Singaporean singer-songwriter Tanya Chua's record label has rebutted accusations online that she plagiarised American pop star Taylor Swift in Chua's recently released album, Kisses For The World.
Netizens on Chinese micro-blogging site Weibo claimed last week that a song on Chua's album, titled Halfway, was similar to Swift's 2011 single, Safe And Sound, which was performed with country duo The Civil Wars.
Some netizens added that the similarities were especially apparent at the three-minute mark of Chua's song.
In a statement on Weibo on Sunday (Dec 23), Universal Music China said that Chua's new album was solely her own creation and no part of it was plagiarised.
The company said that it has always respected the work of artistes and hopes to create an environment that does the same.
Universal also asked the public to stop spreading false claims and added that it will not hesitate to take legal action to defend its rights.
Swift is signed on with Universal Music Group.
In response to the controversy, Warner/Chappell Music - which manages the copyright of Chua's works - also issued a statement on Weibo on Sunday denying that the two songs were similar.
It said that a comparison of both songs show that Halfway is sung in C major while Safe And Sound is in E minor. The songs also differ in their tune, composition and chord progression.
"Our company will take all necessary actions to investigate any false accusations and safeguard the rights of contracted creators," it added.
Last Friday, Chua also said on her personal Weibo account that facing accusations of plagiarism is one of the biggest nightmares for an artiste.
She added that, having written hundreds of songs for over 20 years, there could be some of her works that others may remember as questionable.
For example, her 2008 song Red High Heels had turned out similar to The Weepies' Take It From Me, with the same tempo, key and an intro.
She said that at that point in time, she often listened to The Weepies and she was not conscious about the fact that she had plagiarised.
As for Halfway, Chua said that it was inspired by her own creation and she could not see how it was similar to Swift's Safe And Sound.
She said: "Songwriting should be free and casual. There are so many melodies and rhythms out there... But what I can promise is that I will never plagiarise. I disagree with it and I don't need to do it."
She added that she has always written songs without regrets and also thanked fans for their support.