Game music plagiarism - Metal Gear Solid theme

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I just caught wind of this youtube video today, and I'm sorta stunned. Quite possibly one of the most famous game music masterpieces ever (in my opinion) was a rip off from a 1979 composition from a well known Russian classical composer.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dTcNUoxCmHI

Here's the Gamasutra article..
http://www.gamasutra.com/php-bin/news_index.php'story=21513

What do you guys think? Is it plagiarism? There are a few notable parts in there that the Metal Gear Solid theme undoubtlely borrowed, so it's a real stretch to say it was pure coincidence that the MGS theme sounds similar. Apparently the Metal Gear Solid theme was excluded from Metal Gear Solid 4 because Konami was sensitive about any plagiarism backlash.

jayktaylor's picture

I think if they can't think of their own melodies, they are lacking creativity & should not be working in the industry as a composer!

Anonymous's picture

had heard mention that certain countries like america activly promoted not respecting copyright of intelectual property during the cold war of russian IP like music... for polictical resons treating vast section of russian music as public domain.

this may very well be related to that?

then again, though america only started recognising copyright when they where pumping money into startup holywood in the 1920's? before then they considered themselves 'too poor' a country to need to respect IP of other countries... how times change. (ie, plagerising in newspapers large sections of Charles Dickens works without payment to Dickens)

-David Coen

Jinksi's picture

I think it is quite obvious that Big Boss inspired Georgy Sviridov to compose this piece in the 70's

Anonymous's picture

If you listen to enough music of a similar mood and style, you stumble across plenty of familiar melodies. It's partly the folly of only having 7 notes in a key, and when you find yourself using a similar instrument set to match a certain sound or style, the probability of recreating someone else's melody increases - especially if the creator may have heard the melody in the past but no longer consciously remembers it. In any case, I can come up with heaps of movie and game soundtracks that are equally guilty. Clint Mansell's Requiem for a Dream remix, for example, has turned up in a lot of places - probably a side effect of directors 'wanting music just like that but not like that'.

Konami probably could have fought it, but it's not worth the fuss. The plagiarism - presuming it wasn't just unfortunate chance - probably wasn't intentional, but on the off-chance it was deliberate, why bother? They can hire Harry Gregson-Williams of all people to write them a new one.

Anonymous's picture

Heh, well, I don't think Tappy Iwase has done much of note since? None of his actual credits (bar newer franchise games reusing/remixing his old music) occur in the past 10 years. Possibly had a tough time adapting from chip-based music to the current composition style.

Considering he's the guy that did soundtrack for the original Suikoden, though, I'd give him the benefit of the doubt. ...Unless some dudes in Europe pop up saying he stole those melodies too.

souri's picture

Yeh, I've certainly heard a fair few renditions that have been inspired by that Requiem for a Dream theme. That seems to be a popular one.

The latest I've recognised is the Prometheus theme, which seems to be inspired by that famous Inception soundtrack Half Remembered Dream.

In this case, it isn't plagiarism, but it's interesting to hear some obvious influences and trends like this..

Incidentally, what blew my mind was that Hans Zimmer slowed down the beginning of "Non, je ne regrette rien" as the base of that score.

It's amazing how you can slow down some scores by a huge factor and get entirely different feeling musical piece. The Jurrassic Park theme slowed down by 1000% is just hauntingly beautiful..