Songwriters of Israeli Eurovision Winner 'Toy' Threatened With Plagiarism Suit

Writers of 'Toy' receive warning letter from record company over alleged similarity between the song and the White Stripes' 'Seven Nation Army,' says report

Itay Stern
Itay Stern
Send in e-mailSend in e-mail
In this May 12, 2018 file photo, Netta Barzilai from Israel celebrates after winning the Eurovision song contest in Lisbon, Portugal
In this May 12, 2018 file photo, Netta Barzilai from Israel celebrates after winning the Eurovision song contest in Lisbon, PortugalCredit: AP Photo/Armando Franca, File
Itay Stern
Itay Stern

The writers of “Toy,” the song performed by Netta Barzilai that won the 2018 Eurovision Song Contest, might be sued by Universal Music Group, Israeli media reported Tuesday.

According to the report on Keshet TV, Doron Medalie and Stav Beger received a letter two weeks ago from Universal claiming copyright infringement, due to apparent similarity between “Toy” and the hit “Seven Nation Army,” performed by The White Stripes.

A copy? Listen and judge for yourself:

Ofer Menahem, Barzilai’s manager, said in response: “No legal claim was received, only a preliminary clarification letter on the matter.” Doron Medalie told Haaretz that he cannot respond because of the legal nature of the matter.

Universal is one of the world’s four largest music corporations. It has signed a number of Israeli musicians, including Asaf Avidan and the duo Static and Ben El Tavori. “Toy” was distributed in the United States in late May after the U.S. music label Sony BMB signed a contract with the Israeli company Teddy Productions.

According to Eurovision rules, the winning song must be original. If it turns out that Medalie and Beger plagiarized the song, Barzilai could be disqualified and next year’s contest will not be held in Israel.

In March, Haaretz’s music critic Ben Shalev wrote: “When Barzilai sings “I’m not your toy, stupid boy,” the music closely resembles “Seven Nation Army” by The White Stripes. Let’s hope Jack White doesn’t hear this song before the Eurovision Song Contest. He may sue. “



Automatic approval of subscriber comments.

Subscribe today and save 40%

Already signed up? LOG IN


Palestinians search through the rubble of a building in which Khaled Mansour, a top Islamic Jihad militant was killed following an Israeli airstrike in Rafah, southern Gaza strip, on Sunday.

Gazans Are Tired of Pointless Wars and Destruction, and Hamas Listens to Them

Trump and Netanyahu at the White House in Washington, in 2020.

Three Years Later, Israelis Find Out What Trump Really Thought of Netanyahu

German soldier.

The Rival Jewish Spies Who Almost Changed the Course of WWII

Rio. Not all Jewish men wear black hats.

What Does a Jew Look Like? The Brits Don't Seem to Know

Galon. “I’m coming to accomplish a specific mission: to increase Meretz’s strength and ensure that the party will not tread water around the electoral threshold. If Meretz will be large enough, it will be the basis for a Jewish-Arab partnership.” Daniel Tchetchik

'I Have No Illusions About Ending the Occupation, but the Government Needs the Left'

Soldiers using warfare devices made by the Israeli defense electronics company Elbit Systems.

Russia-Ukraine War Catapults Israeli Arms Industry to Global Stage