Why So Many Songs Are Plagiarized, According To Professional Songwriters

They understand the problem well.

It’s hard to make a new song when there are already thousands of hits being streamed and even more being made daily. It’s no surprise, therefore, that plagiarism often happens in the music industry.

YouTube channel AYO sat down professional songwriters Cosmic Sound (Kim Ki Hyun) and former RaNia member Cosmic Girl (Yoo Joo Yi) for their Comment Defenders series.

Cosmic Sound | AYO/YouTube

Cosmic Girl | AYO/YouTube

A comment that stood out to them was, “Is there plagiarism that wasn’t intended? I’m suddenly curious. I’m not trying to defend songwriters who have plagiarized though…”

Cosmic Sound immediately reacted to the comment as he could fully relate to it. He explained that there are only so many notes that one can be creative with when it comes to new content.

The piano songwriters use for songwriting has 88 notes and we make melodies in small ranges, so I think it’s very possible [to plagiarize].

—  Cosmic Sound

Cosmic Girl agreed, citing experiences as another reason why it’s easy so to plagiarize nowadays.

You listen to some song and those notes might be in your head. If you’re trying to write a song that has similar codes, then that melody might unconsciously come out.

—  Cosmic Girl

Because of these reasons, it’s not uncommon to listen to a song that is reminiscent of one that was released earlier. According to the two professionals, this adds an extra layer of work for them.

Then we listen to dozens, hundreds of songs and search if there’s any song that’s similar to ours.

—  Cosmic Sound

Cosmic Girl defended songwriters from this offense by insisting their intentions are not usually malicious: “I don’t think songwriters plagiarize intentionally, saying, “Ah, it’s a good one, I’m gonna copy it.”

At least for the two of them, they’ve never had any complaints regarding their own songs plagiarizing others!