It isn’t news by now that the classic National Day song ‘Count on Me, Singapore’ has been caught in a copyright debacle with Indian composer Joey Mendoza, who claims to have composed it 3 years prior.
In response, both the NDP song composer Hugh Harrison and the Ministry of Culture, Community and Youth (MCCY) have come forward with their own statements.
Mr Harisson, for one, has refuted Mr Mendoza’s claim, adding that he could sue the latter for slander.
MCCY meanwhile said today (18 Mar) that it holds copyright to the 1986 NDP song.
The Ministry is also baffled by Mr Mendoza’s allegation, and has contacted him for clarification.
On Thursday (18 Mar), MCCY addressed the copyright fiasco on its official Facebook page.
In the statement, MCCY said that the Singapore Government holds the copyright to the tunes and lyrics of ‘Count on Me, Singapore’.
Meanwhile, Pauline India, the producer of its Indian rendition, has issued an apology.
It acknowledges that the song looks “substantially copied” from ‘Count on Me, Singapore’, and has taken it down from its platforms.
However, MCCY expresses confusion at Mr Mendoza’s claim that he composed ‘We Can Achieve’ in 1983.
MCCY has contacted the musician to further clarify his claims, and is awaiting his response.
NDP Song composer Mr Harrison has also publicly denied the claims that Mr Mendoza had written the song 3 years before ‘Count on Me, Singapore’.
Writing in the comment section of the song on YouTube, he notes the implication that he had copied Mr Mendoza’s song instead.
Seeing it as “a direct attack on [his] integrity and professionalism”, he adds that he could sue Mr Mendoza for “slander and/or libel”.
But as of now, the Canadian composer has written to the Indian musician and is awaiting his response.
‘Count on Me, Singapore’ has been a tune that resonates with Singaporeans of all ages.
While it has been decades since it first aired, intellectual property is always worthy of protection.
Therefore, we hope that the original composers of this iconic tune can get their due credit.
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