Award-winning Greek DJ, producer and label owner Mihalis Safras is being accused of copying material from a wide range of producers leading to a major plagiarism scandal.
Earlier this week, a British producer named Tennan posted a video on Facebook outlining a plethora of tracks that Safras apparently ripped off. In the accompanying post, Tennen described what he deduced was the process Safras, who co-owns the Material Series label, used to steal portions of tracks to call his own:
“Apparently, Safras is using Material Series as a platform to get his hands on other producers’ work and is following a specific set of tactics to target his victims. Frequently asking for all parts from producers in order to remix their tracks but instead using their parts/sounds for the benefit of his own productions. Once he does that, he then removes all original tracks (the ones he has stolen parts from) from all digital platforms in order to cover his tracks and avoid being detected.”
Following Tennan’s initial post, a wave of producers came forward to reiterate the accusations, including the established Spanish producer German Brigante. He spoke to Change-Underground to outline his own experience working with Safras and Material Series:
“When I started releasing music, Material was one of my first labels. Every time that I released a track on his label, Mihalis always asked me for the stems. When I asked him what for he told me Beatport needed them. I was naive at that time and just wanted to release music so I made the mistake of trusting him.
“There is no way what happened to me was unintentional. This happening many times now proves that there is absolutely no doubt. I have seen recently that he won the award of Ibiza best producer which doesn’t make any sense.”
More accusations would follow. Bulgarian producer Metodi also had similar experience working with Safras. He spoke to Change-Underground to share his story, revealing what took place after he confronted Safras about the stolen parts:
"I contacted Mihalis who told me he hadn’t of course. He tried to convince me that he made it on his own, but I know my own beats so I was confident. He told me he would remove the beats and did. But if they were really his, why would he even change them or not send proof? I had a release scheduled on his label Material, so I told him I’ll keep this track for my label and decided not to say anything about it."
Once the accusations began to increase, Safras took to social media to issue an apology and to clarify the situation. Within the apology, he calls the plagiarism scandal a “Social Media trolling campaign”, but also confirms that some of the accusations are true:
“There have been 6 issues identified and in reality, there are three genuine accounts of malpractice and all of these have been put right whereby any loops and baselines used without authorisation have been replaced alongside an offending track which was removed at the time when an issue was raised some months / years ago… Mihalis understands and accepts that there have been mistakes and misjudgements made after looking closely at what´s happened and he is now putting measures in place to avoid any further malpractice.”
Right now it's still unclear how far the plagiarism stretches back, but German Brigante said it's been happening for at least four years. Safras was named the Best Tech House Artist of the Year in 2015 by the online music retailer Traxsource.
View Tennen's video of tracks that Safras has apparently plagiarized below.
Harrison is Mixmag's East Coast Editor. Follow him on Twitter here