Decide If This Boy Band Ripped Off A Digital TuneS

The music might sound familiar. That's because it is.

Kat-Tun is a popular Japanese boy band. But when popular boy bands steal, the internet knows it. Released in mid-November, the group's newest single features a track called "Never X Over", which sounds exactly like a popular Vocaloid tune.

Vocaloid is synthesizer software that was developed by Yamaha and a Spanish university. The Vocaloid character Miku Hatsune is now iconic in Japan, "appearing" in concerts, having her face plastered on race cars and even used in political campaigns.

Sega makes a series of Vocaloid-based music games for the PSP and Japanese arcades.

Vocaloid producer AVTechNO!, who first got into Vocaloid after hearing Miku Hatsune, released a tune on February 1 this year called "DYE".

When asked where he gets his inspiration from, AVTechNO! told HearJapan.com, "This is a hard question to field, but I can say that when I'm working on one particular track, ideas for several others come rushing in."

Kat-Tun's producers apparently looked to AVTechNO!'s "DYE" for inspiration. Kat-Tun's "Never X Over" sounds as though it is either sampling or based on "DYE".

Sampling is not uncommon in music. Artists and groups do it all the time — but they typically get permission first. Unless they're Oasis.

AVTechNO! expressed his surprise upon first hearing "Never X Over", stating that he never gave permission for his song to be sampled.

Fans of the boy band are pointing the fingers at the composers of "Never X Over", which makes sense. Japanese boy bands — especially those that belong to Kat-Tun's agency — typically have little say in their image, music and even social life. They're the face, but not necessarily the brains.

The story is starting to pick up steam in Japan, appearing on Yahoo! News. If there's any payoff for AVTechNO!, it's that "DYE" is climbing the Japanese iTune Charts.

Culture Smash is a daily dose of things topical, interesting and sometimes even awesome — game related and beyond.

KAT-TUN Song's Alleged Plagiarism Sparks More Controversy | Vocaloidism [Vocaloidism] [Pic]