Songwriters of global hits getting sued for alleged plagiarism has become a recurrent story on MBW these past few years – and a recurrent source of misery for writers and their representatives in the industry. But what if a songwriter or composer were able to use AI technology to avoid litigation altogether, by finding out if their song copies elements of other compositions, potentially in real time? That could now be a reality, thanks to a Spotify invention revealed in a new European patent filing from the company obtained by MBW. According to a document published last week, Daniel Ek's company is seeking a patent for its "Plagiarism Risk Detector And Interface" technology, which pertains to "Methods, systems and computer program products..for testing a lead sheet for plagiarism". As explained in the filing – and as our songwriter/musician readers will already know – a'lead sheet' is a type of music score or musical notation for songs denoting their melody, chords and sometimes lyrics or additional notes.
There is no doubt that technology giants like Google, Apple and Amazon are incredibly successful. But their success comes at a price to their competitors, and the companies that use their vast sizes to'snuff out the competition' according to a US politician in remarks this week. Now, in the latest example of this behaviour, music streaming service Spotify claims Apple is attempting to block competition for Apple Music by refusing to approve a new version of the app. Music streaming service Spotify claims Apple is attempting to block competition for Apple Music by refusing to approve a new version of the app. Spotify's general counsel, Horacio Gutierrez, sent a letter to Apple on 26 June, saying Apple is'causing grave harm to Spotify and its customers' Spotify's general counsel, Horacio Gutierrez, sent a letter to Apple on 26 June, saying Apple is'causing grave harm to Spotify and its customers'.
'Our ambition is to create the best audio experience out there, but we don't have any news to share at this time,' the firm said in response to Pitchfork. The patent outlines a few options for determining emotion state - including the very simple process of creating a list of emotions - happy, sad, lonely etc - then having songs associated with each emotion. Other, more complex options, involve creating an emotion-tree and linking that to other information gathered about the user including their environment, age, gender and even their accent.
Last week, Spotify announced it was implementing a new policy in which it would stop promoting "hate content" and artists who engage in "hateful conduct" within its very powerful playlists and through its equally powerful suggestion algorithm. In the week since, the move has been greeted with celebration, derision and skepticism. Asked for a response this morning, a Spotify spokesperson wrote that the company was "not in a place where we can comment right now." Spotify is leveraging the considerable power it has cultivated in becoming the foremost enabler of music streaming (and a traffic cop to the many stakeholders -- songwriters, record labels, publishers, promoters, managers, engineers -- dotting the road) to define and impose a moral perspective, but the effect the policy will have on artists isn't theoretical. "Spotify playlists, and Spotify charts, and Spotify plays," access to which Spotify is restricting through the new policy, "have become the number one tool that labels and artists and managers are using in order to break artists and measure success," Mark Mulligan, a music industry analyst, told Wired last year. Being added to a Spotify-sponsored playlist reportedly drove a 50 to 100 percent increase in streams for certain artists.