BTS owner Big Hit Music clarifies copyright claims around 'Butter'

Big Hit Music, the agency managing South Korean boy band BTS, has clarified recent copyright claims regarding the band's latest song "Butter". Released earlier this year on 21 May, "Butter" was recently compared to a song written for a 90s Japanese video game. According to multiple online sites, Korean netizens found the main melody of "Butter" bore a striking similarity to one of the song tracks from the 1992 Nintendo Entertainment System (NES) game Monster in My Pocket produced by Konami. The song, in particular, was “Towering Catastrophe” and was composed by Kozo Nakamura and Hiroshi Takeyashu.

Big Hit has confirmed that there are no copyright issues with the song. Prior to the release, the song had confirmations from its writers that there were no copyright problems, the agency said, according to Naver. However, BigHit said it is aware of copyright claims and added that the source of the sound still belongs to "Butter".

Meanwhile, Nakamura also addressed this on his personal blog on 20 July. He said that he listened to both tracks and attributed their similarity to coincidence. “News channels have reported it as 'beyond sampling, this is direct plagarism'. I'm the composer and I didn't say that. In any case, the rights to the song belong to the game company, so it doesn’t matter to me. But it's quite interesting that the background music I made has become a hot topic,” he added. 

kozo nakamura

According to YouTube, "Butter" has broken multiple records, including BTS' previous song “Dynamite”, with more than 108 million views within 24 hours of its premiere. YouTube added that the band now holds the first and second record spots on YouTube's “All-Time Top 24 Hour Music Debuts” for both songs respectively.

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