Mounir's song opens the file "Quoting from Heritage": Stealing or Inspiration?

Mounir’s song opens the file “Quoting from Heritage”: Stealing or Inspiration?

The song “Laly” by the Egyptian artist Mohamed Mounir has revived a controversy that resurfaces with every accusation of artistic theft about artistic heritage or folklore, and whether quoting from it becomes a blatant robbery or a legitimate inspiration. Hours after broadcasting the song, its author and composer Akram Hosni faced an attack, as one of the poets accused him of burglary. On verses from a previous poem by him, then a young composer accused him of stealing the melody of one of his songs and using it entirely in Mounir’s song, which prompted the “YouTube” administration to delete the song due to intellectual property rights.

The crisis began when the poet Adel Saber accused Hosni, the author of “Li”, of stealing some of its passages from a poetry collection he issued in 2011, especially a section saying, “He who opened the door of ruin is obligated to answer it”, and converting it to “He who opened the door of pain is obligated to answer it,” and the poet claimed The impossibility of conversing between him and Hosni, saying on his Facebook page: “Whoever writes a song called (Stu Anna) will not write this part.”

He continued: “This part is an explicit and direct quotation from my poem, in addition to quoting the spirit, rhyme, music and context of the money in a somewhat evasive way,” noting that he had appointed a lawyer to take over the whole matter, and that he was confident of proving his ownership of the words and obtaining his financial and moral rights. Noting that his first and last disagreement was with the artist Akram Hosni and not with Mohamed Mounir.

Al-Hilaliya was born

And only hours later, a young composer and singer named Mahmoud Al-Mansi came out to accuse the artist Hosni of stealing the song’s melody as well, and said that the melodies of “Lee” closely match the tunes of his song “Wold Al-Hilaliya”, and that he does not accuse anyone in particular, but he is not convinced that there are ideas Or composed, acknowledging that he actually borrowed the melody from folklore and then developed it completely, unlike Hosni, who took the melody completely without changing, he said.

Al-Mansi filed a complaint with the management of the famous video site “YouTube” against Hosni, accusing him of stealing the intellectual property rights of the song’s melody, so the site deleted the song.

In front of the torrent of accusations, Akram Hosni responded through his official pages on social networking sites, and denied the accusations, and pointed out that the similarity of a sentence of the song consisting of 12 lines with a sentence of the poet does not mean theft, but rather the influx of ideas is normal. He explained that the song was 20 lines, of which Munir chose only 12, and of course whoever wrote 20 lines will not be helpless until he steals one line.

He added that he has a history of writing songs, as he has been writing for 8 years and has prominent songs since the days of the “Abu Hafiza” program, and he did not use any melody or words until after referring to the Association of Authors and Composers, and he pays the fees in order to preserve the rights of intellectual property owners, noting that whoever is Keen on these procedures, he cannot steal or seize anyone’s rights, or put himself in a critical position from the ground up, adding, “I am not naive to steal a song that Muhammad Munir sings and that millions will hear.”

And about his accusation of stealing the melody, Hosni said that its melodies have existed for decades, in a work bearing the name “Maa’ib Shiha” by Khadra Muhammad Khader, so no one has the right to claim ownership of it in the first place, because he quoted it from two main sources of folklore that belongs to everyone and does not need permission Because he inherited the people, and before he took the step he consulted his own lawyer.

Regarding Muhammad Munir’s position on the crisis, Akram said that he contacted him after the problem, and confirmed that Munir was not at all disturbed by the matter, and demanded that he focus on his work and not pay attention to those accusations.

Obligatory permission

The composer Mahmoud Al-Mansi responded to Akram’s words, saying, “He should have asked me to reuse the melody, and I don’t know yet if I will take legal measures against him or agree to negotiate with him, that is up to the opinion of my legal advisors.”

Regarding the point of using the melody from folklore, and that he does not own it, as Akram said, Al-Mansi acknowledged that the heritage is the property of everyone, but if the artist uses it and adds his mark on it and creates a new product, it becomes his intellectual property, citing what the musician Baligh Hamdi did, who developed from folklore a song “According to Wadad Albi” by Abdel Halim Hafez, and it became intellectually owned by him, although it was inspired by heritage, as well as the case with the composer Aziz Al-Shafei, who inspired the melody of the song “Khotwa Ya Sahib Al-Kahta” from heritage.

legal opinion

As for the law’s view on the crisis of quoting from heritage and the conflict over Munir’s song, Hossam Lotfi, a specialist in intellectual property, said that no one has the right to attribute folklore to himself, and accuse others of stealing a melody or words as long as they are originally inspired by a folklore heritage, so the struggle over a song Munir is Mahsum from the beginning, and even if there is a development in a melody or a song, legally no one can claim ownership of it, as there is no precedence in the use of folklore, and all those concerned know that they are works of unknown author and attributed to the people.

He added, “There are other songs made from the same folklore from which Munir’s song was made, and the matter has been happening without problems for decades, and Baligh Hamdi, Muhammad Abdel-Wahhab and others were inspired by melodies from Egyptian and Russian folklore, and the law does not interfere with that, there is no article punishing quoting from it in any way. picture”.

“Catch a thief”

For his part, journalist and musician Mustafa Hamdi told Independent Arabia that both Akram Hosni and composer Mahmoud Al-Mansi quoted the melody, and they had no right to attribute it to themselves, noting that the melody had existed for 200 years and was inspired by the theme “Younis is dangerous in the market,” and that Hosni He took the melody and repeated it in all parts of the song, while Al-Mansi used the basic theme and changed some of the tracks.

