For the half-year to 31 December 2014, the IPKat's regular team is supplemented by contributions from guest bloggers Rebecca Gulbul, Lucas Michels and Marie-Andrée Weiss.

Regular round-ups of the previous week's blogposts are kindly compiled by Alberto Bellan.

Thursday, 29 January 2009

Supernatural Superserious vs Walkmand

On a lighter note: the Copenhagen Post Online today reports of a copyright dispute between Danish pop duo Hej Matematik and American band R.E.M. According to the report Hej Matematik's label (Copenhagen Records) have been accused by R.E.M's label (Warner Music) of more or less blatantly copying R.E.M.'s recent offering 'Supernatural Superserious'. As a consequence Hej Matematik are now blocked from uploading their new song 'Walkmand' to YouTube and MySpace.


The twist to this little story is that the objectionable Danish song 'Walkmand' is a cover version of a 1980s Danish hit by Danish singer Michael Hardinger. Hardinger reportedly approves of Hej Matematik's interpretation. R.E.M.'s song 'Supernatural Superserious' on the other hand appears to first have been released in February 2008. Nicolaj Rasted, one of the members of Hej Matematik, is cited as saying: "We really can't hear the similarity ourselves and if there's any at all, then it would be that 'Walkmand' originated from a sample of Michael Hardinger's 'Walk, Mand!!' from 1981." Hej Matematik's is now reportedly trying to settle the matter with R.E.M. and Warner Music.


The Copenhagen Post further reports that angry Hej Matematik supporters are now flooding YouTube with negative comments. The IPKat has just noticed that busy Hej Matematik fans have already 'amended' the Wikipedia entry for 'Supernatural Superserious' accordingly (see screenshot to the left).

Update: The latest twist in this dispute has again been published by the Copenhagen Post Online today (30 January 2009). In an interview with Danish public broadcaster DR, Mickey Lund, the head of Warner Music Denmark, reportedly explained that neither R.E.M. nor Warner Music had tried to block Hej Matematik's song. Mr Lund also voiced the opinion that the block had been caused by a fault in YouTube's uploading system. Hej Matematik’s song can now again be uploaded to YouTube and the IPKat can't help but wondering whether the whole story may have been a clever little marketing ploy... ?

More on this dispute can be found here (in Norwegian) and here.
'Supernatural Superserious''s Wikipedia entry can be found here
Hej Matematik's MySpace profile can be accessed here.

4 comments:

Anonymous said...

This is very funny!! Makes REM look a bit silly. The Wikipedia entry has now been changed again.

Anonymous said...

Is there a website that allows you to listen to both songs and compare them? The Norwegian website only has the REM video and a video with the Danish guys talking in what I assume must be Danish.

Birgit said...

Re: Comparing both songs. The video on the Norwegian site talking has a live version of the song. It starts at about 3.52. There are also some new developments in the dispute and the Kat will update the above post in due course.

Anonymous said...

Interesting that Warner/REM now say they had nothing to do with it. Question remains whether they copied the Danish guy's 1980s song. Maybe the Danish group needed some free publicity but REM could still have copied the 1980is Danish song or am I missing something?

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