Back in July, news broke that Universal Music Corporation had sent a warning letter to “Toy” songwriters Doron Medalie and Stav Beger, regarding claims that Netta’s Eurovision-winning song was too similar to the White Stripes 2003 hit “Seven Nation Army”. Now a settlement appears to have been reached.

White Stripes frontman and songwriter Jack White is now officially listed as one of the three composers of “Toy”.

The news was broken by KAN entertainment correspondent Nov Reuveny, who noted that Jack White would now receive royalties from the song.

White’s name can now be found in the listing for “Toy” held with the Society of Authors, Composers and Music Publishers in Israel (ACUM).

Along with the Israeli songwriters Doron Medalie and Stav Berger, the song is also credited to John Anthony White — the full name of Jack White. His portion of the song is published through his publishing company, Peppermint Stripe Music.

Last year Universal sent a formal letter to the “Toy” songwriters. As reported at the time, the letter claimed that a portion of “Toy” was taken from the White Stripes’ song “Seven Nation Army”. Their objections revolve around “the harmonies and pace of both songs”, rather than the melody or lyrics.

Released in 2003 as part of the White Stripes album Elephant, “Seven Nation Army” is the band’s signature song and won the 2004 Grammy Award for Best Rock Song. The song has a lot of fans — and it’s only natural they might be hyper sensitive (or super skilled?) when detecting similarities.

Even before the grand final of Eurovision 2018, similarities between the two songs were noted by fans, including this mash-up of the two songs.

An agreement with perks

In August last year, Israeli media reported that an agreement between the two parties was due to be struck. Medalie and Berger had reportedly agreed to give Universal some of the song’s distribution rights in certain territories, potentially exposing the song to an even larger audience.

The resolved copyright claim would also mean that “Toy” is no longer at risk of being in violation of the Eurovision rules — which in turn could have jeopardised Israel’s hosting of Eurovision 2019.

While Universal’s claim was founded on the resemblance of “Toy” to “Seven Nation Army”, the addition of Jack White to the songwriting credits is not in itself an admission that “Toy” was based on “Seven Nation Army”.

But it does mean that we are in the curious case of having a highly acclaimed, award-winning singer-songwriter, known for his excursions into garage rock, blues, folk and punk styles, now being one of the songwriters of a Eurovision-winning song.

What do you think? Should Jack White have been credited as a songwriter? Should he be invited to perform “Toy” live at the grand final of Eurovision 2019? Tell us your thoughts below!

Read more Israel Eurovision news

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[…] elegir las candidaturas al Festival de la Canción de Eurovisión han pasado a un segundo plano. El plagio que Netta ha llevado a cabo con su canción Toy […]

Woj
Guest
Woj

both songs sound completely different, but the rhythm is the same- it has been stolen, thats all.

Jeremy
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Jeremy

This is the agreement because no one can fight and win such a big record company. A bit sad, but we don’t care… We love TOY & NETTA!
(Probably some hater idea this lawsuit from the beginning)

Markyboy
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Markyboy

Will Adele now be listed as an official composer of ‘Michael Shulte’s’ You Let Me Walk Alone’?

Charlie44
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Charlie44

I’m not your… LOOOOO LOROOOLOOO LOROOOOOLOOO, Stupid b… LOOOOO LOROOOLOOO LOROOOOOLOOO
So obvious!

Charles II
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Charles II

Nobody can actually fight companies that big and win. Similarities? There are so many similarities out there in so many songs, just because it’s so hard to be original anymore. Did Madonna sue Lady Gaga for born this way Vs. Express yourself? That’s just one example. So should Madonna be the composer of Born this way? Of course not. That’s ridiculous. I’m not gonna go into the similarities between Mans’s Heros and David Gueta’s Lovers on the Sun. That Jack guy saw an opportunity to get some money and went for it. Is he Toy’s composer? In my mind absolutely… Read more »

ESCFan2009
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ESCFan2009

Guys, I just imagine: If “Freaks” wins “You Decide” and Eurovision, we could just list Pachelbel as a composer 😀 Btw also “Go West” by Village People contains Pachelbel and this is no joke!

