Elka accused of plagiarism of Hot Hot Heat song “Shame On You”

elka singer in a pink dressRecently I’ve been visiting Victoria, BC for the weekend.  It’s a city on Vancouver island, full of local artists.  Maybe I would not even mention this fact, but coincidentally I was just reading about how their local band called Hot Hot Heat got one of their songs copied by a famous European singer.

Russian/Ukrainian singer, who goes under the name of Elka (pronounced Yolka), for the past two years gained enormous popularity in former USSR for her song called “Provence”.  But she is now accused of plagiarism, the chorus of her song is almost identical to the tune from the Hot Hot Heat song called “Shame On You”.

You can listen to the music in the video below where they alternate between the Canadian original and the song that is thought to be the knock off.  Obviously, Elka completely denies such accusations and says that the song came to her composer from outer space by SMS.

elka singer in white socksCopyright violations make many of us upset, but think of it this way, you’d probably would never find out about this Hot Hot Heat song if a popular singer wouldn’t snatch it, as they say.

But why is it that the same tune performed by Elka got so much attention and the original didn’t?  Perhaps because of her beautiful video clip, uplifting lyrics (her song is about her exciting anticipation of her trip tomorrow to the suburbs of Paris), and of course her large promotional budget.

Would you say that it is possible that Elka’s composer didn’t actually copy that song and simply came up with such a similar tune?  I’d love to hear your opinion.


elka under water

elka singer in Kazan in pantyhose

elka singer in Kazan


3 thoughts on “Elka accused of plagiarism of Hot Hot Heat song “Shame On You”

  1. I don’t think it’s a copy. Elka’s version is very similar to a lot of russian pop tunes I have heard you can hear the generic “family likeness” but of course that could be the production. It’s just a coincidence I think, the same few chords must just go round and round there are only so many different combinations you can make.

  2. Agreed. Similar, but not an obvious copy. The tune is basic. Good, but basic. I think there is a much greater chance that this one is linear thinking. One of my biggest pet peeves (my biggest dislikes) are copy-cats. (People that steal and then call it their own writing). I have been working on a whole report / web page for this, so yes I have studied it. Keep up the smooth work Jessica. 🙂

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