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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Woj
Woj
1 year ago

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

Jeremy
Jeremy
1 year ago

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
Markyboy
1 year ago

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

Charlie44
Charlie44
1 year ago

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

ESCFan2009
ESCFan2009
1 year ago

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
Jake
1 year ago

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
Paul
1 year ago

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
James
1 year ago
Reply to  Paul

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

Nikko
Nikko
1 year ago

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
Purple Mask
1 year ago

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
Frisian esc
1 year ago

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
VAIKI
1 year ago

everythings a copy of a copy

Joe
Joe
1 year ago

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
Jonas
1 year ago

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
romanian
1 year ago

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
Ana
1 year ago
Reply to  romanian

“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
Love love peace piece
1 year ago
Reply to  Ana

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

Jake
Jake
1 year ago
Reply to  romanian

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
Ana
1 year ago
Reply to  Jake

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.

Apple
Apple
1 year ago

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

Denis
Denis
1 year ago

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
Love love peace piece
1 year ago
Reply to  Denis

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
Maya G
1 year ago
Reply to  Denis

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
Milla
1 year ago

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
Paul
1 year ago
Reply to  Milla

chicken sounds?

Love love peace piece
Love love peace piece
1 year ago

OMG!! Clap clap, well done Jack.

James
James
1 year ago

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
bergs
1 year ago
Reply to  James

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
Love love peace piece
1 year ago
Reply to  James

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
James
1 year ago

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
Ana
1 year ago

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
Petersu
1 year ago

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

Jonas
Jonas
1 year ago
Reply to  Petersu

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

Jake
Jake
1 year ago
Reply to  Petersu

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
Esc1234
1 year ago

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

Roma
Roma
1 year ago
Reply to  Esc1234

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

esc1234
esc1234
1 year ago
Reply to  Roma

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

Paul
Paul
1 year ago

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

Roma
Roma
1 year ago
Reply to  Paul

It has the same beat.

Love love peace piece
Love love peace piece
1 year ago
Reply to  Roma

It’s the chorus melody sequence.

jordance
jordance
1 year ago

After this EBU must declare that Cyprus is winner 2018

Ana
Ana
1 year ago
Reply to  jordance

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

Paule
Paule
1 year ago

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
Pandaman
1 year ago
Reply to  Paule

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

Mario
Mario
1 year ago
Reply to  Pandaman

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
romanian
1 year ago
Reply to  Pandaman

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
Paule
1 year ago
Reply to  romanian

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 …

Paule
Paule
1 year ago

Not explicitly, but implicitly nonetheless.

James
James
1 year ago
Reply to  Paule

No, it’s a settlement to avoid the risk of going against one of the most powerful record companies in the world. Universal knew exactly what they were doing.

Paul
Paul
1 year ago
Reply to  James

Powerful or not they knew exactly what they were doing because they were right. It´s this simple.

romanian
romanian
1 year ago

But is official and this is all that matters. But I’m by Israeli side, I guess is the same situation like Meta/Moro.

Loin dici
Loin dici
1 year ago

Then, what did Jack write? He didn’t do any justice to the song. He’s just greedy.

Jonas
Jonas
1 year ago

I guess…but they never actually sat down together and composed Toy, so the only way to take it is that Toy is based on a song that came out in 2003, fifteen years before the rules allow.

José
José
1 year ago

OMG! That is so awkward, Israel. xD

Eyal
Eyal
1 year ago

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

Loin dici
Loin dici
1 year ago

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
PP77
1 year ago

We had same situation with Sweden 2001.