It’s the trial everyone’s been talking about. (In my head, anyway.)
Back in 2005, Belgian songwriter Salvatore Acquaviva successfully won a case against Madonna, Queen of Everything, after accusing her of ripping off the four bar intro to his song “Ma Vie Fout L’camp” with her own iconic Ray Of Light single (and quite possibly my favorite Madonna song ever), “Frozen.” The ruling resulted in the withdrawal of the song from ever being sold in Belgium, as well as a ban on all television and radio play.
In case you’re wondering, here is (seemingly) the sole comparison snippet that exists on the Internet:
SHAMELESS. Or was it?
Madonna’s people were planning on appealing the case immediately, but according to Madonnarama, the ongoing legal battle hit yet another snag when Italian composer Edouard Scotto Di Suoccio decided both “Frozen” AND “Ma Vie Fout L’camp” were rip-offs of his own 1983 track, “Bloodnight.” (I couldn’t find audio for that one, but I’m sure Edouard had a point.)
All three songs were compared in Paris recently, and it was finally decided that the songs in question were “not sufficiently ‘original’ to claim” that anybody was plagiarizing anybody. Oop! And so, the 2005 ban was formally lifted in Belgium.
Here now is an incredible Google Translate version of a French news report about the lawsuit, via L’Avenir:
MONS – The Court of Appeal of Mons said Monday that the famous singer Madonna had not committed plagiarism for her song “Frozen”, contrary to what he criticized the Belgian songwriter Salvatore Acquaviva, author of “My life fucks camp “(1979). In its judgment, the Court of Appeal states that apply for verification of copyright in the work allegedly plagiarized rights, the first question to ask is the originality of the latter.
It considers that the similarities found between “Frozen” and “My Life fout l’camp”, namely some virtually identical measures and repeated several times, are found in many previous works Salvatore Acquaviva’s song. “Apart from the works of classical music or folk songs or old, there are more recent prior art, including pop songs, blues or rock. These citations are destructive of originality,” said the judgment. The Court therefore considers that the work of Mouscron is not sufficiently “original” to claim that the plagiarism. It will eventually pay 1,320 euros to the three labels he accused.
(The actual English translation of Acquaviva’s song is “My Life’s Getting Nowhere,” but I greatly prefer Google Translate’s version.)
Congratulations, Belgium: You’re no longer frozen because your heart’s now open.
And speaking of Belgium, here’s an important side note: Kat DeLuna‘s second studio album Inside Out was released exclusively in Belgium in 2010. It’s also not banned — so there’s even more reason to celebrate.
It’s Party O’Clock!