American musician, pianist, composer, and arranger Scott Bradlee of Postmodern Jukebox (PMJ) posted his displeasure at Zsa Zsa Padilla’s rip off of his musical arrangement of Taylor Swift’s “Blank Space.” Bradlee shared Padilla’s video with the caption, “This week in ‘who’s ripping off my arrangements and passing their off as their own'” #PMJdiditfirst”.
Watch Zsa-Zsa’s performance below:
Padilla performed the number on the Sunday noontime variety show ASAP 20 as part of her birthday production number. Minutes after the video was uploaded on Padilla’s Facebook page, a number of Postmodern Jukebox fans from all over the world posted their dismay. Several fans also used the hashtag #PMJdiditfirst.
Taylor Swift’s “Blank Space” was previously performed with the same musical arrangement ala vintage cabaret style by Postmodern Jukebox featuring Ariana Savalas last December 2014.
Here’s Ariana Savalas’ ‘Blank Space’ performance:
Postmodern Jukebox is most popular for their recreations of pop music into vintage and jazz style performances. Their short and simple description on their Facebook page, “We take pop music back in time.” says it all. Such pop-turned-vintage-type songs they’ve made include Lady Gaga’s “Bad Romance,” Aqua’s “Barbie Girl,” and The Cardigans’ “Lovefool.”
Padilla’s recreation of PMJ’s number is only one of the very many showcased in the Sunday variety show. It is, however, uncommon that the performance gets traced back to the original artist. In this case, Bradlee spoke up (and quite immediately, in fact) about the issue. The big question now is what will Padilla and her home network ABS-CBN do about it.
Forget about “Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery.” The arrangement may be in violation of copyright laws. As per the Copyright Law of the United States, a set of exclusive rights is awarded to authors and artists to encourage the creation of art and culture. “Copyright law grants authors and artists the exclusive right to make and sell copies of their works, the right to create derivative works, and the right to perform or display their works publicly.” But as Bradlee had used the term “rip off,” it is clear that no one had asked permission to recreate his original arrangement at all.
Banner photos from Scott Bradlee’s and Zsa Zsa Padilla’s Facebook pages.