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*N/A* Sonic CD (JP) "The Jazzy Cosmos" *RECALL*

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This is being revisited because someone told Sir_NutS it was too close to the source, and NutS then found a MIDI on VGMusic that's not 100% the same, but is similar and brings in the possibility that this was ripped. To me, when I actually heard the MIDI, it's a reasonable concern because the mix does have a fairly straightforward usage of all the same part-writing found in the MIDI, pretty much for the entire track.

Judges' votes:




Sir_NutS - Yesterday at 11:22 PM
@here it was brought to my attention that we may have fucked up with that sonic track? someone told me it's the same as the original note for note.  I double-checked and thought it's close, it's not exactly the same and there are some differences in the arrangement and some melody lines underneath that are new.  However I'd like some of the more arrangement-savvy judges to double check if possible.
Talking about the one we posted today, Sonic CD "The Jazzy cosmos"

djpretzel - Yesterday at 11:24 PM
@Liontamer weighed in
same as the original note for note seems wrong
I'm focusing on the piano solo
it IS similar

Sir_NutS - Yesterday at 11:25 PM
the one underlying the background during the rap at around 1:00?

djpretzel - Yesterday at 11:26 PM
nah later
2'18" in mix

Sir_NutS - Yesterday at 11:26 PM
because that part is new I believe.

djpretzel - Yesterday at 11:26 PM
2'26" here

Sir_NutS - Yesterday at 11:28 PM
yeah it's not exactly the same there.

djpretzel - Yesterday at 11:29 PM
I think it might be closer than judges thought
but it doesn't seem like a MIDI rip, some stuff def. changed

Sir_NutS - Yesterday at 11:29 PM
Yeah it's definitely closer
Not a rip I don't think
let me check something...

Liontamer - Yesterday at 11:33 PM
I didn't hear anything alarming, and compared the source and mix back when I voted; it's structurally close, but it did its own thing
if anyone else wants to revisit it, I have 0 problem with that, but I don't see any issue with this

Sir_NutS - Yesterday at 11:35 PM
checked, not a rip of the readily-available midi at vgmusic at least (phew)

Liontamer - Yesterday at 11:36 PM
there more than 1?
I definitely didn't check VGMusic, that's my fault

Sir_NutS - Yesterday at 11:38 PM

Liontamer - Yesterday at 11:55 PM
That MIDI definitely makes the closeness sound more problematic, IMO

djpretzel - Yesterday at 11:56 PM
the tempo/structure very similar
but not 100%

Liontamer - Yesterday at 11:57 PM
I mean, if the artist had sequenced from scratch, there's enough differences in the tone of his version vs. the Sega CD music; but it's possible he used this MIDI as the base; all the part-writing is there

Sir_NutS - Yesterday at 11:57 PM
imo the small changes in the remix are not related to the midi
I layered both and they didn't match up 100%

Liontamer - Yesterday at 11:58 PM
and you sped up the MIDI or slowed down the mix to accommodate the faster tempo of the mix?

djpretzel - Yesterday at 11:59 PM
like the piano solo, for instance, is missing a run at the start

Liontamer - Yesterday at 11:59 PM
I think the thing putting me off is hearing many smaller background parts also in this MIDI

djpretzel - Yesterday at 11:59 PM
it'd be kinda weird to edit that out...

Sir_NutS - Today at 12:00 AM
the midi actually has variable tempo.  but yeah I stretched it.
I'll check again.
Yeah man I don't think this is a rip.
could've been used as baseline as you said.

Liontamer - Today at 12:09 AM
I'd need to look closer, but it's dicey to me

djpretzel - Today at 1:01 AM
well, would prefer to remove tomorrow if at all



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Oh, I can see the comparison here... Shoot. I mean, obviously work still went into it with the singing and such, but the part writing and pacing is pretty darn close (if not identical). I'm going to check the source and see if it's a case of both being closer to the source (in which case even if it IS a rip it's merely a coincidence), but otherwise I think this is the MIDI used to create the arrangement around, with only instrument replacement and singing over the sax line to differentiate. The biggest kicker is that the two songs fade out in exactly the same way (which was even a point of contention for us on the panel). We made the artist fix it, sure, but even now it still retains some of that same fade right before it ends on a crash. That's not just a coincidence, that's definitely ripping the MIDI off.

I'm leaning on the side of removing it - it does seem to conflict with this section of our submission rules, even with minor alterations:



1. Your submission must be your own, original arrangement.
3. If your submission involves multiple artists, ensure that all artists:
  • Are copied on (cc:) and named in the submission email
  • Agree with the terms of our Content Policy
  • Are credited with the name and profile information they wish to be represented by on OverClocked ReMix


It's pretty hard to argue that this didn't involve some heavy lifting from the other artist who wrote the MIDI in the first place, and it sure looks like we're not giving Monster Iestyn any due credit on here otherwise.

