Spotify Invents New Tool to Detect Unoriginal Music

Category: Technology/Innovations


Unlocking Word Meanings

Read the following words/expressions found in today’s article.

  1. police / pəˈlis / (v) – to control something and make sure that everything is in order and done according to the law

    The IT security thoroughly policed the way employees handled confidential data.

  2. plagiarism / ˈpleɪ dʒəˌrɪz əm / (n) – the act of copying someone else’s concepts, works, and ideas without seeking permission or giving credit

    The students were suspended because they committed plagiarism in their research paper.

  3. patent / ˈpæt nt / (n) – a legal document that gives a person or company the right to be the only one that produces or distributes a certain product, service, invention, formula, technology, etc.

    The developers placed a patent on their latest mobile application.

  4. concrete / ˈkɒn krit / (adj) – certain, definite, or specific

    Our instructor gave us concrete instructions for our final paper.

  5. similarity / ˌsɪm əˈlær ɪ ti / (n) – the quality of being like another person or thing

    There is a strong similarity between the logo of the two products.


Read the text below.

Swedish audio streaming provider Spotify has created a tool to help police songwriting plagiarism.

The tool, which will be called the Plagiarism Risk Detector And Interface, works similarly to plagiarism detectors for university papers. Spotify developed it to provide music artists a more convenient and precise approach in detecting plagiarism, compared to manual detection. The software will allow lead sheets to be compared with one another to successfully detect plagiarism. Lead sheets are simplified music scores that include lyrics, chords, and other basic song elements.

The technology was revealed in a new European patent filing, but Spotify has not yet given any concrete date on when it will be released.

The plagiarism detector is run by an AI that compares the user’s lead sheet to existing songs stored in Spotify’s database. After analyzing the new lead sheet, the technology will display messages indicating values of similarity in harmony, composition, tune, chord sequence, and the like, with other songs.

If the tool detects plagiarism, it will give the user links to albums or tracks that have similar elements to their lead sheet. If no plagiarism is detected, the AI will confirm that the song is completely new.

The tool will help artists prevent potential lawsuits involving plagiarism, which are costly, time-consuming, and highly common in the music industry. Singers, composers, and other musicians can use the plagiarism detector to check their works and remove any similarities with other songs before finalizing and recording them. Spotify is also hopeful that the tool will encourage more artists to launch and promote their music on its platform.

Viewpoint Discussion

Enjoy a discussion with your tutor.

Discussion A

• Do you think that this service is good for music creators? Why or why not?
• Why do you think plagiarism is so common in the music industry? Explain.

Discussion B

• What should be done to artists who have become popular because of music that was plagiarized? Explain.
• Do you think it’s possible for artists to completely avoid plagiarism? Why or why not?