Frozen was which is a real pop culture sensation. It made $1.2 billion at the pack office and an amazing $5.3 billion in merchandising: even five years following the film’s release two of the top-selling kid’s Halloween costumes are Anna and Elsa. But is this success borne on the trunk of plagiarism?
Jamie Ciero, a Chilean singer/songwriter, feels so and has registered a lawsuit against Disney which cases the hit song “IGNORE IT” is derivative of his 2008 track “Volar.” Also called in the suit are Idina Menzel (who sang the music in the movie), Demi Lovato (who recorded the single) and, well, pretty much anyone mixed up in melody and film’s production.
Take a look at the two monitors below and see what you think:
I guess I can kind of hear a similarity in the chorus, but hearing them back to back, it looks like a stretch out for Ciero to declare that Disney directly plagiarized his music. Granted, if he does win this case he’d be set for life, as he would like a piece of the movie’s profits, the merchandising gains, etc.
I usually make an effort to side with the tiny guy against the corporate behemoth, but in this instance, it’s difficult never to see Ciero as chancing his chance with this suit. Considering it a bit more cynically, publicizing the situation is a great way to get millions upon millions of strikes for your obscure indie track and scare up a lttle bit of royalties.
Either way, this isn’t the first time Frozen has been sued. In 2014, New Jersey publisher Isabella Tanikumi submitted a $250m lawsuit for copyright infringement against Disney, claiming that Frozen plagiarized her autobiography Yearnings of the Heart. Perhaps credited to Tanikumi not having marvelous ice-based superpowers, the case was thrown out. I think Ciero’s suit will meet an identical destiny. But who is aware?