album.
Representatives for singer and producer Park Jin Young, and composer Kim Shin Il came in for a second pleading, held on September 7, at the Seoul District Court′s Civil Division 11, and held a heated discussion on whether Park Jin Young had plagiarized Kim Shin Il′s To My Man when writing Someday.
Kim Shin Il appeared in court with his attorney and said, "To My Man is a well known song, and is easily available online and offline. It is impossible to think that Park Jin Young did not know of this song in advance."
He added, "There is originality in music. There are no commonly used phrases in music like there are in text. A total of five notes in the beginning of Someday match those in To My Man, including the first measure and the first syllable. The beginnings of songs are very important, and the beginnings of the two songs are so similar you can′t help but think one has plagiarized the other."
At this, Park Jin Young′s attorney denied the accusations, saying, "To My Man wasn′t even a title song, and after checking with the distribution company, we found that about 2000 albums containing the song had been sold seven years ago. Therefore you can come to the conclusion that it′s not such a well-known song. Park Jin Young said that he had never heard of it."
Park Jin Young′s side also brought in composer Kim Hyung Suk, and let him state his opinion on the plagiarism issue of Someday.
Kim Hyung Suk said, "When I listened to the two songs, I thought they were similar, but I also believe that it wasn′t intentional. When composers give songs to singers, they use more popular chords and melodies which the public would like, rather than following their own styles. Thus, you can′t say that the melody of To My Man is original. I do acknowledge the similarity between the two songs."
The two sides fought fiercely in a sharp debate, while Park Jin Young′s side even brought in a keyboard to play the two songs in court.
At this, the presiding judge said, "The plaintiff and defendant are both musicians, and I believe it would be good to have a judgment made based on the law, but I also believe that it would be better to come to a peaceful solution. Both sides have worked hard, and if you give me the recordings of the parts of the music in question, I will use it as reference." He added, "The next appointed day will be the start of conciliation, so if you have any more evidence related to the issue please turn it in."
Both sides have until the appointed conciliation date to reorganize their positions, but it is yet to be seen whether Kim Shin Il and Park Jin Young will be able to reach a peaceful agreement.
Photo credit: Kim Byeong Kwan