REM launch action against Hej Matematik

March 2009

Music publishing

A copyright dispute between Danish pop duo Hej Matematik and REM may backfire on the US band after REM’s label Warners filed an action against Hej Matematik’s Copenhagen Records of blatantly copying R.E.M.’s recent offering ‘Supernatural Superserious’ in a track ‘Walkmand’. As a consequence Hej Matematik are now blocked from uploading their new song ‘Walkmand’ to YouTube and MySpace. The twist is that the duo’s ‘Walkmand’ is a cover version of a 1980s Danish hit by Danish singer Michael Hardinger. Hardinger reportedly approves of Hej Matematik’s interpretation. R.E.M.’s song ‘Supernatural Superserious’ on the other hand appears to first have been released in February 2008. Nicolaj Rasted, one of the members of Hej Matematik, is cited as saying: “We really can’t hear the similarity ourselves and if there’s any at all, then it would be that ‘Walkmand’ originated from a sample of Michael Hardinger’s ‘Walk, Mand!!’ from 1981.” Hej Matematik’s is now reportedly trying to settle the matter with R.E.M. and Warner Music. The Copenhagen Post reports that angry Hej Matematik supporters are now flooding YouTube with negative comments. The IPKat has just noticed that busy Hej Matematik fans have already ‘amended’ the Wikipedia entry for ‘Supernatural Superserious’ accordingly.

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