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Spotify just invented the AI Judge Dredd of songwriter plagiarism tech

Don’t be stealin’ my Grud-damn songs, Scavver.

judge dredd spotify face
Image: KnowTechie

Spotify has been busy developing tech that will effectively police the murky practice of songwriter plagiarism.

If you think of music as being kind of like Megacity One, then Spotify is about to have its own “I never broke the law…I am the law” moment, making itself Judge Dredd of plagiarism in the music industry.

Spotify creates songwriter plagiarism checker AI

According to a patent uncovered by Music Business Worldwide, Spotify has filed an application to patent a “Plagiarism Risk Detector and Interface.”

The AI is actually quite innovative. First, a bit of background. In order to file for copyright on a piece of music, you need to submit the sheet music that represents your work. Once that is done, the song and its components are your copyright (assuming you didn’t plagiarize…).

The AI will work by comparing tracks with the sheet music. The implications of this are pretty spectacular, as it means that artists can do a lot more to protect themselves from future lawsuits. However, the assumption is that people will buy into the idea and check their track against the new AI database.

However, it is a great idea, as it means that artists can check their work against that of others and avoid unnecessary disputes.

What is songwriter plagiarism?

sheet music for spotify lawsuit

Image: Unsplash

Songwriter plagiarism, to all intents and purposes, is the practice of one songwriter copying the work of another songwriter. So, this means you are committing plagiarism if you replicate, in whole or in part, the work of another person and then pass that work off as your own.

This can then result in a lawsuit further down the line. We see lawsuits like this all the time, with artists often accusing each other of stealing their work. Sometimes we even see artists flat out stealing other people’s entire tracks. This means they have committed plagiarism.

Spotify is the lawmaker around here?

Sorry, but this is all a bit rich coming from a company that repeatedly fucks the unlubed ass of the music industry on a daily basis. Everyone knows that Spotify makes billions of dollars off the back of other people’s work. Everyone knows that Spotify also pays artists a fucking pittance when it comes to royalties. This doesn’t make you an innovator, it makes you a hypocrite. Even if you are promoting some artists’ music “for free.”

With that in mind, who is Spotify to make itself the arbiter of copyright in the music industry? I totally get the need to have this kind of software. However, is Spotify going to make this software open source? No, it isn’t. It is going to profit from it. See what I mean? It feels hypocritical.

That is not to bag on the developers of this software. If it works, then it will be brilliant and will change the musical landscape for good. However, the fact that we have Spotify presiding over matters like some sort of proverbial Robin Hood entity, while it pays artists a pittance and then makes them pay that money back to make sure they aren’t stealing other people’s work, is hypocrisy at its finest.

What do you think? How do you feel about this software from Spotify? Let us know down below in the comments or carry the discussion over to our Twitter or Facebook.

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