August 24, 2020

Little Big's Big Lawsuit


Little Big's Big Lawsuit
Little Big's popularity has been rising. Image by WavTat via Wikimedia Commons

Russian pop-music group Little Big has been in and out of the headlines all summer for their musical achievements. Now, however, the Eurovision hopefuls are facing an unexpected challenge: they have been accused of plagiarism in two of their songs and are facing an almost R12 million (approximately $171,000) lawsuit.

The cofounder of the musical group Hard Bass School, Val Toletov, has accused Little Big of plagiarism of their 2010s hit “Раз-раз-раз, это хардбасс” (“Once, once, once, this is hardbass”). He claims that the group stole samples, bass, style, and choreography in their songs “Pop on the top” and “Слэмятся пацаны” (Boys are laughing”). Toletov accused the group in a video on the YouTube channel Здесь настоящие люди (Real people are here), where he played samples of his music to compare to Little Big’s. As Toletov stated, “Look at the bass - it's identical! The bass is cut from this song! Perhaps there were some minor changes, but this bass was synthesized by us – in our personal VST [software for working with music], which we developed.”

Toletov said the amount of the claim is appropriate, as it is very expensive to develop an idea and the software for it. However, there is no direct evidence of plagiarism, and according to music critic Yuri Loza, if there is at least one note different from the original, it can no longer be considered plagiarism: “Any specialist will say that if they just slightly changed one note, then, of course, this is pure PR and there is no chance of proving plagiarism in court.”

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