SEOUL, July 23 (Yonhap) -- A Seoul court on Friday ruled against an American composer in a plagiarism suit he brought against the producer of the popular South Korean children's song "Baby Shark" two years ago.
The Seoul Central District Court rejected a claim by New York-based composer Johnny Only that "Baby Shark," a world-famous song released by South Korean education startup SmartStudy in 2015, copied his 2011 song.
The rhythmic two-minute song featuring a shark family and their underwater hunt for small fish has gone viral in cyberspace and on the small screen at home and abroad. "Baby Shark Dance," a sing-and-dance video for the megahit children's song, has racked up more than 9 billion views on YouTube.
Only, whose legal name is Jonathan Wright, filed a lawsuit with the Seoul court in March 2019, claiming that the South Korean song plagiarized his own song "Baby Shark" remade in 2011 with a unique rhythm to an orally transmitted folk song.
But SmartStudy has rejected the plagiarism claim, saying its song was a recreation of a traditional North American children's song that has no valid copyrights.