Chinese composer to sue Vietnamese newswire over plagiarism charges

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A Chinese musician who composed the soundtrack of a film about Ho Chi Minh is going to sue the Vietnamese news website Vietnamnet for accusations of plagiarism made against him, the Tuoi Tre newspaper reported Friday.

Dau Dau, who was in charge of the soundtrack of Vuot qua ben Thuong Hai (Across the Shanghai) together with Vietnamese musician Vu Duy Hieu, demanded an apology from the website, it said.

According to Tuoi Tre, in March last year, before the awarding ceremony of the famous Canh dieu (Kite) film awards, for which the film was nominated, Vietnamnet published an article asking whether its music had copied from the soundtrack of a Chinese TV series.

The film's producer, Vietnamese Writers Association's Film Studio, responded to the article, denying the accusation and saying that the way Vietnamnet titled the article could cause misunderstandings among audience and affect the film.

Director Trieu Tuan said that in fact Dau Dau had also composed soundtrack for the TV series and had re-used a 20-second long melody from it for the film.

The The Thao & Van Hoa (Sports & Culture) newspaper then quoted the Chinese musician as saying that he'd never sold the melody's copyright to the TV series' producer, so he wasn't careless about reusing it as accused.

The newswire later sent a letter to the producer, apologizing for "making a sensitive headline that could cause misunderstanding and affect the film," the Cong An Nhan Dan (People's Police) newspaper quoted Nguyen Xuan Hung, production director, as saying.

However, Vietnamnet refused to make a public correction and apology for publishing incorrect and misleading information, as required by the producer, the newspaper said.

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