Category Archives: Public Domain

Using Artificial Intelligence to write songs, screenplays and books

Last month, I was talking about how the rapid expansion of public domain songs and films (and books, too, but I hadn’t got around to writing about that yet) represents a great opportunity to repurpose content for entertainment.

I was fooling around with ChatGPT tonight to rewrite some public domain songs, and make them something fresh and new, and it didn’t disappoint. This is so cool.

So here is “Lady Be Good” by the Gershwin brothers:

and here is how ChatGPT used it to write an entirely new song:

So that one was alright. But the next one is lights out. Here is “I’ll See You in my Dreams” by Gus Kahn & Isham Jones:

here is what ChatGPT wrote:

There will be a lot of entertainment content generated by artificial intelligence in this way. It’s just too easy to do and the results are clearly quality results.

US Public Domain Films are also a great opportunity

So I already discussed that songs published before 1927 are in the US public domain.

The same holds true for films. While many interesting 1920’s movies are already in the public domain, in my opinion it’s only in 2023 that we really start cooking.

That’s because the first sound movies with significant dialogue started in 1927, and all of those 1,000+ movies will enter US public domain in 2023. Notable 1927 films include:

Again, this is a rabbit hole I’m planning on investigating over the next few years.

(Don’t forget that four Three Stooges shorts are already in the public domain. )

US Public Domain content represents a fantastic opportunity

Musical compositions published before January 1, 1927 are part of the public domain.

I compiled a list (below) of some popular songs that entered the public domain over the last four years. Songs you can do whatever you want with, repackage, remix, etc. It’s a rather strong list.

Imagine in our 10,000 channel world that you create a game or musical that takes advantage of the built-in familiarity of this content. “Rhapsody in Blue”? “Fascinating Rhythm”? “Remember”?

Get your hands on any analysis of all of the folk songs that Bob Dylan borrowed from. Interesting stuff.

This is one of the rabbit holes I plan to go down over the next few years.

1926Baby FaceBenny Davis, Harry Akst
1926Birth of the BluesB.G. De Sylva, Lew Brown, m. Ray Henderson
1926Black Bottom StompJelly Roll Morton
1924California Here I ComeJoseph Meyer, Al Jolson, Bud DeSylva
1923CharlestonCecil Mack, James P. (Jimmy) Johnson
1926Dead Man BluesJelly Roll Morton
1925DinahSame Lewis, Joe Young, Harry Akst
1924Does the Spearmint Lose Its FlavorBilly Rose, Marty Bloom, Ernest Breuer
1924Doo Wacka DooClarence Gaskill, Walter Donaldson, George Horther
1924Everybody Loves My BabyJack Palmer & Spencer Williams
1923Farewell BluesRappolo ~ Leon Rappolo
1924Fascinating RhythmIra Gershwin George Gershwin
1924I’ll See You In My DreamsGus Kahn Isham Jones
1925If You Knew SusieB.G. De Sylva
1924It Had To Be YouIsham Edgar Jones Gus Kahn
1923Kansas City StompJelly Roll Morton
1924King Porter StompJelly Roll Morton
1925Milenberg JoysJelly Roll Morton
1923Mr. Jelly-LordJelly Roll Morton
1925New Orleans BluesJelly Roll Morton
1924Oh Lady Be GoodIra Gershwin, George Gershwin
1923PearlsJelly Roll Morton
1925RememberIrving Berlin
1924Rhapsody In BlueIra Gershwin, George Gershwin
1925Shreveport StompJelly Roll Morton
1926Sidewalk BluesJelly Roll Morton
1926Someone To Watch Over MeIra Gershwin, George Gershwin
1925Sweet And Low-DownIra Gershwin, George Gershwin
1925Sweet Georgia BrownBen Bernie, Maceo Pinkard, Kenneth Casey
1924Tea For TwoIrving Caesar Vincent Youmans
1926Where’d You Get Those EyesWalter Donaldson, Abe Lyman
1925Who?Jerome Kern
1923Yes! We Have No BananasFrank Silver & Irving Cohn