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IU hit with plagiarism attacks, continues legal battle

Agency Edam Entertainment vows to take strict measures against indiscrimiante accusations

By Choi Ji-won

Published : May 12, 2023 - 19:23

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

Singer-actor IU's agency on Friday denied all plagiarism allegations and pledged legal measures against those responsible.

Edam Entertainment released an official statement on Friday after reviewing the accusations and the recent plagiarism case filed against the artist.

On Wednesday, it was reported that someone had filed a complaint to the local police against IU on charges of plagiarism regarding six of her songs.

"Based on comprehensive data that we collected from the media and the investigative authorities, the accuser is not making allegations of plagiarism against the songwriters, but solely IU," the statement read.

It continued, saying, "The fact that an unrelated third person sued only the vocalist, IU, even though some of the composers denied the allegations, shows that the person is only trying to damage the artist's (IU's) reputation."

Edam Entertainment had also issued an official statement on Wednesday following reports that IU was sued. Edam said then that it recently began a legal fight against people writing malicious comments and spreading false rumors about the artist online.

"While monitoring, we were astounded and shocked to discover that someone had filed a lawsuit for plagiarism," the agency said on Friday, adding, "We will hold the accuser who filed this indiscriminate case accountable for the results."

In the complaint, the accuser asserted that six of IU's songs -- "Boo" (2009), "Pitiful" (2009), "Growing Up," "Good Day" (2010), "The Red Shoes" (2013), "Bbibbi" (2018) and "Celebrity" (2021) -- are suspected of copying other songs.

Maeil Business, the local newspaper which first reported the case, cited the complaint, which said the songs "showed similarity with other original songs in the melody, rhythm and the chord progression." In the case of "Good Day" and "The Red Shoes," the complaint reportedly claimed that "the resemblances are so significant that it can be discerned even by an ordinary person."

On Thursday, some of the songwriters of the six songs released statements denying the allegations.

Producer Lee Min-su, who composed "Good Day" and "The Red Shoes," wrote on his social media: "I did not refer to, nor have in mind works by others when I made the songs."

"The Red Shoes" was previously accused of plagiarism in 2013 when German rock band Nektar claimed the song resembled its song "Here's Us" in some parts. Lee denied the accusation then, and other reputable local musicians, including Hybe founder Bang Si-hyuk and star composer Kim Hyeong-seok, stood up for him as well.

Composer Lee Jong-hoon of "Bbibbi" also said through his social media on Thursday that he "did not copy any other song," and went on to slam the accuser for choosing the wrong target to sue.

"Copyright violations should be referred to the songwriter and not the singer. If necessary, the suit should have been filed against me, the composer, in the first place," Lee said in his post.

He also pointed out that plagiarism can only be punished at the victim's request.

"The complaint holds no legal force when filed by a third party. It's clear that someone is only trying to harm the artist's reputation regardless of the legal consequences," the composer said.

Edam Entertainment added it is also cooperating with the composers closely in dealing with the current situation and stressed it would take strict measures against all indiscriminate accusations.