1. This site uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Learn More.

Plagiarism Anxiety

Discussion in 'Working in the Industry' started by krisbja, Jul 11, 2018.

  1. krisbja

    krisbja Active Member

    Mar 10, 2013

    I have scored several feature films and several tv shows but I always get this anxiety after I deliver a score that I'm unconsciously and unknowingly stealing an existing melody or score. When I'm at the premiere I'm always expecting someone to shout "wait a minute - I have heard that before. It's just like the score in the movie..." or someone will post on twitter, Facebook etc. Maybe you could call this Plagiarism anxiety. Maybe it's just low self confidence or maybe it's an anxiety problem.

    Anyways - maybe I'm the only one. I just wanted to share this feeling with you and see if anybody is dealing with the same thing and how you deal with it.

    All the best!
  2. Alex Niedt

    Alex Niedt Active Member

    Jun 4, 2018
    Everyone's always subconsciously stealing from things that already exist, and so much film scoring sounds exactly alike at this point that I wouldn't worry about someone thinking you're stealing from them unless you quite literally are. And if you think you recognize what you're writing, change it until you don't recognize it. Problem solved.
    hawpri and krisbja like this.
  3. I agree with Alex, the reality is that you already plagiarised to some extent....we all do on a regular basis. However, if you consciously copied music note-for-note, then you could be concerned.
    Alex Niedt likes this.
  4. AllanH

    AllanH Senior Member

    Oct 11, 2015
    Central Coast California
    I wish there was some way to help detect "known material" in my music. There is always the risk of subconsciously using an idea or theme heard elsewhere. While an attorney might attribute intent and malice, I think its far more likely to be coincidence and nearly impossible to avoid. A couple of times I've tried using e.g. Shazam, Musixmatch, and Google's music search, but no real success.
  5. AllanH

    AllanH Senior Member

    Oct 11, 2015
    Central Coast California
    I would be interested if anyone knows of free or paid services to check a track for possible plagiarism.
  6. reddognoyz

    reddognoyz Senior Member

    I have done it big time at least twice! In each case it wasn't until years later that I realized I had co-opted something subconsciously. One was something I wrote for a tv special almost two decades ago. I realized recently that I had inadvertently swiped part of the bridge from the HR PuffenStuff theme : )
  7. fretti

    fretti Senior Member

    There is already for text (especially used for university theses and stuff like that) and I think also slowly (at least for the public; Facebook and Google probably already have great tools for that) evolving for photos. Though I think to do that for music will need a few more years (at least) to get it to a point where it has a good/acceptable detection/success rate without many mistakes.
    And then there is of course always the factor money. So unless it can be automated in a way that it's fast and doesn't need much resources it'll be imo mostly available to big studios/production. But who knows, maybe with the progression in AI technology it isn't to far away for the mass market of music makers?!

    But with services like Shazam and YouTube being able to detect copyrighted stuff (automated I guess) it's at least technologically possible I'd say:)
  8. reddognoyz

    reddognoyz Senior Member

    The biggest concern in this regard legally is intent imho. If, for instance, you copy something that's been suggested in an email, or more damning in the temp score, you are opening yourself up to issues.

    I have intentionally copied well known music for comedic effect and have had it backfire a couple of times, to no real ill effect, but that was back in the fast and loose days of MTV promo's and I had no contract declaring my authorship of the music in question. I wouldn't do it now.

Share This Page