Brandon Strader

This is what happens when worlds collide

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Going to give this one the benefit of the doubt and say it's (probably) an homage to Soule's work.  homages are different from plagiarisms, or so i've been told. 

Really though, under the statutes of international copyright, this fits under the Japanese interpretation of fair use as implied by this timeless Japanese proverb.

"...copy it and make it smaller."

 

(probably)

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I actually would like to know what Soule thinks of this, and whether he had any involvement in creating this theme. It hasn't been public yet, none of the OST details are, so while it's really unlikely I guess it'd be possible that he's involved. 

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I've read a lot of this thread and I'm with Mirby; there is really too much grey area to call this a black and white issue. I agree that the composer saying he never heard the song before is BS - I thought the two tunes were overlaid, same as Palpable - but the idea of 'justice' comes down to making the injured party whole. if Powerman 5000 is choosing not to pursue legal action, is there any wrong to correct?

I think that this comes down to the philosophy of what copying is and making sure a published artist's original works are protected versus what the artist or publisher's intentions of that copyrighted material are. I mean, we all can come up with thousands of blatent or near-miss examples. Here's mine:

 

Once again, you can't tell me the composer hadn't heard this before submitting for publish, but even if he did know about this, Eric never pressed any charges. So, what harm is done, really? Does this set a bad precedent? I think ultimately enforcement is up to the copyright holder - if they don't care, why should we? Or, likewise, (as Mirby put already), if we follow the letter of the law, then how is any of the music posted on this website not guilty of the same?

I say let them go ahead - if someone takes issue, then they can pursue, but if not, I really don't see the harm. Also, a lot of the music industry is now about the exposure rather than the sales themselves; you can't sell to people who don't know you. If nothing else, I bet Powerman 5000 has had a nice boost in sales after this issue got so much attention.

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On 7/8/2016 at 0:38 PM, The Nikanoru said:

I've read a lot of this thread and I'm with Mirby; there is really too much grey area to call this a black and white issue. I agree that the composer saying he never heard the song before is BS - I thought the two tunes were overlaid, same as Palpable - but the idea of 'justice' comes down to making the injured party whole. if Powerman 5000 is choosing not to pursue legal action, is there any wrong to correct?

I find this mentality depressing. I guess it is to be expected on a forum for a site based entirely around interpreting other people's music, but still. The issue isn't about whether someone is or isn't getting sued - the issue is about whether or not the accusation is true. You yourself say it's bullshit that the composer never heard the song.

Especially when his song just happens to be in the same key, same guitar tuning, a difference of one note in the simple guitar riff, and a style of singing and vocal phrasing that basically no one aside from the PM5000 frontman uses. 

In your examples, the melodies are completely different. I would have never equated the two songs as being similar except stylistically and chord progression. The PM5000 song and FF song literally fit together when played back at the same time.

On 7/8/2016 at 0:38 PM, The Nikanoru said:

Eric never pressed any charges. So, what harm is done, really? Does this set a bad precedent? I think ultimately enforcement is up to the copyright holder - if they don't care, why should we?

I don't know about you, but media composers, specifically game composers are some of my greatest heroes and inspirations in music. I think that film and games are home to some of the most talented musicians of our time and I believe they should be held to a higher standard than "You didn't get in trouble for stealing it, so what's the problem?"   

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I was listening to the mostly wonderful I Am Setsuna soundtrack yesterday and had to double-take when I heard some startling similarities to "You're Not Alone" from FFIX in two tracks. There's way too much in common with the melodies for quite a long duration. Maybe it's not outright plagiarism, but it's definitely not original enough to get much merit in my book. Granted, since both games belong to Square, I don't think anyone will be getting sued, but I kind of wish the composer wouldn't have honed so close to that well-known theme.

Similarity 1:

https://youtu.be/h9GpuGO3xyo?t=13s

https://youtu.be/ptVJHAVVnLE?list=PLC5JSvEMh3aYEcU67xeXZpuTwyga9Ojg5&t=8s

Similarity 2:

https://youtu.be/uB7GM1hJ0mU?t=16s

https://youtu.be/h9GpuGO3xyo?t=1m22s

 

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Haha, those are nice similarities. :)

I actually asked Jeremy Soule about if he was involved in that FFXV thing. He said he wasn't involved but that "it could be a case of subconscious parallelism "

More like subconscious PARA-THIEVERY! 

