South Korean boy group BTS has currently been under the spotlight for rumors of plagiarism. Ever since the K-pop group released their album “The Most Beautiful Moment in Life”, they have been garnering much attention due to speculations of copying the musical concepts of other popular groups such as EXO, Big Bang, and Shinee.
Illustrating the limited availability of designs and musical styles in the Korean pop industry, the scandal brings into spotlight the need for popular groups to keep within a certain style of music that appeals to the majority; the reason that there are a lot of plagiarism scandals in the K-pop industry may be due to the fact that catchy tunes and simple lyrics lead to a guaranteed success. Integrating these key elements is especially essential for new rookie groups on the brink of fame.
Many groups feel a pressure to release songs that adhere to this “formula for success”, because their fans are accustomed to listening to the acclimated style of K-pop. The result is a never ending cycle of re-used and repetitive songs, which leads to various plagiarism scandals. It’s also ironic how the companies are trying to appeal to the fans by giving them what they demand. However, in return, the fans bash on the groups for being too similar to other boy bands. Even in the comments section of various articles, it is easy to see the discord between multiple fandoms.
Jamie Kim, a freshman at Beverly Hills High School offered her thoughts on the whole idea of plagiarism in K-pop. “I feel that rumors of plagiarism will always exist within the entertainment industry, solely for the reason that there is a limited number of musical arrangements and patterns possible. I think of music as fossil fuels; there will soon be a time when we run out of new material to work with. This is why various groups may be accused of plagiarism, even if they recycle the music of others into their own style.”