Jack White of The White Stripes gets writing credit for ‘Toy’

Deal brings legal copyright battle over Eurovision-winning song and ‘Seven Nation Army’ to an end.

February 7, 2019 10:51
1 minute read.
NETTA BARZILAI performs 'Toy' at the Eurovision last year.

NETTA BARZILAI performs 'Toy' at the Eurovision last year. . (photo credit: ANDRES PUTTING)


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The legal battle over “Toy,” the 2018 Israeli Eurovision-winning song, appears to have come to an end.

Public broadcaster KAN reported on Wednesday that the Israeli composers of “Toy” have agreed to give writing credit to Jack White of the American rock duo The White Stripes.

The story began in last July, two months after Netta Barzilai won the international singing competition with the upbeat power anthem. Doron Medalie, one of the co-writers of “Toy,” received a letter from the Universal Music Group (UMG) alleging similarities between the song and the 2003 White Stripes track “Seven Nation Army.”

A search on Thursday of the copyright listings on ACUM – the Society of Authors, Composers and Music Publishers in Israel – reveals that three names are listed as composers of “Toy”: Medalie, Stav Beger and John Anthony White – aka Jack White. The addition of White – a man estimated to be worth tens of millions of dollars – means that he will now receive royalties from the song.

Does this mean that Medalie and Beger – who wrote the song for Barzilai last year – are admitting they copied from his rock anthem “Seven Nation Army”? Not exactly.

No lawsuit was ever filed, and such a deal – without admitting any guilt – is fairly commonplace in the music industry, usually committing the parties involved to silence on the issue.

Last year, Medalie told The Jerusalem Post that all he received from UMG was “a letter of clarification, so we’re clarifying.” Since then he has declined to speak publicly about the issue.

So does “Toy” sound like it was inspired by “Seven Nation Army”?

You can decide for yourself – but legally, it’s been decided for you.

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