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Programmer/Lawyer with music degree tackles copyright infringement issues

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Re: Programmer/Lawyer with music degree tackles copyright infringement issues

Postby DC-Choppah » Mon Mar 02, 2020 5:10 am

So all possible melodies have now been made public and are now royalty free?
Which means he has made it impossible for anyone to copyright their melody in the future?

That's ridiculous and already been done and doesn't help anything.

This is a very old trick and is the reason why most music publishers do not accept any unsolicited material.

Many decades ago, some unscrupulous folks would send a huge tape of 'every possible melody' on the piano to music publishers with a certified letter. Then they would match a hit song to some random piece of music played for a few seconds on the tape and claim copyright violation. So now, out of fear of being set up, many publishers will not listen too (or open a letter from) someone they don't know AND musicians have to hold professional liability insurance now in case someone sues for copyright infringement.

So this guy is another unsolicited tape. Just because it was posted to the internet doesn't mean that anyone listened to it. No way to claim any violation. And no way to claim that all melodies are now public. It would take an infinite amount of time to listen to his tape to get all the ideas.

You also can't claim melodies that an algorithm has written. They have to have been written by a person. Algorithms don't have the right to hold copyrights. Sorry.

If I have a typewriter and set a little motorized monkey to start banging out works of literature, I can't claim that all literature is now owned by my monkey. The monkey has no right to hold a copyright or give the rights away.

Copyrights mean that other folks can't copy your work unless they have your permission. It assumed that your work is something you care deeply about and have spent artistic effort and valuable talent energy, time and resources creating. That is WHY it is protected - out of respect for the creator. Someone can't use your song for a purpose you don't agree to. That's 'cause you are a human, not an algorithm.
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Re: Programmer/Lawyer with music degree tackles copyright infringement issues

Postby Dr Huge Longjohns » Mon Mar 02, 2020 10:25 am

the law has recently been updated in the UK after a judge gave a burglar a 10 year sentence for stealing a banana.

Can you post a link supporting this? Sounds like fake news/urban myth to me.
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Re: Programmer/Lawyer with music degree tackles copyright infringement issues

Postby blinddrew » Mon Mar 02, 2020 11:18 am

DC-Choppah wrote:So all possible melodies have now been made public and are now royalty free?
Which means he has made it impossible for anyone to copyright their melody in the future?

That's ridiculous and already been done and doesn't help anything.

This is a very old trick and is the reason why most music publishers do not accept any unsolicited material.

Many decades ago, some unscrupulous folks would send a huge tape of 'every possible melody' on the piano to music publishers with a certified letter. Then they would match a hit song to some random piece of music played for a few seconds on the tape and claim copyright violation. So now, out of fear of being set up, many publishers will not listen too (or open a letter from) someone they don't know AND musicians have to hold professional liability insurance now in case someone sues for copyright infringement.

So this guy is another unsolicited tape. Just because it was posted to the internet doesn't mean that anyone listened to it. No way to claim any violation. And no way to claim that all melodies are now public. It would take an infinite amount of time to listen to his tape to get all the ideas.

You also can't claim melodies that an algorithm has written. They have to have been written by a person. Algorithms don't have the right to hold copyrights. Sorry.

If I have a typewriter and set a little motorized monkey to start banging out works of literature, I can't claim that all literature is now owned by my monkey. The monkey has no right to hold a copyright or give the rights away.

Copyrights mean that other folks can't copy your work unless they have your permission. It assumed that your work is something you care deeply about and have spent artistic effort and valuable talent energy, time and resources creating. That is WHY it is protected - out of respect for the creator. Someone can't use your song for a purpose you don't agree to. That's 'cause you are a human, not an algorithm.
DC you're absolutely right about algorithms not being able to hold copyright, but that's not what he's doing. He's committed them to the public domain, it's a different kettle of fish.
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Re: Programmer/Lawyer with music degree tackles copyright infringement issues

Postby Sam Spoons » Mon Mar 02, 2020 12:59 pm

Just a little thought experiment, I have little knowledge of classical music so can't easily answer this question myself. Can anybody identify a snippet of classical music that matches the Stairway To Heaven sequence? Given the nature of the progression I find it hard to believe that it doesn't exist somewhere (sounds very Bach to me). If it does why was Randy Wolfe's estate's claims not thrown out early on in the proceedings?
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Re: Programmer/Lawyer with music degree tackles copyright infringement issues

Postby Eddy Deegan » Mon Mar 02, 2020 1:49 pm

Sam Spoons wrote:Just a little thought experiment, I have little knowledge of classical music so can't easily answer this question myself. Can anybody identify a snippet of classical music that matches the Stairway To Heaven sequence? Given the nature of the progression I find it hard to believe that it doesn't exist somewhere (sounds very Bach to me). If it does why was Randy Wolfe's estate's claims not thrown out early on in the proceedings?