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7 hours ago, AngelCityOutlaw said:

I find this mentality depressing. I guess it is to be expected on a forum for a site based entirely around interpreting other people's music, but still. The issue isn't about whether someone is or isn't getting sued - the issue is about whether or not the accusation is true. You yourself say it's bullshit that the composer never heard the song.

Especially when his song just happens to be in the same key, same guitar tuning, a difference of one note in the simple guitar riff, and a style of singing and vocal phrasing that basically no one aside from the PM5000 frontman uses. 

In your examples, the melodies are completely different. I would have never equated the two songs as being similar except stylistically and chord progression. The PM5000 song and FF song literally fit together when played back at the same time.

Well, I already agreed that they were too similar to discount as coincidence. There is not much difference between the two tracks. I'm looking at the bigger picture and asking so what if it is? And at what point do we care? At what point is it copy  and at what point is it not?

You say that the melodies for the songs I chose are completely different and you never would have heard that similarities except stylistically and chord progression. So, a 'style' difference, or slightly different arrangement makes it not a copy? Conversely, the lyrics in the Sephiros track are different then When Worlds Collide, even if they are delivered in the same style. There are other minute differences I'm sure could be found. That doesn't make it a copy of the song by the same yardstick.

8 hours ago, AngelCityOutlaw said:

I don't know about you, but media composers, specifically game composers are some of my greatest heroes and inspirations in music. I think that film and games are home to some of the most talented musicians of our time and I believe they should be held to a higher standard than "You didn't get in trouble for stealing it, so what's the problem?"

Fair enough. I just believe that like every art and craft of humanity, if someone likes or appreciates some thing you have created, inevitably someone is going to come along and copy it or some aspect of it in some way, shape, or form - whether you realize it or not. We can call it theft, we can call it inspiration, we can call it coincidence, but in the end it's the same thing - and we all interpret that in different ways.

I choose to appreciate art for what it is, art - no matter how similar it looks to another piece of art. 

 

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21 hours ago, The Nikanoru said:

I just believe that like every art and craft of humanity, if someone likes or appreciates some thing you have created, inevitably someone is going to come along and copy it or some aspect of it in some way, shape, or form - whether you realize it or not. We can call it theft, we can call it inspiration, we can call it coincidence, but in the end it's the same thing - and we all interpret that in different ways.

Well, I think there is still a difference between:

  • copying someone's notes intentionally (specifically verbatim or very similar), but is not necessarily a textural similarity (it could be).
  • copying someone's notes by accident (a coincidence; may be verbatim or just reminds someone of a particular song), but is not necessarily a textural similarity (it could be).
  • imitating someone's instrumentation (like the selection of instruments often used by a particular artist you like--- a stylistic similarity), but not necessarily their notes nor their exact soundscape's EQ, reverb, instrument placement, etc.
  • imitating someone's soundscape (i.e. an extremely similar selection of instruments, similar panning, enough to call it a stylistic similarity, down to the frequency distribution, filter motion, etc), but not necessarily their notes. NOTE: This is a closer similarity than simply imitating instrumentation.

While those are all forms of imitation... (which I think is when you said "in the end it's the same thing")

  • I think #1 is not OK. That, you might call "theft", because it was intended (unless it's a cover).
  • I think #2 is excusable, and is not uncommon to have happen. However, if the person then realizes it, and does nothing about it, I would say it becomes intentional after-the-fact. It's like saying "oh, you're right, it sounds like so-and-so. Whatever, I don't feel like fixing it."
  • I think #3 is OK as well. This is something I've done a few times, and I would call it inspiration, as it might remind someone of an artist, without leading them to accuse you of plagiarism. For example, this was inspired by Weather Report in the drums and bass. I didn't, however, copy exact notes outright---mostly, I used similar instrumentation and occasionally playing styles. ;)
  • I think #4 is a little sketchier, but can be OK. This can sometimes be construed as a remake or cover rather than an inspired-by, but this does not necessarily have to involve copying someone's notes. However, I think this can make someone say "huh, this reminds me of something..." and they might really try hard to convince themselves that you didn't intentionally steal notes, because it's so similar in feel.

The point is, I don't mind if imitations or similarities occur - what matters to me is, was it 'malicious intent', so to speak?

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22 hours ago, timaeus222 said:

The point is, I don't mind if imitations or similarities occur - what matters to me is, was it 'malicious intent', so to speak?

You should apply for a job at the FBI :lol: 

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