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Wednesday, 24 February 2010

SubVersion Stop 79: Anti-Plagiarism Music Software

Researchers at the Institute of Musicology at the University of Hamburg have written cognitive similarity algorithms which can predict music plagiarism decisions in courts. Since plagiarism cases involve such large sums of money, with even huge stars like Madonna having been accused of plagiarism, expert music witnesses must be sure within reasonable doubt that the tune has been stolen or whether it is simply coincidentally similar. The use of similarity algorithms is a welcome addition to such cases, protecting the rights of new and unrecognised artists. The research is in its early stages but it could potentially open the doors to producers and musicians submitting their tracks to test against a database, to judge how similar melodies within their tracks are to already-existing tunes. Whether the producer would choose to return to the drawing board on discovering that their track is too similar to something that already exists depends on how important originality in music is.

1 comment:

  1. tricky stuff - as my sister says, there are only twelve notes :)

    in western tonal based music anyway