Songwriter? Then, get ready! You are about to be sued.
Did you notice my mention of the company Auditude in the post about Myspace a few days ago? They index songs sort of like Google indexes web pages. They grab them off websites, examine them, and then look to see what the song is. Then, they come up with ads relevant to the song. And, in the process, they determine certain things about the copyright.
Seems like a good idea to automate a lot of functions to improve the profitabilty and usefullness of websites, doesn’t it? But, what else can they do with it? Maybe there are other ways to squeeze some more profits out of this information they are gathering.
Well, they could send the results of what music is on what sites to the record labels… anytime one of a subscribing label’s songs is posted on a site, they could let the label know, and even check it against a database of websites who have paid to post that song. Anyone not on the list, out goes a cease and desist order. Along with a civil lawsuit for copyright violations. What’s the penalty, $20,000? No, I didn’t look it up, but I think it is something around that number. Think some money could be made there?
Hey, how about going after the songwriters? If they are examining the chord progressions and timings, it would be a simple little bit of programming to figure out what else is similar. There aren’t all that many chords in the world. And how many songs are influenced by others? Have you ever created a riff then thought, hey, that sounds a little like ‘Smoke On the Water?’
Guess what? If My Sweet Lord was sued for being a rip off of He’s So Fine, don’t ya think there may be a few other hits (or non-hits) ripe for the court? It may be Hammer time for MC Hammer if Bowie’s lawyers look at Hammer Time that way. Then again, James Brown may have a few words on the subject also.
The crap may hit the fan big time in the next few years. Don’t say that the good folk at Music Marketing Center didn’t warn you! It just may be time to face the music.
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