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WOW: Andrew Rayel & NWYR Completely Stole Airbase’s Main Theme of “Vagabond”

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From Airbase:

It has been brought to my attention that the main theme (aka ”the melody”) of the new single ”The Melody” by Andrew Rayel & NWYR is a remake of the main theme of my 2003 single The Scarab – Vagabond.The Scarab – Vagabond: https://youtu.be/XnlNaDU34jI?t=195 Andew Rayel & NWYR – The Melody: https://youtu.be/oAuLdNufGqw?t=112I was not informed nor asked for permission of the use of my theme for this release. Not Andrew, not NWYR, not Armada has reached out to me in regards to this derivative work. Meanwhile, Andrew and NWYR has most likely signed a contract with Armada similar to the one I signed when signing Airbase – Vermillion to Armada. In this contract, Article 11.1 states the following:[…]Producer warrants and represents:

  • It has the full right, power and authority to enter into this Agreement and to grant the rights granted herein to remain so entitled during the term of this Agreement.
  • No use of the Master(s), the musical compositions embodied thereon, nor any artwork or any other materials provided by Producer hereunder by Armada or any of its grantees, licensees or assigns will constitute a libel or slander of any person, or violate or infringe upon the rights of any party.

[…]By signing The Melody with a contract that contains this paragraph, they are effectively lying to the label, while also making the label liable to infringement claims. Copyright law can be tricky, but it’s a fact that structured melodies are well within the definition of intellectual property, and this release is in violation of that since they do not have permission to use it for this release.I’m a strong supporter of a sharing community. If they had asked if they could use it, I would’ve probably let them use it for free. But I will never silently endorse theft, and that’s why I’m calling them out on it.This behavior is bad for the trance scene, and disrespectful to the fans fellow producers. Creativity gives you tremendous freedom to express yourself, there’s basically just one simple rule to stick to: don’t steal.Some early feedback is that a large majority of people agree with this being a blatant copy of melody. A minority says it’s a coincidence or other. No one can ever know for sure (unless they admit it). I admit the melodies are not 1:1 identical in sound and structure. But from my 18 years of experience as a trance producer, there is no doubt in my mind that this type of similarity is not unintentional.I will not make any monetary claims. I will not make any credits claims. Me against a big label/publisher simply takes too much time, money and effort for me to go forward. But I want to at least call them out on this, if nothing else to caution others to stay away from approaching music production this way.I’ve long been a big fan of Andrews work, and I’ve held him in high regard as a producer. I really hope this is a temporary lack of judgement of Andrew and NWYR and that they stick to writing their own melodies in the future. And if they don’t, there are ways to go about if you want to remix, remake or make a cover of something. And it usually begins with asking permission.

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