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Sir_NutS - Today at 10:35 AM

Deia - Today at 11:38 AM
so wait, what is the issue? they might have used the midi as a base?
if mike is saying its still changed from the midi, im not sure im seeing it as an issue
lots of people use vgmusic midis as the base to their mixes
is it still too similar?

Liontamer - Today at 11:45 AM
@Deia Potentially
Compare it to the MIDI and see what you think

Deia - Today at 11:46 AM
gotta get ready to go to work, will check later, but the first little bit i checked of that midi to the source seemed pretty similar, which is to be expected?
but not sure if the issue is later in the track or something

Liontamer - Today at 12:01 PM
To me, it's the overall track being similar, all of the writing, foreground and backing writing. The tempo's different, but much of the parts are potentially just different instruments; so it's not just one area, it's the entire thing

Gario - Today at 1:37 PM
I gave it my thoughts, that's pretty damn close. The thing that's tipping me toward removal is that it even imitates the problematic fast fadeout ending - you don't just do something like that coincidentally...

Liontamer - Today at 1:38 PM

Gario - Today at 1:38 PM
I do hear the differences, though aside from the singing (the artist did a pretty good job there) the changes are superficial.
What a shame, but damn that's hard to catch - it's in the "New Releases" section on vgmusic only. I hardly blame us for missing it. :/

Liontamer - Today at 1:41 PM
oh, really?
It's not in the Sonic CD listings?
Well, this all underscores my feelings after I first heard this MIDI. Had there been no MIDI for this source tune, the mix stood apart from the original in terms of the style, but it sounds like the parts were just taken from the MIDI and re-instrumented, including subtler backing writing. It's too similar, IMO, so I'll vote to recall it.

Gario - Today at 1:53 PM
Yeah, I checked.



It's our first recall vote in over a decade, and these things happen. As I said above, this all underscores my feelings after I first heard this VGMusic MIDI. Had there been no MIDI for this source tune, the mix had indeed stood apart from the original in terms of the style, despite being structurally close. But when you compare it to the MIDI, the tempo is different, yes, but it sounds like the parts were just taken from this specific MIDI and re-instrumented, including subtler backing writing.

djp brought up the question of whether the mix is simply too close to the source tune anyway, given that the MIDI was a cover. The MIDI is close yes, but the mix did change the presentation style of the track some with the different drumming, the different style of the vocals, more emphasis on different supporting parts (though all of those parts existed in both the source and MIDI). It's really about the tone feeling different enough. He's not wrong though, and it's at least debate-able, i.e. this might qualify as just a full removal based on this arrangement not being different enough from the Sega CD song, but I was OK with this as a personalized-sounding cover or I wouldn't have went YES on the original vote.

All of that said... at all times, artists need to disclose if other people's music or arrangements were referenced or used a base for their submission; it isn't an automatic disqualification, and we have some arrangements of arrangements on the site already. But even if -- somehow -- this mix wasn't taken from the MIDI itself, it's too similar -- too close of a cover -- to an already existing arrangement without standing apart enough from that existing arrangement. It's too similar, IMO, so I'll vote YES on removal.

YES on removal

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  • Liontamer changed the title to RECALL VOTE - (2Y for removal) Sonic CD (JP) "The Jazzy Cosmos" *RECALL*
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14 minutes ago, Liontamer said:


It's our first recall vote in over a decade, and these things happen. As I said above, this all underscores my feelings after I first heard this MIDI. Had there been no MIDI for this source tune, the mix had indeed stood apart from the original in terms of the style, despite being structurally close. But when you compare it to the MIDI, the tempo is different, yes, but it sounds like the parts were just taken from this specific MIDI and re-instrumented, including subtler backing writing.

YES on removal

Yeah, to me there were small additions and changes in the remix, also the remix has a different tone to me, from the pop-rap original to fast but smooth jazzy mood.  The biggest telling that I hadn't noticed was the fadeout ending, which was my gripe with the mix originally, and is mirrored in the midi.

sadly on the vote to removal I'd say YES

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  • Sir_NutS changed the title to RECALL VOTE - (3Y for removal) Sonic CD (JP) "The Jazzy Cosmos" *RECALL*

Just to follow up on this, I'll also be mailing the mixer to see his reaction to the MIDI similarity, and offer him the chance to co-credit the MIDI author if it's true. I would then have to contact the MIDI author, Monster Iestyn, to get their approval as well. djp agreed with both Gario and I that -- while the arrangement is close to the original and is more borderline, there was enough going on that removing it on arrangement grounds compared to the original song itself isn't the issue. This is strictly about the closeness to the MIDI version on VGMusic.

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  • 1 year later...

