Interesting thoughts on copyright

@Sid One thing about this whole thing that I couldn’t get past is the fact that all those melodies they created where generated by a computer, so is it really their copyright.

Christian is always mentioning IP (Intellectual property) which is created by a human.
I don’t think they can say ‘they wrote all those melodies’

What do you lot think?

Well, people have been using dice, cards and other random number generators to create melodies for decades at least. This is just electronic dice, along with the realization that the number of combinations is finite (large, but finite).

Maybe so but me personally, I feel that if someone plays me a piece of music that they say they wrote using anything other than their own brain, I don’t think they wrote that piece.
What I am trying to say is, if I pressed a button on my computer that generated a piece of music, I wouldn’t even think of saying I wrote it because I didn’t.
If I throw 5 dice on the floor and used those numbers to correspond with the keys on a piano, did I write that melody line? No I didn’t as it didn’t come from within me.

That is how I am trying to explain it.

I think the justification is that while the computer does the work for them, they had to choose and build the algorithm specifically to make melodies of some parameters for them. It’s not just the fact that its exhausting a bunch of combinations, it’s that they are combinations that satisfy intended and considered musical factors from the authors of the code.

To me it’s sort of like writing a chords in a piano roll using harmony plugins. No the producer didn’t specifically choose every single note and voicing, but they used the computer as a tool to generate chords / harmony for them based on intended musical parameters of which they were aware, in order to create music with it. For some people this is more inspiring to write with on a midi keyboard, knowing that you’re in a scale but feeling inadequate at music theory you now have a tool that can possibly help you achieve something musically you could not before. You might not know how to play a lydian scale on the midi controller, but if you have software limit your key set to only lydian notes and you know that you want to use that sound and choose to do so, I feel like that validates the use of the musical compositional aid.

To further abstract you could also say its like using sampler instruments with midi in a production isn’t legitimate because you didn’t actually play that instrument. Obviously here we would tend to disagree because having a beautifully sampled and recorded brass section through midi might save us a ton of time and even possibly sound much better than a recording of a non-professional playing. Or you might not be able to access the sound of a Bechstein upright from the early 1900s or Epiphone hummingbird pro acoustic by any other means.

Although the process in the video is an extreme abstraction, I think the concepts are very closely tied. These musicians worked to build a musical tool that accomplished a very specific task with predicted and intended results to save an insanely significant amount of time as the task would be well beyond the scope of a human lifetime by hand. Even though not every melody sits in the composers head, they absolutely are responsible for its creation and through this “think-piece” type medium of sharing each possible melody to as wide an audience possible, I don’t choose to deny this paradigm of a different expression of music. However removed or atraditional.

Also I’m sort of just salty after seeing so many silly court cases about this.

I just see it this way. Every piece of music I write is me. It came from my head and from my heart. It reflects the mood I am in at the time I write it. I create an emotion from my feelings to the keyboard or guitar. I am just saying that is how I see music.
From the human emotion. When Beethoven wrote his 9th symphony, he must have been feeling so much emotion it came out in the music. It came from him. From his very soul.
We will all have different views on how music is composed or created and this is just my view.
If Beethoven had pressed a button and the machine created the 9th, would it be his creation just cos he pressed the button. This guy pressed a button that created all these melodies but they are not his IP because he didn’t ‘think’ them up. Weather he programmed the software or not, the actual music ddin’t come from his brain so I can’t see how he can say they are.

So if I wrote a piece of music with a melody line that was similar to what his computer created and he took me to court for copyright breach, how can they say it was his piece of music although it was randomly generated by a machine and also if he won the case, that means that copyright is in a worse situation than it is now.
It just doesn’t make sense to me.

That’s completely fair, it really requires a higher level of discussion regarding “What exactly is music?” where in this case an alternative and totally acceptable definition I think may be a requirement that music must come from emotion.

On the flipside somebody may artistically decide to work on something that intentionally sounds “devoid of emotion” and remove it from the process altogether as the creative limitation in that piece. That may be called music I think too.

But hypothetical aside, I don’t think the intent here was to create this music for the sake of a massive quantity of musically meaningful passages to impose upon everyone for copyright claiming, but rather to prove a point about a flaw in the current legal system. From what I can see, the requirements present to claim that someone has stolen from another’s work is simply based on a moderate similarity in melody or structure, and one’s awareness or exposure to the original work. In the example of the Katy Perry case, it is totally plausible that she or her production team had never heard the song in question, yet a couple million views on streaming platforms deemed it “too popular to miss”.

Feel free to correct me if I am missing information or misunderstand the situation, but I believe this effort is sort of a serious but satirical attempt to highlight that any person could theoretically unfairly profit off of the hard work of others through the dense and unclear musical legal climate that currently exists. I don’t think these guys are trying to sue everybody, but rather say “This is stupid, under the current situation we could sue everybody (and should not be able to)”

Well we are discussing a very tricky topic as you say.

The Kate Perry thing was a farce. There is no way that an individual can prove they have never heard something before but they say because it had over a certain amount of views that means she had heard it. That is total BS.
That would be like saying ‘I didn’t kill that person’ and them saying ’ well over 2 million people ‘think’ you did so you DID kill them’

This topic is just too wide open. I have said this before but over hundreds of years of thousands of composers, I am sure by now there probably isn’t an ‘original’ melody or chord structure. Some we have heard but thousands we haven’t.

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