Did Timbaland Steal From a Finnish Producer?
Wed, 17 Jan 2007 10:09:25
A number of music bloggers are in an uproar over reports that Timbaland lifted the bulk of his production work on Nelly Furtado's "Do It" from a Finnish demoscener named Janne "Tempest/Damage" Suni. The "demoscene" is an underground where users try to outdo one another with their programming brilliance; purists do so while working within the limited capacities of early personal computers like the Commodore 64 and the slightly more advanced Amiga.
Suni had submitted an Amiga-composed track called "Acidjazzed Evening" to a music competition in Helsinki in 2000. Videos are now surfacing on YouTube that dissect and compare the two tracks -- along with a ringtone Timbaland composed using the same melody in 2005 -- and leave the acclaimed hip-hop producer in a less-than-favorable light.
"Part of the track is clearly stolen," concluded Belgium's Side-Line Magazine upon seeing the videos. Those wishing to make up their own minds can download "Acidjazzed Evening" from Suni's website (or various other sources). Suni's original track had been later reworked on a Commodore 64 by a composer identified only as "grg," and it's this version that Timbaland allegedly lifted parts of for "Do It." Although the tracks, along with the other entries in the 2000 Helsinki competition, were freely distributed online, the creator still retained the copyrights.
"I have never given up the copyrights of Acidjazzed Evening," Suni posted online. "I also have never authorized commercial use of the song."
Timbaland, along with his legal representatives and label representatives at Geffen, has yet to comment on the issue. He likely won't be able to maintain his silence, though, as even Rolling Stone has now picked up on a story that began circulating entirely through blogs and message boards.
--The ARTISTdirect Staff