[rumori] FW: Microsoft Patent

Boster, Bob [rumori] FW: Microsoft Patent
Wed, 12 Aug 1998 13:18:37 -0700 (00902981917, c=US%a=_%p=HIII%l=MAIN_SERVER-980812201837Z-5528ATserver2.orban.com)

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
>>user event."
>>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
>>multimedia presentation."
>>Copies of this patent can be obtained for US$ 13 from MicroPatent;
>>(800)648-6787; World Wide Web http://www.micropat.com.
>>--Doug Keislar
>>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
>>process-based works?
>>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.