Forgot to follow up on this, but did so yesterday after posting GCJ's JSR mix jogged my memory.
Based on the below, I'll attempt to contact the MIDI creator, Monster Iestyn, to see if they'll accept a co-credit. I've reached out on a Discord they use; will update this later with a response. If they'd rather the track were taken down in light of this, we'll have to honor that.


Liontamer   Yesterday at 10:33 AM
Hey, message me when you can, Caleb, I had some issues I needed to go over with your Sonic CD arrangement that we posted
since it's based off of a VGMusic MIDI, we need to co-credit the original creator of that MIDI and get their OK about it, otherwise we'd need to remove the mix for being too close to that MIDI

GCJ   Yesterday at 12:10 PM
Of course. I do remember using MIDI files for remixes I made around the same time, since I was very new to this whole thing. Sorry if this has caused any trouble!

Liontamer   Yesterday at 12:11 PM
when we found the MIDI, we felt your arrangement was too close to THAT, but that it stood apart enough from the feel of the original Sonic CD track itself
it's fine; it's just something we'd want acknowledged upfront for the proper credit

GCJ   Yesterday at 12:11 PM
I'm happy to give credit, but also debating whether I should ask to take it down because I'm not happy with it anymore or try to keep it up for memories' sake.

Liontamer   Yesterday at 12:12 PM
so if this is the base MIDI, I want to co-credit the arranger of that MIDI
well, I'd rather we didn't
there's no need to take it down for that reason; honestly, if we had a "man, I'm much better than that NOW" clause, we'd have no mixes left, because artists think like that all the time :-)

GCJ   Yesterday at 12:14 PM
I'll try to get in contact with the co-creator of the midi, do you have any suggestions on how to do so?
haha pretty true

Liontamer   Yesterday at 12:54 PM
had to dip out for a bit; a part of the reason we have a Content Policy in place now -- where both the artist AND OCR have to agree to a takedown request -- was that we had ReMixer in particular that had a lot of self-doubt about his work ask twice to have his stuff taken down, then re-upped; after the 3rd removal request, djp was like "no offense, but we're not putting them back up" :-)
I can get in contact with the MIDI creator
I believe I've found a way

GCJ   Yesterday at 12:55 PM
ok thank you so much


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Success! I was able to reach Monster Iestyn at the Sonic Robo Blast 2 Discord channel today and get his OK to be co-credited for the mix, so the recall vote is a moot point. I've got the file on the site updated and the proper credit added in the database. Sorry for the holdup, folks, and thanks to both artists for being accommodating!


Liontamer   Yesterday at 10:04 PM
Hey there, this is Larry from the OC ReMix music community; we had an artist named GCJ use your old Sonic CD "Cosmic Eternity" MIDI from VGMusic as a base for their vocal arrangement (https://www.vgmusic.com/file/2eb8e5eddd7382a80d830fc8af19cd01.html), only they didn't mention this beforehand. We've actually had this happen twice before, where it wasn't malicious plagiarism, but it should have been noted and the MIDI arranger should have been looped in. That said, would you be OK with us co-crediting you for the track? Here's the piece - https://ocremix.org/remix/OCR03702

Monster Iestyn   Today at 7:10 AM
yes I'm okay with being co-credited for it

Liontamer   Today at 2:17 PM
Hey excellent, thanks for being in favor of the co-credit; did you have any social media pages or anything like that we should link to as far as an artist profile? Also, just FYI, we have a Content Policy at the site that you can see here: https://ocremix.org/info/Content_Policy) - the summary of what it says is that we won't make any profit off the arrangement (OCR's hosted under a non-profit organization), and we don't gain any ownership of the arrangement, just the ability to host it and promote it as an OC ReMix

Monster Iestyn   Today at 2:18 PM
no I don't have any such pages atm
I've been aware of OC ReMix for a long time, but thanks anyway :-)

Liontamer   Today at 2:21 PM
Cheers! Thanks again; when I was searching for you, I've seen so many other artist use your MIDI arrangements as bases for stuff (and crediting you), so much respect for having strong stuff that others are inspired by

Monster Iestyn   Today at 2:23 PM
thanks, it's nice to know that :-)
I've been making MIDI sequences for about a decade now, and indeed I seem to have a name for myself apparently
sometimes fans of my MIDIs pop up which is always a bit strange

Liontamer   Today at 2:28 PM
Well, our Discord's at https://discord.gg/VABjqGa if you're ever interested in swinging by. Just for the record, the other two tracks I was thinking of where I later made sure to credit the MIDI arranger were one by Arrow from VGMusic (who's a long-time staffer with us, coincidentally): https://ocremix.org/remix/OCR00442 and an Amiga arranger, Zzr: https://ocremix.org/remix/OCR01512


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