Is Music Moneyball The Future Of Our Industry?
Imagine a world where a computer can write music instantly to suit almost any need. As you may have already guessed, that world is here.
Programs like Amper Music and Jukedeck can pump out the jams in seconds, and with tools like Spotify's "Discover Weekly" algorithms, and artificial experts like Siri and Alexa at our fingertips, the era of music moneyball has, arguably, arrived.
While the marriage of AI and music has been decades in the making, a recent court ruling on the viral sensation "Monkey Selfie" may inadvertently provide a portal into future treatment of copyright as it applies to music created solely by AI.
In the ruling, which declared that ownership of copyright does not extend to content created by animals, the Copyright Office also deemed ineligible “[w]orks produced by a machine or mere mechanical process that operates randomly or automatically without any creative input or intervention from a human author.”
This is great news for the many artists who have devoted their lives to developing their craft, as the Copyright Office clearly recognized human input as essential element of protectable intellectual property. However, as the craze of AI mounts step for step with the creation and implementation of AI-created music, the music industry has an issue on its hands that will no doubt require some hard-thought decisions.
In a recent guest column for Hollywood Reporter, entertainment lawyer James Sammataro draws up an outline of this complex issue, presenting the good cause for excitement and trepidation alike from various factions of our business before ultimately surmising, "AI is the future of the music industry." Whether this will manifest as the next "Napster moment" or continue along the path of "plotting the dots between artist and audience…delivering a frictionless musical experience" remains to be seen.