Observation from a Newbie to AJ


#1

I’ve been on AJ for 3 days, and I will probably not make a lot of friends with this topic, but I must say, I’ve been INCREDIBLY surprised with the amount of track “sound-alikes” I hear, usually of top-sellers. I’m sure this topic has been hashed over, but from my perspective as a newcomer (but experienced musician and composer) this is a huge disappointment and makes me second guess my involvement here. If I have a track that sells well it seems likely someone will rip it off with a chord inversion or note tweak to ride my success.

Are there truly no guardrails for this kind of pitiful behavior?


#2

Hi STM,

Yes, you’re right. There are a lot of very similar tracks. Some similar and others total rip-offs. The latter gets reported frequently and they are usually taken down. Unfortunately we are selling in a stock audio marketplace, and everyone will be stealing ideas from each other - it’s part of the business. Of course this doesn’t warrant plagiarism and complete rip-offs; it just means there is a bit more leeway - remember it is all generic music, and people are going to copy each other regardless of any ethical reasons or rules. If they find something that sells, they want in on it.

I think it’s fine to borrow certain elements of a popular track (tempo, chord progression, rhythm etc), but definitely NOT fine to be taking the exact same melody, changing one or two notes and labelling it as your own. Tracks like these are indefinitely taken down, so I wouldn’t worry.


#3

Thanks, yeah I know it’s inevitable for sure. It just seems so blatant and prevalent right now. Good to hear there are actual take-downs…I’m guessing that process takes a while for the mods.

Thanks again, blood pressure normalized now :wink:

-STM


#4

I swear to god, a month ago I produced a track from scratch, without doing any market research or listening to similar music, I put in there what was inside my head. Just today I decided to check similar compositions and right next to my audio there’s a folk rock, a different genre, track which was uploaded a couple of months before my own and has an almost identical melody and drum part, which may lead some people into thinking I’m a copycat and just switched the genre so now I’m even considering to take it down. Yes, these weird awkward things happen even when there is no intention from authors to sound similar. And with the amount of music produced these days that sounds very much alike I’m not even sure what can be considered a copyright violation or plagiarism anymore. I am really annoyed with such coincidences, especially when I’m part of this.


#5

Yeah I agree…there’s nothing new under the sun. But what I’m referring to are tracks with the same instrumentation, same dynamics, even the same main hook with maybe one note tweaked. It’s gonna happen either by accident, like your case, or with full intent to rip somebody off. I guess I wish there were better means of minimizing the latter.


#6

Thankfully the means by which rip-offs are removed and dealt with is very efficient. Any one can report rip-offs and they’ll be quickly dealt with.


#7

Look at the popular music of any kind. Say 60’s Rock’n’roll songs. Aren’t they all alike? Look at any od modern dubstep,EDM, whatever…Aren’t they all the same. That’s style not rip offs. When there is a unique song and than someone copy it than its rip-off, but where there are 1000s of the same than that’s style/genre.


#8

Well the main problem here in my opinion is not only the composer/musician that is trying to make a similar track to make more sales but the thing that in the “commercial world” there are trends that sound the same and the customers want something similar.

Being too original will not bring you too many sales if your original composition is not commercial and does not fit the commercial trends.


#9

Since you are new here be aware that no one talks you into naming names, because you’ll do it not suspecting that some authors will get banned because of that and than you’ll feel bad for them and for what you have done.
Think of complaining benevolently about your meal in a restaurant and than the busboy is being fired in front off you.


#10

Hey man. Welcome
Just food for thoughts
There are billion tracks out there… Even if you build a track from scratch there will be always a song that sounds exactly like yours!
I wrote a track about 10 years ago and sounded exactly like a Kansas track
Maybe I listened too much of vintage rock or maybe just happened
I agree that there are rip offs out there but I think that there are patterns and chord progressions that make a track successful on sales and commercial valuable
Do what you know best and don’t worry about the rip offs, if you are good you’ll definitely sell and go well.
Cheers


#11

That’s what everybody is repeating here but that’s just not true. Not only here but everywhere in life


#12

Yeah I get you brother, just saying that you have to believe in your self as a musician , that’s all


#13

That one is correct :slight_smile:


#14

If the busboy has made a genuine mistake, without any intention to provide a poor meal, then he should have a slap on the wrists and then get back to work. If the busboy spits in your food or purposefully does something that results in a bad meal, then yes… he should be fired. It’ll be a deterrent to any other busboys who might have been thinking they can get away with it.

Likewise, if there is a very similar track, then there should be a slap on the wrists and the item is removed, if warranted. If it’s almost a complete copy, then it’s hard to say 100% whether they were copying or it was just a very unfortunate coincidence… so the punishment should probably be the same, take the item down and get a warning, on the understanding that if a pattern of similar instances start occurring, then they’re out the door.


#15

Personally I would like to have a track that other people try to copy. That would mean I have a successful track,and as they say in arts “copying is the highest form of flattery”

I was talking about busboy who didn’t spit in the meal…


#16

Thanks for the thoughts. I changed the title of this thread because I think “concern” was a bit strong. I’ve been doing music a very long time, and have been down all the copyright roads and copycat scenarios under different circumstances than here at AJ. I do understand how trending styles in the PM market can lead to similar-sounding tracks, which is fine. It’s the blatant, no-doubt, rip-offs of top-sellers that bother me most…and should bother any artist trying to make a living.

I was glad to hear that there is actually a take-down policy, and I’m moving forward trusting in that.

Thanks again, appreciate the candor here.


#17

Right, but “fitting a trend” and ripping off a top-seller’s music by tweaking a couple dynamics and notes is a separate issue, IMO.


#18

Popular multi million dollar music hits and movies often set a trend. Notice when the lord of the rings came out how many fantasy and creature movies came out. Paranormal activity and blair witch set a trend of the never ending found footage genre. They were derived from the same idea but told in different ways.

I agree that one must be original in their work and not to rip off other compositions, they might sound similar but hopefully it was by accident.


#19

This discussion went too far.Why don’t you guys just work and don’t pay attention what other do? Im just honest whatever if i get disliked because im saying this but just work for yourself and leave the others doing their own…There are TONS of music you listen and it’s happening that author thinks that he got a great idea but he actaly dont remember THAT idea was already heard! All the tracks are similar and instruments are also similar…You can be original no more because tons of tracks were made from the same instruments and you can find tons of similar tracks and claim it stolen.Thats not gonna happen here because this is stock music…Maybe im wrong but thats how it is in my eyes.


#20

The point is everyone mimics what the best sellers do!