A legal inquiry regarding automatic chord and melody creators

Discussion in 'Lounge' started by Agent007, Nov 28, 2018.

  1. Agent007

    Agent007 Banned

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    I have a hypothetical situation for which I would like to receive an answer from a member who is a lawyer ( do we have one here?) or someone who actually knows the answer to this legal situation.
    Lately,more and more automatic chord and melody creators being offered. If producers/songwriters A and B both were to have 2 songs for which the melody created by software is exactly the same, who would have sole copyright over the song? The first one to publish it or register it? Or would the copyright be shared equally among both producers/songwriters?

    EDit: I am waiting to hear back on this issue from a couple of entertainment attorneys. Until them all suggestions most likely are mere speculation.
     
    Last edited: Dec 1, 2018
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  3. ICWC

    ICWC Kapellmeister

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    I have a great wish to put those melody makers in that danger list to be cramped so soon.:sad:
     
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  4. Agent007

    Agent007 Banned

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    :wtf:
     
  5. KevinParker

    KevinParker Member

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    simple, the one that register the copyright first
     
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  6. XImpalerX

    XImpalerX Member

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  7. Agent007

    Agent007 Banned

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  8. Agent007

    Agent007 Banned

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    Do you know of a similar case?
     
  9. Funk U

    Funk U Producer

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    Well, in the first place you are talking about a copyright issue, yes? So, people don't list the tools they used to create said item with which they are getting a copyright for. They only list the product and the owners of the copyright(themselves, maybe?).

    And on top of that, no person would volunteer information that they used a robot to write their songs for them. Because if they did, someone later down the line would say that any song written using said software, is owned by the writer of said software. And they are...or at least a co-writing percentage. Because what is the difference between you needing a fellow band-member to co-write a song by coming up with chords you can't come up with, and a piece of software doing the exact same thing?

    So it would be in no ones best interest to tell anyone, -ever-, what tools they used to get the job done.

    Also the odds of such a thing happening is mathematically improbable, because of many variables.

    But despite all of that, like any songs that are the same or similar, it is simply a copyright issue
     
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  10. XImpalerX

    XImpalerX Member

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    "Under the Copyright Act of 1976, anytime a person writes or records an original piece of music, a copyright automatically exists. Registration with the U.S. Copyright Office is optional, but does come with certain benefits in the event of an infringement dispute. Copyrighted elements of a musical composition can include melody, chord progression, rhythm, and lyrics — anything that reflects a "minimal spark" of creativity and originality."

    "When you submit a song for copyright you’re simply proving the date of submission of your work. The fine folks of the copyright office don’t sit around listening to every submission to see if they’ve heard it before. That would be an impossible task. When you write or record your song, technically, you’ve created it — and thus you own the copyright to it. By submitting a song to the copyright office, you’re protecting your music simply by acknowledging the date of its creation."

    I interpret that as "If two people create the same melody at the same time, whoever registers first will have the advantage in court when fighting for ownership."

    Independent creation. Copyright protects works only from being copied. If the defendant can prove that she didn't actually copy the plaintiff's song, but came up with it on her own, then she hasn't infringed, even if the two songs are identical. This argument usually comes down to access. If the defendant heard the plaintiff's song at all, or, as in the case of George Harrison, can be presumed to have heard it, then jurors are likely to conclude that some copying, however subconscious, could have taken place. Though rarely successful, Fakler said musicians on the witness stand claim independent creation a lot in music cases. "They're gonna say, 'Look, I didn't copy this thing; I came up with this myself," he said. "And then it's gonna come down to credibility and how similar the songs are. The more similar the songs, the less likely a jury is going to believe you."
     
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  11. Old X

    Old X Pending Deletion

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  12. santillana

    santillana Ultrasonic

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    To be honest even if the chords are the same, the Lyrics, top line, arrengement and melodies playing over it would not be the same so nothing will really happend. I would not worry to much about it :)
     
    Last edited: Nov 29, 2018
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  13. Agent007

    Agent007 Banned

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    Thank you guys. I appreciate your answers but they leave me guessing too many things. I thought there was at least one lawyer among us. I was reading these articles and https://audiosex.pro/threads/the-copyright-thread.38499/ The author certainly knew what he was writing about, I guess he is a lawyer. Yesterday, however, a member told me that guest members are no longer here, so he is not available. https://audiosex.pro/threads/what-is-a-guest-member.41968/
    I think it is time to consult with an attorney and ask those questions.
     
  14. blaqmatic

    blaqmatic Producer

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    First,

    Let me say if you really want exact legal advice you should always seek your own entertainment attorney. Especially, if you Need to have a
    definitive answer that is serious for you and not just speculation. Which it seems you really want. You started out with hypothetical...
    then rejected a great answer...Hm....

