Enrique Iglesias is accused of plagiarism for his song ‘Bailando’

Enrique Iglesias’ Bailando will continue airing on radio stations as long as listeners and DJs are mesmerized by its magic. Peruvian singer and songwriter Sergio…
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Enrique Iglesias is accused of plagiarism for his song ‘Bailando’

Cuban duo Descemer Bueno y Gente de Zona perform with singer Enrique Iglesias, center, during the Latin Billboard Awards Thursday, April 24, 2014, in Coral Gables, Fla. (AP Photo/Lynne Sladky)

Enrique Iglesias’ Bailando will continue airing on radio stations as long as listeners and DJs are mesmerized by its magic. Peruvian singer and songwriter Sergio Pelo de Ambrosio decided not to escalate to the courts with actual plagiarism charges on Cuban songwriter Descemer Bueno, author of the mega hit.

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Last month, Pelo de Ambrosio requested the Conservatorio Nacional de Perú to execute plagiarism tests on a song he released in 2009 “Lejos de Tí,” and “Bailando.” The institution determined that there were enough elements to proceed with a legal case.

Pelo de Ambrocio announced he would establish a lawsuit against Enrique Iglesias who has rocked English and Spanish radio hit lists with versions in both languages.

Iglesias’ hit features Gente de Zona plus Sean Paul for the English version only. But, the original version –which was a major success in Cuba in 2013- included its actual author Cuban songwriter and singer Descemer Bueno and Gente de Zona.

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Once the Conservatorio Nacional de Perú finished the investigations, the Asociación Peruana de Autores y Compositores submitted the case to its American homologue. The American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers –which Bueno is a member of- determined that there is not grounds for plagiarism and refused to negotiate any agreement, willing to dispute in courts.

There are some undeniable similarities between the two pieces. The introduction of both uses similar Chords and guitar leadings and the chorus in both is similar.

However, the moods in both songs are like summer and winter. “My song makes you dance, his is depressive,” said Bueno to Martí Noticias.

The general structures of the arrangements are abysmally different too. Pelo de Ambrosio’s song has more disparity between the basic melody and the bridge while Bueno’s is more consistent with its central melody all throughout the piece.

Even for simple mortals like me (musically speaking) the two are not sufficiently similar to think of plagiarism despite the similarities. At least, that is not the feeling I had the multiple times I listened to both.

Deja Vu is relatively common in Pop music not necessarily implying plagiarism. Just listen to “Express Yourself,” by Madonna and “I Was Born This Way,” by Lady Gaga. Sometimes, only a little fragment of a song resembles another one. For me, it is clear ideas may converge as millions of songwriters try to channel their creations.

Anyway, it would be extremely difficult for Pelo de Ambrosio to demonstrate Bueno plagiarized him plus the tsunami of criticism that he has been subject of since last month.

“There is no law this accusations can be based on. And in any case, I couldn’t be accused. We think this is disrespectful,” Bueno said to Martí Noticias.

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