The musician who originally penned the now-famous tune “Baby Shark” is claiming his song was illegally taken by a Korean company and used to amass a fortune, and now he’s finna get paid.
Don Monopoli is an entertainer from Florida and known for starting the children’s education music group, The Learning Station, with his wife, Laurie.
Monopoli released “Baby Shark” back in 2011 on the children group’s CD, “#1 Best Kid’s Songs.” He tells The Blast he has had a copyright on the song since the initial release. Along with the copyright, he also released a YouTube video in 2011, featuring a sing-a-long of “Baby Shark.”
Years later, a Korean educational company, Pinkfong, created their own version of “Baby Shark,” that immediately went viral and has amassed over TWO BILLION views.
Monopoli says his version of the song was just considered “one of those crazy fun camp songs that kids loved to shout and get silly with,” but adds, “Nevertheless, we were the first to get a copyright on the song which is registered with the Library of Congress. This is all public knowledge!”
The musician is questioning how Pinkfong was able to release a similar version of his song and make it a “worldwide phenomenon,” with “no mention” of The Learning Station.
He says Pinkfong never obtained proper licensing to use the copyrighted work and that he believes “Baby Shark” is an intellectual property which should be lawfully protected.
Since becoming a household tune, Pinkfong has applied for merchandising trademarks and Monopoli believes the company has possibly committed an “illegal breach of copyright.”
Both Monopoli and Pinkfong have registered versions of “Baby Shark” with BMI and Monopoli’s listing appears to have been done much earlier than his South Korean counterpart.
Monopoli says he has now applied for his own trademark registration and believes he has the proof to show he was using the mark in commerce long before Pinkfong.
As for what he’s gunning for, Monopoli isn’t shy about wanting to collect his share of the profits. “Needless to say, there is a lot of money at stake here,” he tells us, adding, “Calling all lawyers!”