Shakira and her collaborator Carlos Vives in the award-winning song La Bicicleta, were recently accused of plagiarism. Both artists denied the charge.
Cuban artist Livan Radael Castellanos filed the complaint of copyright infringement at a court in Spain, where Shakira is presently based. Castellanos claimed that the Colombian collaborators used a line and a part of the chorus of his song, Yo Te Quiero Tanto, without his permission. He wrote the song a decade ago.
The complaint was filed by music publisher MDRB on Castellanos’ behalf. Also named respondents in the suit were producer Andres Castro and Sony Music.
The song in contention had won the Latin Grammy award in 2016. It also garnered the Golden Award for Best Song at the LOS40 Awards in Barcelona, Spain, where Shakira was presented with a Golden Award for Best International Latin Artist. A video of the song shows the 40-year old singer wearing a green dress and grinding her hips to the tune, while a crowd cheers.
The joint statement denying the allegation of plagiarism was issued to an international agency. It read: “La Bicicleta is a completely original work and they adamantly reject any allegation to the contrary.”
The representative of the two stars went on to state that the information on the lawsuit has yet to be served. However, royalty payments for the song have been temporarily halted.
It will be recalled that the Hips Don’t Lie singer had also faced a plagiarism charge in 2014. A Dominican judge ruled that her song Loca was an illegal copy of another tune named Loca con su Tiguere by a Dominican songwriter named Ramon Arias Vasquez.
A Common Occurrence in the Music Industry
Allegations of plagiarism in the music industry are not uncommon. It happens because one artist may very well be influenced by another.
Even Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductee Led Zeppelin was not spared of such an allegation. Just last year, the classic song, Stairway to Heaven, was the subject of a copyright dispute.
The allegation was even brought to the court by a band that Led Zeppelin had performed with. Attorneys handling the estate of Randy Wolfe (the founder of the band Spirit) filed the suit. The courts ruled in favor of the Hall of Fame rock band.
In that instance, a musicologist helped in the defense of the respondent. The expert testified that there was “no substantial similarity” between the two songs in an allegation where one was said to be copied from the other.