Two musician programmers Damien Riel and Noah Rubin using AI generated all possible tunes in MIDI format and made them publicly available under the Creative Commons Zero license. So they want to stop lawsuits against independent musicians who are accused of plagiarism.
To do this, programmers first identified each melody that is contained within one octave. Then the algorithm began to sort through possible combinations of notes, creating melodies of 8 notes and 12 bits – as programmers explained, this process is very similar to password guessing. The system can generate 300 thousand combinations per second. In total, they received 68.7 billion combinations – according to them, just as many melodies could theoretically exist.
They noted that independent musicians spend time and money when suing because of plagiarism in their songs, although they never heard the “original”. Ril and Rubin hope that by releasing tunes in public, they will prevent many authors from appearing in court.
“Maybe if the numbers exist from the beginning of time, and we just use them, then the melodies are just mathematics, just facts that are not protected by copyright”, Ril explains.
However, the assessments of the lawyers VICE spoke to vary. Some say that this project actually published all the possible tunes and made them into the public domain. Other experts object that the courts, despite this, will continue to conduct examinations and find out whether plagiarism is contained in certain songs, considering the degree of similarity of the works with each other.
“Whether this tactic really works in court remains to be seen. As you know, copyright is complex and often meaningless. It’s hard to say whether the court will consider programmers to be authors of a melody that has become popular with another author”, says VICE.