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  • Writer's picturePeter K F Cheung SBS

Old-new Stuff

  1. FADE IN.

  2. Act 1


  4. Holding a car key, Peter is going out.

  5. PETER: Anyone would join me for a joyride?

  6. SON: Yes.

  7. PETER: I mean to stretch the muscles of our 25-year old coupe...

  8. SON: Erh...

  9. PETER: Don't worry.


  11. Inside his silver bullet-shaped coupe, Peter starts the car but there's no response.

  12. PETER (V.O.): The problem recurs. I haven't driven it for over a week now.

  13. After switching the ignition for a third time, Peter succeeds in starting the car.

  14. Act 2


  16. Hesitating.

  17. PETER (V.O.): Where's should I go? There's no point to join a traffic jam.

  18. Peter checks the car's audio-system displays.

  19. PETER (V.O.)(Cont'd): Yes, I need to reset the time and the radio stations. They had lost their memories before the car battery was revived.

  20. Parking his coupe by a quiet roadside, Peter presses the buttons of the audio system.

  21. PETER (V.O.)(Cont'd): I've never bothered to read the manual. Now's the time.

  22. Getting the manual from the glove box, Peter reads it under cabin light. Later, we hear radio broadcasting.

  23. PETER (V.O.)(Cont'd): Okay, I know how to reset the radio stations, but I still don't know how to adjust the time.

  24. As Peter continues to read the manual, we hear nice guitar riffs, rap lyrics in Mandarin and then the melodic chorus.

  25. PETER (V.O.)(Cont'd): I love the guitar riffs and the chorus, but not the rapping. I was surprised by the high standard. What's the name of the song?

  26. We hear the DJ saying: It's called 我愛台妹 by a band in Taiwan.

  27. PETER (V.O.)(Cont'd): Surprise...

  28. After the song's ending, we hear the radio playing of the same guitar riffs again.

  29. PETER (V.O.)(Cont'd): One more time?

  30. We hear the DJ remarking: I play the second English song for a reason. I let you judge if they're similar.

  31. Song playing.

  32. PETER (V.O.)(Cont'd): Strikingly similar. If people don't hear the rap part of the first one and the verses of the second one, it would be hard for them to tell the difference.

  33. As the second song ends, news follows. Peter now knows how to adjust the time.

  34. PETER (V.O.)(Cont'd): The DJ didn't tell the title of the second song. It's probably the original, judging from its rhythm and blue genre.

  35. Pausing.

  36. PETER (V.O.)(Cont'd): This is the first time I've heard the two songs - old-new stuff. It is a good case study for copyright.

  37. Getting out of the car, Peter takes a photo of it.

  38. PETER (V.O.)(Cont'd): After 25 years, I still love its design. I made the right decision then. I like to think of it as a vintage car now - the smallest car with a V-6 engine.


  40. Peter taps on icons on his phone screen.

  41. PETER (V.O.): How would I know the title of the second song? I remember hearing, in its chorus, the lyrics "I'll be there" three times.

  42. Pausing.

  43. PETER (V.O.)(Cont'd): But the title of the song can't be "I'll be there", as it was Jackson 5's number-one hit in 1970. Michael Jackson sang it, and it was my favourite then.

  44. Pausing.

  45. PETER (V.O.)(Cont'd): I‘ve to re-listen to the song before I can guess its title...Yes, I can use the radio-station's App to replay the program.

  46. After tapping a few icons, we hear the first song 我愛台妹 again. Peter surfs the web with his iPad Mini.

  47. PETER (V.O.)(Cont'd): The song is said to be a representative number of a fairly well-known band. Anyway...

  48. Peter listens very carefully to the lyrics the second song as it's being replayed. We hear:.. Whenever you call me, I'll be there. Whenever you want me, I'll there. Whenever you need me, I'll be there. I'll be around...

  49. PETER (V.O.)(Cont'd): The second song's title must be: "I'll Be Around".

  50. Act 3


  52. Searching "I'll Be Around" on his iPad Mini and making a tap, we hear the song.

  53. PETER (V.O.)(Cont'd): It's a 1973 song by the Spinners.

  54. Peter continues to surf the web.

  55. PETER (V.O.): The song was a top-10 hit. Tom Bell and Phil Hurtt wrote it jointly.

  56. Pausing.

  57. .PETER (V.O.)(Cont'd): Since I've begun composing my own songs, I've developed a keen interest to find out the creators behind good copyright works.

  58. Thinking.

  59. PETER (V.O.)(Cont'd): Creativity and copyright aside, there can be a lot of residual value in old stuff.

  60. Smiling.

  61. PETER (V.O.)(Cont'd): My old cars and myself included.

  62. Pausing.

  63. PETER (V.O.)(Cont'd): I didn't expect to get such emotions in a joyride.

  64. Seeing his FAMILY, Peter looks pleased.

  65. PETER (V.O.)(Cont'd):Yes, I'm around.

  66. FADE OUT.

  67. THE END

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