The recent uptick in high-profile music copyright infringement legal cases, such as Robin Thicke being found guilty of taking elements of a Marvin Gaye classic for his hit “Blurred Lines”, has led to an increase in music copyright cases overall. These cases, which can be difficult to prove and litigate, have even spawned the career field of “forensic musicologist.”
Copyright infringement in music is so hard to prove, says Farah Allen, because music is inherently a collaborative creative act. You rarely, if ever, find that just one individual has developed all the lyrics, sound, mixing and production that makes up a song.
“All these people, and all these assets, are just rolling around, and all these things aren’t tied to people’s identities, they’re not copyrighted, and people don’t get paid for all of these things,” Allen explains.
The former management consultant, whose husband works in the music industry, also noted the difficulty that creatives face when trying to protect themselves from getting sued by determining if something already has a copyright. “You can copyright all day, but copyrights are not transparent. You cannot Google something and see if its copyrighted.”
“All these organizations are using sound recordings — advertising, streaming stations, Turner, Cox, everybody. If you’re Steve Jobs, you have to pay for the songs you use. And just think about elevator music!”
“So, it’s this much bigger problem,” says Allen.
Her solution? A collaboration platform where creatives can work together — think Google Drive for music — that automatically archives, time stamps, and stores everything on the blockchain. The Labz makes sure that music experiments are painstakingly documented, just like experiments in a scientific laboratory. Read More