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When artists own chords: limitations I'm not a writer, I'm barely a public speaker. But I am a musician, one with a very specific set of skills, honed from an innate ability to listen and use my emotions as a catalyst for composition. Self-awareness and mindfulness as a vehicle for musical expression has been my teacher, my ally, and my musical theory for years. This to me is a gift that is innate to all humans who can express themselves to the conventional arts and have ears. Many others have this strength. It is why I hear the same emotional expressions in the songs of others and think, that sounds similar to my song, and vice versa I'm sure. Creating music is emotions through sound and language, and emotions are part of the human condition; we are bound to hear the same feelings in other's works. This can come out in many ways, from the subconscious to the deliberate, inspirational to outright stealing, there come's a time in everyone who writes when they realize that the song they recently wrote is eerily similar to one from one of the bands their partner, or friend recently showed you. But you weren't trying to copy it, you didn't even know you knew it! This time usually comes at the early stages, and we accept it and if we're lucky, learn to use it as a tool for creativity and expression. Some run with it 90% and replicate an entire bands sound to sound like them, but their songs are still different. (here's to you, Jon Bellion wannabe's). When does it become plagiarism? In the latest lawsuit against Katy Perry and her 2013 song 'Dark Horse' we are seeing blurred lines in what is and isn't allowed to be used without a chance for a lawsuit. 'Blurred lines', incidentally, was also sued for taking too much of another's song apparently. I write this not because I know what is right and wrong in terms of copying others music (although i believe i have a very good moral and artistic compass). but for you to think about it. Some of the greatest painters created colors combinations, strokes, contours, and curves so unique, that it made them who they are. If someone paints using some of those techniques, does that mean they're ripping off his work? Or is it an opportunity to express themselves and using other styles to create something new, and unique? That to me is the basis of any form of art and creativity. Not much in this world is new, but rather an a transformation, or alchemy of many ideas that create a new set and allow for new perception. It doesn't take much reading to realize there is always a lot of money involved in these lawsuits. Money has a lot of power, and we continually see how it can shape law and culture. This is setting a bad precedent for those that want to take advantage of a work of art that you create. This, is going to give them a new route for them to travel on. AS

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