Monday, January 15, 2007

Timbaland Accused Of Ripping Off A Finnish Musician


"Producer Timbaland steals song from finnish musician"

I picked this off pHinnWeb's Mailing List and Wikipedia's entry for the US producer Timbaland:

It is now claimed that Janne Suni a.k.a. Tempest a.k.a. Damage, a Finnish demoscene musician/graphic artist (who has also done cover art for Jyväskylä's Rikos Records), has had 'Acid Jazzed Evening', one of his tracks, blatantly ripped by the well-known hip-hop/R&B producer Timbaland on Nelly Furtado's song 'Do It' for her album Loose.

The said track is from a Commodore 64 conversion of an Amiga .mod file made by the Finnish demoscener Janne Suni. The track was entered into a music competition at Assembly 2000, a demo party held in Helsinki, Finland in the year 2000. Tempest's entry 'Acid Jazzed Evening', a 4-channel Amiga .mod won first place in the "Oldskool Music" competition. According to Scene.org the song was uploaded to their servers in 2000, long before the release of the song by Furtado. A video which claims to show proof of the theft was posted to YouTube on January 12, 2007. It's yet unknown whether Janne Suni will ever be able take the case to the court, the prospects of winning a court case against a major record label-backed international celebrity artist being very slight; not to talk about any astronomical expenses involved in losing a case like that.

A thread @ Digg

2007 Timbaland plagiarism controversy @ Wikipedia

Plenty of links @ Pelamu.Net

Related news links in Finnish:

  • Iltalehti
  • Iltasanomat
  • Stara
  • YLE

    17 January 2007 addition:

    This one reminds me of the case of UR's DJ Rolando/Aztec Mystic against Sony/BMG's cover version of his 'Knights of the Jaguar' in 2000:

    http://www.renegaderhythms.com/articles/ur/jaguar_ripoff.html

    I remember the Jaguar case caused a very angry response in dance music community towards Sony/BMG and generated lots of negative publicity, so similarly I think now only a massive media exposure and pressure from fellow musicians/music fans/journalists etc. all over the world might help Tempest/Janne Suni getting his due compensation here.

    As it was pointed out in media articles above, any court case against Timbaland and his multinational record label (with their mighty army of highly-paid corporate lawyers; just remember the OJ Simpson case...) would probably be lost (as said, not to talk about another additional injury caused by the case's expenses) by Tempest or anyone representing him. So it seems to me some sort of out-of-court settlement would be the only realistic outcome here.


  • Some plagiarism and songs resembling each other cases from music history
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