[rumori] FW: Microsoft Patent
Steev [rumori] FW: Microsoft Patent
Thu, 13 Aug 1998 15:53:17 -0700 (PDT) (00903077597, Pine.LNX.4.02.9808131551430.24864-100000ATflotsam.detritus.net)
the Tape-beatles better patent Plagiarism(tm) soon before some corporation
does! and maybe Negativland could grab Jamming (tm)...
On Wed, 12 Aug 1998, Boster, Bob wrote:
>Of any interest?
>>>Microsoft was recently (May 19, 1998) granted a United States patent
>>>(#5,753,843) for a "System and Process for Composing Musical Sections"
>>>(including 47 claims), this patent clearly pertaining to the algorithmic
>>>generation of music. Computer Music Journal invited Laurie Spiegel to
>>>write a guest editorial (below) about the implications of such patents. We
>>>also invite follow-up letters to the editor in response to this editorial.
>>>The best of these letters will be published, along with the editorial, in
>>>the Winter 1998 issue of the Journal.
>>>To submit a letter to the editor, please send email to cmjATcreate.ucsb.edu
>>>with a subject line of "Patenting Compositional Algorithms". As requested
>>>by the administrator of the ICMA mailing list, please do not post replies
>>>to the ICMA mailing list, as it is not a discussion group. I will serve as
>>>a moderator, collecting the replies and posting the more interesting ones
>>>in a message to the ICMA mailing list.
>>>The abstract of the Microsoft patent describes:
>>> "A system and process for comprising [sic] a musical section in response
>>>to a user's interaction with a multimedia presentation. The system
>>>includes a composition engine, performance engine, and arbitrator. The
>>>arbitrator provides an interface with an application program running a
>>>multimedia presentation. The arbitrator receives parameters from the
>>>application program indicative of a user's interaction and the type of
>>>music the application program requests in response to the interaction. The
>>>parameters are passed to the composition engine which composes a musical
>>>section having a chord progression and other data therein. The musical
>>>section and a style provided by the arbitrator are used by the performance
>>>engine to generate music sequence data for driving a musical instrument.
>>>The performance of the musical sequence data by the musical instrument
>>>occurs substantially contemporaneously with the user's interaction which
>>>caused the musical section composition. Because the composition engine uses
>>>processes which vary the composition of musical sections, the user events
>>>which initiate composition of a musical section and which occur at the same
>>>place within a multimedia presentation, still vary the performance at each
>>>The claims includes the following text:
>>>"A system for composing music in response to a user's interaction with a
>>>multimedia presentation comprising: an application program interface for
>>>receiving parameters identifying a style, a shape, and a personality for
>>>music that conform to said user's interaction with said multimedia
>>>presentation; and a composition engine for composing a musical section
>>>corresponding to said parameters so that a user perceives the performance
>>>of the musical section to be related to said user's interaction with said
>>>Copies of this patent can be obtained for US$ 13 from MicroPatent;
>>>(800)648-6787; World Wide Web http://www.micropat.com.
>>>Editorial by Laurie Spiegel
>>>There have been patents for musical inventions, such as piano action parts,
>>>for many years without apparent detriment. However, throughout the 20th
>>>century, the designing of artistic processes and creative techniques has
>>>increasingly come to be considered an integral part of an artist's creative
>>>work, rather than being seen as the province of a separate tool-building
>>>specialist. Entire fields such as algorithmic composition, interactive
>>>multimedia, and literary "process art" have become established in recent
>>>decades, based on the premise that the designing and implementation of
>>>specific creative processes and artistic techniques constitute artistic
>>>creation, every bit as much as do the data that such processes generate.
>>>If specific compositional techniques are now to be privately owned, must
>>>each composer, especially composers of computer-based interactive process
>>>pieces, now stop to do patent searches routinely as part of their work or
>>>else risk being taken to court? With the floodgates now open for a gold
>>>rush of corporate claims to very specific compositional techniques, how are
>>>we composers supposed to preserve our sense of freedom, our exhilaration at
>>>exploring, and our deep psychological immersion in following musical ideas
>>>wherever they may lead us, while knowing that we cannot ever be sure
>>>anymore of the simple legality of any new refinement we may make in our own
>>>Are we composers going to end up having to pay a royalty to the owner of
>>>each technique we use, when the royalties we receive from the music we
>>>compose using these techniques typically would not even pay for the
>>>paperwork of just keeping track of them? Must the education of every
>>>composer who wants to make process-based music now include courses in what
>>>techniques are exclusively owned by whom and for how long, what fees or
>>>methods will decriminalize their use, and the penalties to expect for
>>>unauthorized use? Will process-based composing or composer construction of
>>>interactive algorithmic tools now become so legally complex (and possibly
>>>dangerous) that such approaches will simply die out? When we want to use a
>>>specific compositional technique, how do we keep the question of who owns
>>>it from interfering with our personal sense of creative freedom?
>>>As a method of motivating new development for compositional techniques, how
>>>would the use of patents have worked in historical contexts? To hypothesize
>>>an instance, what if someone had patented the replaying of a musical theme
>>>at a time delay to itself, early in what was probably the last great era of
>>>process-based composing: the era of Bach? Would Bach have been able to
>>>and also willing to pay, royalties (or--perish the thought--legal defense
>>>fees) to use or build new techniques based on the patented imitative
>>>contrapuntal processes his works required? Or would composing the way he
>>>did have made him a criminal, as Galileo and others came to be considered
>>>criminals for their scientific work? And could any patent-holding tool
>>>designer ever possess sufficient understanding of the working requirements
>>>of composers of Bach's artistic caliber to be able to create procedural
>>>tools that were adequately fine-tuned for every possible such composer's
>>>unique musical approach? Or, in another hypothetical example, could any
>>>tool builder whose products had been fine tuned for Haydn's methods have
>>>anticipated the ways in which Beethoven would need to break out beyond
>>>their scope, or why this would be important, or how to accommodate the
>>>change in advance?
>>>Then why does our own society assume that the definition, implementation,
>>>and provision of any such creative technique should be done
>>>non-competitively, non-pluralistically, under the complete control of any
>>>single corporate monopoly? Why should the monopoly we call "patent" include
>>>artistic methods, tools, or techniques within its domain? Simply because
>>>these can now be constructed within the medium of computer software, and
>>>because the law now allows the patenting of such processes if implemented
>>>as computer software?
>>>The only arguably successful scenario I can envision that takes as a
>>>premise the existence of an 18th-century patent on time-delayed repetition
>>>techniques, and that would still allow us the Well Tempered Clavier, the
>>>Musical Offering, and the Art of the Fugue, is one in which Bach got
>>>himself hired as Company X's official court (well, company) composer in a
>>>corporate reprise of the aristocratic private patronage system. But in all
>>>likelihood Telemann would have gotten the job instead.
>>>We specialists created the field of computer music collectively but from
>>>the intersections of our very own personal visions and desires. This field,
>>>our lifework, is increasingly influenced by differently motivated entities.
>>>The legal departments of large corporations, or those concerned with the
>>>price of corporate shares trading in international markets, might govern
>>>whether or not the next Art of the Fugue will ever be made. The current
>>>situation is neither without precedent nor easily resolved, but we do want
>>>to preserve what we value in our art and its potential to evolve.
Steev Hise, Nervert
recycled art site: http://www.detritus.net
"The West has become based around gaming, prisons, and theme parks."