Jake
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Jake

It’s hard to hear the Seven Nation Army sample because of Netta’s beat box intro and the Israeli instrumentation, but if you strip that away and just see the notes, it’s definitely the base of the song and the underlying beat. but with everything added it becomes faint. I’m guessing that if someone gave a guitarist the notes to Toy, they are identical to Seven Nations Army and therefore Doron and Stav didn’t have a leg to stand on and thus the concession. But I still feel this violates basic ESC rules of completely original songs.

Paul
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Paul

This is totally unacceptable. RULES ARE RULES. This would have been declassify for plagiarism if known before. They only reached an agreement to avoid the scandal and HUGE embarrassment of the whole situation this would create. They perfectly knew (and recognized it by making him part of the credits) that he was absolutely right about it.

James
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James

That’s… not how the legal system works. Like, at all.

Charles II
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Charles II

You wake up one morning and being sued by a huge company. It doesn’t even matter for what. You settle or you’re left with nothing,

Nikko
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Nikko

Same procedure as every year… I do NOT see any similarities. Same with Cascada’s Glorious which should be a copy Loreen’s Euphoria. I am still looking for the plagiarism

Purple Mask
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Purple Mask

I really don’t know how I feel about this.
My early songs had a lot of very strong influences, but I was always very careful not to “copy” directly. Mimic, sure. But not copy.
But then there is a completely different point of view – that no one person can own a musical phrase, since “sound and silence” belong to everyone. If only businesses and law firms could see it that way.

Frisian esc
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Frisian esc

This makes me angry. They aren’t even remotely similar. There are many eurovision songs that are obvious copies of some other populair songs but toy is not one of them. I was just watching a dutch talking show (rtl boulevard) and they were bragging on about how this is an obvious confession and how eurovision should be taken from israel…and about how the netherlands should withdraw. Extremely cringy to watch. This is how every non eurovison fan will see toy now because some people aren’t able to form an own opinion.

VAIKI
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VAIKI

everythings a copy of a copy

Joe
Guest

I think this is ridiculous. Almost all music is based on music that came before it. That’s why there are genres. Also there comes a point in the future where every possible sequence of notes will have been tried. Hopefully we will have gotten rid of copyright at that point.

Jonas
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Jonas

I don’t believe that Doron & Stav deliberately “stole” this melody from Seven Nation Army, or harmony/pace whatever you want to call it. There is a vague resemblance, true – but I think Jack White should have just shrugged it off and not made a grab for rights. Deliberate copying is wrong, but coincidence is not.

romanian
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romanian

To be fair, they could have done the same thing with the vintage ballad ‘Amar pelos dois’, it would have been so easy to find ‘similarities’ with songs from 50 years ago, but they attacked ‘Toy” just because is more successful .

Ana
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Ana

“Amar pelos dois” was a copy of so many vintage songs. Almost sure there would be some that have the exact melody. BUT it’s not a money maker, so nobody cared.

Love love peace piece
Guest
Love love peace piece

Maybe the issue is in that case the authors are dead and there are no copyrights anymore.

Jake
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Jake

LOL that’s hilarious. Many 1950s songwriters are still alive and even if they are not they have estates or record companies that would come after royalties. None did.

Ana
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Ana

Doesn’t matter who’s alive and who’s not. This song didn’t make any significant income, therefore nobody cared about how unoriginal it was.

Charles II
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Charles II

Ohhh….you’re in trouble now with the Wiwi fans 🙂
Of course you’re right.

Apple
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Apple

They aren’t even similar, he just wants to ride off someone else’s success >.>

Denis
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Denis

I can’t hear the similarity. Which part is meant to resemble?
Also I think people are to quick to ask for settlements. Only if it is a clear case of songs sounding the same, or a beat sounding the same, should it be settled. Otherwise it is just being petty. Every song resembles other songs and if everyone starts to ask for settlements…

Love love peace piece
Guest
Love love peace piece

It’s the chorus when she sings :”I’m not your toy, you stupid boy”.
It’s the same melody as “seven nation army” from the white stripes.

Maya G
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Maya G

The oriental part after the first chorus is supposedly similar to the guitar solo in “Seven Nation Army”.
I agree with you, the similarity is faint and neglectable. Toy’s writers were probably intimidated to sign it, getting into a legal battle with Universal Records, with all their legal resources, wouldn’t be wise.

