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Online Singing Competition Says 'No' to Plagiarism

An online singing competition promoting original creation instead of copied works kicked off Thursday at www.DoFaLa.com.

The competition was initiated by Chinese woman musicians Liu Qin, Jin Haixin and Yao Beina. The three prominent figures in the field of popular music will publish their new creations on the website to inspire more innovative works.

Huang Xinquan, CEO of DoFaLa.com, said the competition is open to anyone regardless of age or gender. Candidates can sing their own songs or songs written by others and submit the song to the website. The three musicians will compose songs specially for the top three winners as determined by public voting.

"No plagiarism will be allowed," Huang said. He was alluding to the plagiarism that occurred in the National Competition for Young Singers (NCYS), a live TV program held by China Central Television(CCTV).

Yan Su, a member of the NCYS jury committee, said Tuesday that plagiarism by some candidates has been confirmed and they have been disqualified. Zhu Qiwei, a young singer whose original songs made him popular during the competition, was also found guilty of plagiarism.

"We will carefully examine the songs submitted by candidates," said Huang Xinquan, saying that this is designed to protect the intellectual property rights of composers.

Huang said that the online singing competition is being held at the same time as the National Competition for Young Singers and Hunan Television's "Super Girls".

"Super Girls", the first show in China to use the "American Idol" formula, became the most popular TV show in China with a record audience of 400 million, unheard of ratings for a provincial broadcaster.

However, right from the outset, "Super Girls" also triggered controversy for "preaching the wrong concept of instant riches and fame" among young people.

"Some people really like singing, while some are just using music as a means to achieve fame and wealth," said Liu Qin. "Some plagiarizers claim to be original music composers, and their behavior has really harmed true music."

Hinting that public opinion is sometimes "torn" between angelic faces and real singing talent, Liu said the internet singing competition is more likely to focus on voices rather than faces.

"We will say no to candidates who want to succeed on looks alone," she added.

She hoped the Internet singing competition, by using different selection methods, would promote more original works and innovative musicians.

Huang revealed that the online singing competition has also attracted interest from internet insiders, as it is sure to increase the number of visits to the website.

According to him, "Super Girls" has so far generated 600 million to 700 million yuan (around US$75-87.5 million) in profits.

(Xinhua News Agency July 28, 2006)

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