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Hamdi added, “The late poet Abd al-Rahman al-Abnoudi, who was saturated with the biography of al-Hilali, had previously quoted the song (Younis) from the heritage, but he wrote it in his own way, and the same thing was done by the composer Muhammad Rahim in the song itself, so it is here attributed to them and their creativity, unlike what happened with Akram Hosni and Al-Mansi.”

He continued, “There is a long history of conflict over intellectual property and artistic theft. In his famous series of articles (Catch a Harami), the journalist Muhammad al-Tabi’i accused the musician of generations, Muhammad Abd al-Wahhab, of stealing international melodies by Beethoven and others. They were chanting in their private sessions accusations of Abd al-Wahhab of stealing their tunes and international ones he presented in his most famous songs.

Abdel Wahab responded to his accusation of theft, telling the media, Leila Rostom, “To use a musical phrase only is considered a transfer, and according to the criterion set by the Musicians’ Association to estimate cases of theft, it stipulated the transfer of four complete instruments (the mazora is the musical phrase).”

Abdel Wahab objected to this criterion: “This is a mistake, because the main point of the musical sentence and its personality, it is possible that it may consist of one or two bars, but its character makes you feel that it is completely taken.” , and “I Love Living Freedom” from Russian folklore.

It is known that one of the most important reasons that led to Abdel Wahab not winning the UNESCO Prize in 1977 and awarding it to Riyadh Al-Sunbati is due to the report of the “Musicians Association” which monitored many abuses by Abdel Wahab in quoting from Western melodies with more than three parallels, which is the legal minimum for quotation, which was repeated in songs he presented. During the 1930s, specifically, such as “When the Evening Comes”, “Jifna Alam Al Ghazal”, “Ya Donia Ya Gharami” and “Ya Musafir Wahdak”, in addition to quotes from composed by Farid al-Atrash, Munir Murad and Baligh Hamdi. According to the association.

Rahbani Brothers

On the other hand, Hamdi says that the Rahbani and Fairuz brothers, as well as Ziad Rahbani, were accused of quoting from Western melodies, and Ziad admitted to quoting in the song “Beirut”, where he wrote in the album cover that the melody was borrowed from the “Concerto de Aranjuez” by the Spanish “blind” musician Joaquin Rodrigo. presented in 1940.

In 2002, Ziad Rahbani presented, with his mother, Fairouz, the album “Shou Bekhaf”, which contained a greater number of explicit quotations. He presented the tune “No, God”, adapted from Mexican folklore, and “Bizkor Autumn” from a melody by French musician Joseph Kuzma, as well as the song ” Shaw Bekhaf”, adapted from a melody by Brazilian composer Luis Bonfa.

Amr Diab songs

Hamdi narrates other stories of quotes that sparked controversy with the composer Amr Mostafa, who presented the most famous Amr Diab songs, where he set a record for quoting Diab’s melodies, and he most famously quoted the tune of the song “Sadakni Khalas” and “Qadam Anak”.

Diab was also accused of quoting a number of other songs from international and Arab melodies, such as the song “Al-Layladi”, which was inspired by an international song called sway, and the melody of the song “Qadam Anak” from an international song, My Love.

The composer Khaled Ezz transmitted the introduction to the song “Saloni Al Nas”, which was composed by Ziad at the age of 17, in the song “Anta Maqulch” sung by Amr Diab in the album “Alam My Heart” issued in 2003.

Samira Said and Michael Jackson

Among the most famous quotes of composer Amr Mostafa, which also sparked great controversy, is the melody of Samira Said’s song “All the Times”, which is extracted from a song by Jessica Simpson, and the song “Layali Zaman”, adapted from a song by Michael Jackson.

Likewise, the melody of the song “Sahruni Al-Layl” by Ragheb Alama in 2002 was reproduced from the melody of the song “Army Al-Mandeel” presented by Mostafa Qamar in 1994. Indian. According to Mostafa Hamdy.

The problems of quotation and judicial action affected the artist Carole Samaha in the song “Wahshani Bladi”, as she used the musical introduction to the song “Night of Love” by Umm Kulthum, which was composed by Muhammad Abdel Wahab and written by Ahmed Shafiq in 1973, and the heirs of Abdel Wahab moved to guarantee their rights, and Carol admitted to using the musical introduction legally. As one of the works owned by the company “Rotana”, the producer of its album, after it bought the rights to hundreds of songs for the giants of beautiful art, and the album cover and the clip of the song ended up indicating that the melody is by musician Mohamed Abdel Wahab.

Neighbor girl

Among the recent songs that were accused of theft and got into judicial problems is the song “Bint Al Jeeran”, where the composer Mohamed Madian confirmed that its tune was stolen from his song “Hajjah Al-Mustaqbeya”, which was sung by singer Mohamed Hamaki, and the song was deleted for the first time, and then returned after Omar Kamal and Shakoush apologized to the song makers. The original, but Chakosh finally accused Madyan of stealing the tune of his song from a Turkish work, which provoked Madian, so he deleted it again.

After the overwhelming success of the song “3 Beats” by Yusra and Abu, a Spanish song appeared that was similar to the melody of the Egyptian song, and a rumor spread about the song makers stealing the Spanish melody, especially that the Spanish song is old.


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