    That being said, XlmpalerX, really nailed your question and gave you great advice. I don't understand why you didn't think that he answered your question good enough...but let me add one lil thing...at the end of the day if there was to be a dispute nothing stops someone from filing a complaint and in that matter the judge or jury would decide the outcome. Not that complicated after the advice XlmpalerX gave you...Unless you felt that you needed advice from someone you would really never could be sure is an seasoned entertainment attorney unless you met them in person a their office and they had a resume' of court cases. Or you just miss that person who is no longer here...

    However, free advice is just that. Free.

    Hope that clears things up.
     
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  15. Zenarcist

    Zenarcist Audiosexual

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    Will anybody pay for something automatically generated by a machine? :sad:
     
    Last edited: Nov 29, 2018
  16. Funk U

    Funk U Producer

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    Yes. How about car assembly lines and similar things?
     
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  17. blaqmatic

    blaqmatic Producer

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    I second that Funk U. Yes they do and will again, lol.
     
  18. Agent007

    Agent007 Banned

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    Thanks for replying and trying to help, however, contrary to what you said the advice from @XImpalerX did not nailed my question for one simple reason: it is a general answer as to copyright basics. It does not apply the law to the set of acts I posited. This is the reason why I was very specific as to wanting any member who also happens to be a lawyer or someone who actually knows the exact answer to clarify this issue. That was purposely stated in order to avoid any speculation. I thought that I had a good chance of getting an answer from someone who is a lawyer from a pool of 20,000 + members.
    As to the last part of your paragraph, I don't even know what is it that you meant nor where you are trying to go with your "unless you felt that you needed advice from someone you would really never could be sure is an seasoned entertainment attorney unless you met them in person a their office and they had a resume' of court cases. Or you just miss that person who is no longer here...." It doesn't make any sense grammatically and does not answer my original question. Subsequently, it does not clear anything up.
     
    Last edited: Nov 29, 2018
  19. XImpalerX

    XImpalerX Member

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    I think you are getting stuck on "Automatic Chord and Melody generation software."

    It doesn't matter how the melody is created, whoever registers first will have the upper hand in a court battle, but according to the law which addresses your question fully (see below,) both people would share ownership unless proven one person heard or could have heard the other persons melody.

    "Independent creation. Copyright protects works only from being copied. If the defendant can prove that she didn't actually copy the plaintiff's song, but came up with it on her own, then she hasn't infringed, even if the two songs are identical."

    "Unless the joint owners make a written agreement to the contrary, each copyright owner has the right to commercially exploit the copyright, provided that the other copyright owners get an equal share of the proceeds."

    You don't need to be a lawyer to quote the exact law, but I get the feeling you wont accept any answer.

    That's the thing with hypotheticals, they are rooted in the imagination, so even a lawyer would either A. quote the law, B. guess, or C: use precedent from previous rulings (who has time to search old cases though?)... I would rather go with A.

    To summarize for you, in regards to the questions you asked in your OP:
    Both would have the copyright, and it would be shared, until proven otherwise. (this response is based on copyright law as written. There is no separate automatic chord and melody software provision in the law, so that doesn't matter at all.)

    Or don't take my word for it, download the copyright manual for joint ownership here. https://www.copyright.gov/history/studies/
     
    Last edited: Nov 29, 2018
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  20. blaqmatic

    blaqmatic Producer

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    Again, as you may think it was a general answer, but he nailed the almost exact response I would have given. The advice he gave you was solid and covers the question you asked. Why you don't see that is interesting. Since you are implying that you don't know about copyright infringement laws. I admit, I am not an attorney, but my extensive experience in the entertainment industry would have answered it almost identically.

    So I suggested that you consult a entertainment attorney if you needed further advice. Maybe we need 100,000 members for there to be an attorney here that has plenty of time in his or her life to spend here giving advice. Ya never know.

    Anyways...XlmpalerX gave great advice. He addressed 4 or 5 issues that directly imply to your question.

    But let me add...It doesn't matter what you use to create a melody, as long as you're not "Stealing" a melody that someone else created. Those devices may at times create "similar" melodies or even "exact" like you asked, but then what would apply next would still be covered (if it went to court) the same as the normal process when two or more entities claim they wrote the same song...Proof of when, how, who etc, etc...whatever it would be needed to win the lawsuit.

    Now if what I just said doesn't clear it up for you. You need to find an Entertainment Attorney, not a forum.

    Hope that helps! :wink:
     
  21. XImpalerX

    XImpalerX Member

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    Thank you blaqmatic, and here is the last piece of advice I can give "http://www.askmusiclawyer.com/"
    It's only $50 for 15 minutes of consultation, so please let us know what you find out.
     
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