Universal Music has sent “Toy” composers, Doron Medalie and Stav Beger, a warning letter threatening to sue over similarities between the song and “Seven Nation Army”.
The White Stripes’ song “Seven Nation Army” is the song being claimed that “Toy” has copied elements from. The claims in the letter are in regards to the rhythm and harmony of the song rather than the lyrics or the melody. Doron Medalie will be flying out from Paris to Los Angeles to try and resolve the issue. If the copyright case is successful for Universal then Israel’s fourth win could be disqualified and the 2019 Eurovision will not be held in Israel.
Medalie has said in response to the situation:
We were surprised to receive such a letter and we are handling it. I believe that in the next two weeks the issue will be resolved to the best of the best interests of all parties.
Netta won the Eurovision Song Contest 2018 with the song “Toy,” garnering 529 points and taking the trophy to Israel on the 20th anniversary of their last win.
Israel debuted in the Eurovision Song Contest in 1973, and were represented by Ilanit who finished in 4th place with the song “Ey Sham”. Their first victory came in 1978 with Izar Cohen and the Alphabeta. Israel won again the following year with Gali Atari & Milk and Honey. Israel’s most recent victory came in 1998 when Dana International performed “Diva” in Birmingham, beating Malta to victory in a tense voting sequence. Israel struggled in the contest during the early-2010s, failing to qualify for the final from 2011-2014. However since the HaKokhav HaBa selection process was introduced in 2015 they have qualified three times, with Nadav Guedj finishing in 9th in 2015, Hovi Star finishing in 14th in 2016 and Imri finishing in 23rd in 2017.