What is musical plagiarism and how to avoid it?3 min read

Although it is a criminal offence to copy other people’s works, it is common to find cases of musical plagiarism involving both famous and lesser-known songs, so it is important to take measures to deal with these possible situations of plagiarism.


What is musical plagiarism?

Most copyright laws under which musical songs, along with other cultural works, are protected do not specify what constitutes plagiarism or how it differs from mere inspiration or resemblance. Moreover, while most countries agree that plagiarism refers to the copying of others’ works in substance, they do not specify further. However, in the music industry, it is common to encounter a multitude of accusations of copying.

The basic internationally applicable standard is the Berne Convention. Last updated in 1979, it deals with the protection of works and authors’ rights. It is based on three basic principles and contains a number of provisions determining the minimum protection to be granted, as well as special provisions for developing countries wishing to avail themselves of them. Subsequently, the “Copyright Treaty” of the World Intellectual Property Organisation (WIPO) was adopted in 1996, to address the problems raised by information technologies and the Internet, which were not addressed by the Berne Convention.

However, especially in music, plagiarism remains subjective and difficult to determine by exact parameters or percentages, so that most accusations will require judges and musicology experts to conduct examinations and technical studies on musical elements such as harmony, tempo and rhythmic cadence of the works involved in the case.

However, despite the lack of clarity as to what is or is not considered plagiarism in music, the fact of copying another’s work in substance by making it one’s own, and thus hiding the true author, is punishable by most of the criminal codes of the different countries. Hence the importance of not drawing too much inspiration from other people’s compositions and recording our own.

As we have already explained in one of the articles on Intellectual Property, although it is not compulsory to register your work, it will always be of great help in case you have to deal with third parties who make unauthorised use of it. Hence the emergence of different types of registrations.


Musicdibs as a platform to avoid musical plagiarism

From iCommunity Labs we offer the sector a solution framed within the Private Intellectual Property Registers: Musicdibs.com.

In order to deal with possible plagiarism of your musical work, Musicdibs offers a digitised and decentralised certification through blockchain technology that serves as reliable and secure proof of ownership.

Moreover, despite being an innovative concept and using technology that is new to many, it is very easy and intuitive to use:

  1. The user must register and verify his or her identity so that the certificate generated is linked to the user’s identity and to ensure its legitimacy.
  2. After completing the previous step, the artist must purchase credits (individual or in packs) in order to upload their work to the main panel. In addition, one of the main advantages of Musicdibs is that it accepts all types of files and it is the platform itself that encrypts all the information and registers its digital footprint in blockchain, offering convenience to the person who wants to register their work.
  3. Finally, the user can download and share the receipt with all the registration data of the work, allowing anyone with the link to consult the registration and verify that the work is registered and belongs to the author. And, although the blockchain registration is permanent, to maintain the validity of the registration it is essential to present exactly the registered file, so we remind Musicdibs members how important it is to keep the original file.

In this way, Musicdibs is a disruptive alternative to traditional registration platforms that helps all kinds of artists, professionals and amateurs, eliminating the fear of plagiarism when sharing their works on music networks and platforms.


Do you have a song or composition you need to protect? Try Musicdibs now and take advantage of discounts for individuals and companies.

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2023-02-03T16:18:08+01:004 de August de 2022|Audiovisual, Intellectual property, Legal|
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