Adele Faces Serious Accusations of Plagiarism…

Did Adele Rip Off Ahmet Kaya?

The serious accusations are coming from die-hard fans of Ahmet Kaya, a Turkish singer of Kurdish ethnicity who passed away in 2000.  According to the growing protests, Adele ripped off major portions of Kaya’s smash ‘Acilara Tutunmak’ on her just-released song, ‘Million Years Ago’.  ‘Acilara Tutunmak’ roughly translates to ‘Clinging to Pain’ in Turkish.

‘Acilara Tutunmak,’ which certainly bears strong similarity, was released in 1985.  This was a popular track, though whether Adele, who was born in 1988, even heard the song is unclear.  That also goes for Adele producers and collaborators, those these fans want blood.  “Adele has stolen from us,” one user screamed on Twitter.

Another posted a picture of Adele alongside Kaya’s, with a caption that reads, “God damn you, thief.”

Meanwhile, comparison videos are bubbling onto YouTube and other sites, with local Turkish coverage of the issue exploding.  But are these tracks the same?  Here’s a comparison of the two songs…


The next question is whether legal action is now hovering.  Adele is a juicy target, and a quick settlement could mean comfortable retirements for connected rights owners.  So far, Kaya’s widow Gülten Kaya has told the media that she doesn’t suspect plagiarism, while leaving the door open for serious future action (and serious future payouts).  “If she consciously did it then it would be theft,” Kaya told Turkish daily Posta.

More as this develops.


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4 Responses

  1. Anonymous

    Somebody always thinks a hit record sounds like something else.

    But it’s not plagiarism, unless there’s a substantial or striking similarity. And that’s not the case here.

  2. Tom Petty

    Adele is definitely going to get sued over this, and after a case like Blurred Lines vs. Got To Give It Up sides with the Gaye estate, it seems Adele could easily lose as well. She is an easy target, and there’s too much $$ that could be awarded not to sue. On top of that, the Ahmet track is a wide net for catching copyright infringement. Both songs are loaded with cliches, from the descending 5th chord progression, to the melody descending in step following chord tones. I disagree with the idea that this is infringement, but this is probably similar enough to fool most people.


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