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News

13.03.2007 available in english

Trademark News

iTunes tracks down plagiarism
Scandal involving English pianist Joyce Hatto

A British man was rather astonished recently when he loaded the twelve Transcendental Studies from Franz Liszt on to his computer. The recording, which should actually have been by the English pianist Joyce Hatto , was identified by iTunes as the work of another piano player Laszlo Simon, recorded in the year 1987. The piece had exactly the same length on both albums.

The computer also assigned a second Hatto CD containing Rachmaninov concerts  not to the pianist in question but to Yefim Bronfman instead. The user involuntarily- turned-detective contacted the British music magazine ‘Gramophone’ and set off a scandal with his report.

The fact that iTunes can also be used to detect plagiarisms, made the music branch sit up. This recognition can be traced back to a function which, when downloading a CD on to the computer, identifies the artist and registers further information about their song titles on iTunes. According to ‘Gramophone’, experts who have meanwhile become  interested in the Hatto affair have discovered a dozen other works on iTunes which crop up under both the name of the originator and under Hatto’s name.

The original recordings were altered, if at all, digitally - that means they are slightly lengthened or shortened along the time axis, so say the experts. The waveforms themselves coincide perfectly. The experts are agreed  that no musician could repeat a work so exactly, not even when it was a matter of their own presentation. 

Hatto’s musical achievements, which during her lifetime attracted rather little attention, have experienced a strong  re-evaluation in the last year. The pianist was being talked about by everyone.  So even more serious are the accusations now being leveled at the musician. The pianist’s husband, who had published the recordings,  has up till now rejected all accusations of plagiarism. The matter is being examined further.

juk/rmb

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