Wait, what? Every melody ever possible has been calculated, copyrighted and then given away for free? Surely that isn’t possible? Incredible though it may seem, two musicians have done exactly that. Does this mean an end to copyright lawsuits along with outrageous court costs? Is this a music copyright revolution? Read on and judge for yourself…
Every melody, ever, calculated and copyrighted
Two musicians have set out to drastically reduce lawsuits which, they believe, threaten the creative future of musicians. It’s our understanding that Damien Riel and Noah Rubin created a very special algorithm: it calculates and records every possible 8 note 12 beat melody combo and works at a rate of 300,000 melodies per second!
So why would you go to such extraordinary efforts to construct every possible melody in such a calculated fashion? What possible creative purpose can that endeavour serve us, as musicians? Well, if you’ve ever had your music published, the intellectual property of your music will be covered by copyright law…
Law and order
A number of recent high profile court cases have seen songwriters stripped of royalties, due to lawyers successfully arguing “similarities” in melodies. Damien Riel is not only a musician and programmer but also a copyright attorney. Riel and Rubin hatched a clever scheme, they hope, to prevent a large number of these cases ever going to court. The aim is to prevent accidental infringement, where someone came up with a melody similar to an existing one they hadn’t heard.
The pair have not only calculated every melody but subsequently published the MIDI files of those melodies in the public domain. Their theory is to prevent ownership claims of published melodies where someone has accidentally infringed copyrights. You’d need to consult a lawyer as to the legality of their claims, however.
Is this a revolution in copyright law? Will this stop retrospective copyright claims in their tracks? As of yet, it’s difficult to know if their efforts will hold up in court. Watch this space!
Damien Riehl’s TEDx Talk:
- Preventing accidental copyright infringement: TEDx Minneapolis, Youtube