Milla
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Milla

Apart from the lyrics Toy is quite cheap. Haven’t listened to it once since it won. I think it won because of the lyrics. They fitted so well with Me too-movement. Just saying..

Paul
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Paul

chicken sounds?

Love love peace piece
Guest
Love love peace piece

OMG!! Clap clap, well done Jack.

James
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James

I don’t think lawyering up and filing a frivolous lawsuit against a foreign record company to make even more money is something we should be applauding.

bergs
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bergs

exactly james, it’s so sad that big companies and corprations can do that and there is not much to do about it.

Love love peace piece
Guest
Love love peace piece

If they had no case there’d be no intimidation in the first place.
And what’s the point on the record company being foreigner or not foreigner? Music is universal.

James
Guest
James

The bigger the corporation, the more power you have in the American legal system. Universal can afford top-quality lawyers, while for a small label like Tedy, it’s easier to just give Universal a cut of the song profits than to go through a long, drawn-out legal process, even if they end up winning. This is undoubtedly the less expensive of the two options.

Ana
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Ana

That is bullsh*t. There was a lot of discussion about this topic in the media when those accusations were fresh. All the legal experts said that Universal do it just because they know that anyone will settle with them and will be too scared to go to court against them. Even if the chance of winning the case is pretty high. They can make the whole legal process last for years and in the meantime demand that the song won’t be played anywhere. The chance that Universal would win this case is not very high, but nobody would take the… Read more »

Petersu
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Petersu

It’s just like Shape Of You by Ed Sheeran and No Scrubs by TLC situation. Ed Sheeran subsequently included TLC in composition.

Jonas
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Jonas

Also like Sam Smith’s Stay with Me and Tom Petty’s Won’t Back Down.

Jake
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Jake

It’s not the same!!!!! Because Ed Sheeran never entered his song in an original song contest where sampling other songs is NOT allowed. By giving Jack White co-writing credit they are admiting he was sampled. And by them agreeing to that they must’ve felt there was enough evidence that it was true and there was proof of the fact of how the song came about. I’m sure the EBU wants to push this under the rug quickly but if I’m Cyprus I have a legal right to challenge the EBU that the winner should be disqualified with them admission they… Read more »

Esc1234
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Esc1234

Alex P would have to send a letter to Bella soon cause there are much more similiarities

Roma
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Roma

Bella’s just got inspired by Fuego obviously. But that’s not a plagiarism.

esc1234
Guest
esc1234

The composition, structure, and arrangement of the song are not just the same. THEY ARE IDENTICAL.

Paul
Guest
Paul

I’m so confused. What bit is supposed to have been stolen?!

Roma
Guest
Roma

It has the same beat.

Love love peace piece
Guest
Love love peace piece

It’s the chorus melody sequence.

jordance
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jordance

After this EBU must declare that Cyprus is winner 2018

Ana
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Ana

Cyprus’s temlate of a song sounds like thousands of other songs. If they won, they would be in the same situation. So you can chill

Charles II
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Charles II

I suppose Beyoncé’s choreographer is going to sue Eleni now?

Paule
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Paule

If that agreement would have been made before the contest, would “Toy” have to be disqualified then? Because it’s obviously not a new song by Jack White but an older one.

Pandaman
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Pandaman

No. Having Jack White as a co-writer automatically denies any accusation of plagiarism, since an artist cannot plagiarise themselves.

Mario
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Mario

Still, I don’t think samples (which this technically is now) are allowed in Eurovision?
Never heard an instance of that before, at least.

romanian
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romanian

But would not have been original anymore, released after September 1st. Anyway I am by Medalie’s side, many songs sound like each other, Jack White is greedy.

Paule
Guest
Paule

I still think it would have been against the rules to incorporate elements of a song that is already well-known.

By the way: I don’t think the similarities are very big …

José
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José

OMG! That is so awkward, Israel. xD

Eyal
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Eyal

Ridiculous! It’s pure blackmailing. How can he live with himself?!

Loin dici
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Loin dici

The only plus of this is the Universal Records exposure. Jack White must be a nice guy that he didn’t do anything and still be able to have a credit.

PP77
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PP77

We had same situation with Sweden 2001.