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IU denies plagiarism allegations, takes legal action

By Choi Ji-won

Published : May 10, 2023 - 17:02

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Singer-songwriter IU (Edam Entertainment) Singer-songwriter IU (Edam Entertainment)

Singer-songwriter IU is refuting allegations of plagiarism, and is taking legal action against those raising the allegations.

IU's agency Edam Entertainment on Wednesday afternoon said in a press statement that it has pressed charges over continued malicious behavior against the singer online.

"For several months we have been aware that posts alleging plagiarism and carrying false rumors based on unverified claims have been spreading via online communities, social media and YouTube," the agency said in the statement on Wednesday.

According to the statement, the alleged illegal acts against IU ranged from plagiarism accusations to spy rumors, sexual harassment, defamation, the spreading of false rumors and privacy infringement.

"We have been collecting data (about such behavior), and ... based on the data, have filed a complaint to the investigative authority," the statement continued.

Edam's statement comes a few hours after a local news report claimed IU was recently sued over allegations of plagiarism.

According to a report by Maeil Business -- a local economic daily -- an anonymous person on Monday filed a complaint against IU to Seoul Gangnam Police Station accusing the singer of copyrights violations, claiming six of IU's songs are suspected of copying other local and foreign songs.

The news report listed "Boo" and "Pitiful" from her 2009 debut studio album "Growing Up," "Good Day" (2010), "The Red Shoes" (2013), "Bbibbi" (2018) and "Celebrity" (2021) as being cited in the police complaint.

Directly quoting the complaint, the report said, "These songs are similar with the original songs in the melody, rhythm and the chord progression. And in the case of 'Good Day' and 'The Red Shoes,' the resemblances are so significant that it can be discerned even by an ordinary person."

The cited quote continued, stating, "All six songs show signs of plagiarism in the introductory part, which plays a decisive role in forming a song's overall atmosphere and identity, as well as catching the listeners' attention to make them play the song."

Speaking to Maeil Business, the anonymous accuser claimed that IU remained silent on the issue despite the repeated allegations, and that the singer tried to delete the posts and content raising such issues based on copyright infringements.

Edam said it has not been officially notified by the police about the reported claim.

"We only became aware that such a complaint had been filed through the news report. We have not yet seen what the complaint says and are still in the process of verifying it," the agency added.

Meanwhile, "Celebrity" is the only song among the aforementioned six that IU took part in creating as a songwriter.

"The Read Shoes" and "Good Day" were written solely by composer Lee Min-soo, "Boo" by Han Sang-won and "Bbibbi" by Lee Jong-hoon. The melody of "Pitiful" was co-written by Choi Gap-won and PJ, while "Celebrity" was composed mainly by producer Ryan Jhun.