Attorney Damien Riehl and programmer Noah Rubin intend to end “accidental” copyright violations in the world of music. For this, they have created software that produced 68 billion melodies with the goal of leaving them free for use by third parties.

To make the project comprehensive, the algorithm focused on pop music, which they deduced usually uses less than 12 notes. Therefore, if the melodies are generated using only eight notes of the C scale, the number of possible results is 68,719,476,736.

The idea in practice that in the future many musicians can defend their songs by pointing to these melodies as a source that is not protected by copyright.

The argument they make is that the melodies are mathematical and, therefore, cannot be protected by copyright. The songs, they say, are creations, but the melodies only a sequential selection within a finite universe.

Multiple lawyers have denied this argument, valuing the theoretical experiment, but not a practical result, either considering that the melodies cannot be presented as mathematics – or that all creation could be considered as a selection within a finite universe – or whereas many of these melodies are already protected under copyright.

To learn more about the project, you can see the TEDx Talk presented a month ago by Riehl, entitled “Copyrighting all the melodies to avoid accidental infringement”.

Source: The Atlantic

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