"Sonata di Chittarra, e Violino, con il suo Basso Continuo" by Giovanni Battista Granata (in the 1600s), roundabout the 32 second mark is reminiscent: https://youtu.be/MYSFuWU7GQs?t=32 though not quite as much as Taurus, by Spirit: https://youtu.be/gFHLO_2_THg?t=41

I recommend listening to the whole of both pieces though. They are lovely stuff!
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Re: Programmer/Lawyer with music degree tackles copyright infringement issues

Postby OneWorld » Mon Mar 02, 2020 2:01 pm

Sam Spoons wrote:Just a little thought experiment, I have little knowledge of classical music so can't easily answer this question myself. Can anybody identify a snippet of classical music that matches the Stairway To Heaven sequence? Given the nature of the progression I find it hard to believe that it doesn't exist somewhere (sounds very Bach to me). If it does why was Randy Wolfe's estate's claims not thrown out early on in the proceedings?

It's not a million miles away from Pacabel's Canon to me, OK Canon goes from I, V etc but still essentially an arpeggio over falling chords.....

D–A–Bm–F#–G–D–G–A, and of course Stairway is minor chords, starting with Aminor
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Re: Programmer/Lawyer with music degree tackles copyright infringement issues

Postby Sam Spoons » Mon Mar 02, 2020 2:24 pm

I'd listened to Taurus before, the Giovanni Battista Granata I hadn't hears but Pacabel's Canon was the one that I had associated with Stairway, I'd forgotten what it was though.

According to Rolling Stone last September the verdict is due sometime this year.
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Re: Programmer/Lawyer with music degree tackles copyright infringement issues

Postby merlyn » Mon Mar 02, 2020 3:29 pm

Sam Spoons wrote:Can anybody identify a snippet of classical music that matches the Stairway To Heaven sequence? Given the nature of the progression I find it hard to believe that it doesn't exist somewhere (sounds very Bach to me).

Bach is public domain so you're free to do what you like with Bach. The first part of the Stairway progression is in a lot of tunes. It's a descending chromatic line from the root. This is also in My Funny Valentine and This Masquerade. It's not possible to copyright a chord progression so the Taurus case must be about something else when the technical legal details are examined. In layman's terms I would think 'rip-off' may be what the legalese is trying to say. :)
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Re: Programmer/Lawyer with music degree tackles copyright infringement issues

Postby Sam Spoons » Mon Mar 02, 2020 4:13 pm

That's pretty much what I thought. The 'melody' in question is the descending chromatic scale linked by arpeggio's not chords, which is the crucial detail.
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Re: Programmer/Lawyer with music degree tackles copyright infringement issues

Postby CS70 » Mon Mar 02, 2020 7:08 pm

As (at least in the US) these things are often decided by jury, I doubt anyone would exchange Stairway for the Canon, or My Funny Valentine...

No matter the actual notes or progression, they have completely different feels and direction imho (consider that I understand the elements of music theory but know nothing about theoretical composition.. but neither probably does any jury). Whereas perhaps songs which aren't as "linked" according to music theory might end up being considered similar enough.. there's so much more to music than just the notes... if not, all the I V V vi IV songs that exist would be in copyright violation :D
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Re: Programmer/Lawyer with music degree tackles copyright infringement issues

Postby DC-Choppah » Thu Mar 05, 2020 12:30 am

The algorithm doesn’t have the right to commit music to the public domain, because an algorithm has no rights period.

In order to give away the rights, you have to first have the rights.
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Re: Programmer/Lawyer with music degree tackles copyright infringement issues

Postby blinddrew » Thu Mar 05, 2020 12:41 am

It's not giving rights away, it's saying this content already exists.
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Re: Programmer/Lawyer with music degree tackles copyright infringement issues

Postby blinddrew » Thu Mar 05, 2020 12:43 am

Though that does raise a very interesting question about companies like jukedeck.
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Re: Programmer/Lawyer with music degree tackles copyright infringement issues

Postby merlyn » Fri Mar 06, 2020 9:45 pm

CS70 wrote:there's so much more to music than just the notes...

Yes, but if you take away the notes what have you got?
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Re: Programmer/Lawyer with music degree tackles copyright infringement issues

Postby Sam Spoons » Fri Mar 06, 2020 9:57 pm

Avant garde jazz?
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