Thoughts on the Ownership of Generative Music

Alex Bainter
2 min readSep 30, 2019

Say you write a song, and show your friend how to play it. Your friend records himself performing it and makes $10,000 by selling the recording. Are you owed anything?

Say you build a music box which plays an original piece of music. You give this music box to your friend. Your friend records the music and makes $10,000 by selling the recording. Are you owed anything?

Say you build another music box which plays ten original pieces of music. You give this new music box to your friend. Your friend records the music and makes $10,000 by selling the recordings. Are you owed anything?

Say the music box can play a thousand pieces of music, or a million, or a billion. Your friend records the music and makes $10,000 by selling the recordings. Are you owed anything?

Say you build another music box which changes itself each time it’s played. This music box can play an infinite amount of original music. You give this music box to your friend. Your friend records the music and makes $10,000 by selling the recordings. Are you owed anything?

Say you build some wind chimes and give them to your friend. Your friend hangs them up, records the music, and makes $10,000 by selling the recording. Are you owed anything?

Thanks for reading. I make generative ambient music at Generative.fm which you can listen to and download for free.

If you liked this article, you might follow me on Twitter or subscribe to my infrequent newsletter to receive special links to my Medium articles which bypass the paywall. Sometimes I use Medium’s paywall to make my articles eligible for curation, but I want to make sure you still can read them no matter what.

--

--

Alex Bainter

A web developer creating audio/visual experiences both digital and not. Currently making generative music at Generative.fm.