Programmers Create Every Possible Melody to Stop Lawsuits

Two programmers have created every possible melody in MIDI to help creators stifled by lawsuits.

Two programmer-musicians wrote every possible MIDI melody in existence to a hard drive, copyrighted the whole thing, and then released it all to the public in an attempt to stop musicians from getting sued.

Often in copyright cases for song melodies, if the artist being sued for infringement could have possibly had access to the music they’re accused of copying—even if it was something they listened to once—they can be accused of “subconsciously” infringing on the original content.

Sounds like a clever attempt to hack the system. I’m not sure if that will actually hold up in court but it’s creative.

Check It Out: Programmers Create Every Possible Melody to Stop Lawsuits

3 thoughts on “Programmers Create Every Possible Melody to Stop Lawsuits

  • To be liable for copyright infringement, you have to actually copy from someone who owns a copyright to have infringed. Similarity between the works alone is not enough. If the alleged infringer introduces evidence of having licensed this material, the argument would be that alleged infringer learned of the snippet from this licensed source, not the copyright owner’s music. Just like Independent creation, copying from someone else (i.e., not the copyright owner) is an absolute defense. Nevertheless, I take your point about how it’s more likely that a person learns of a musical theme from music they’ve heard played, rather than this source.

  • I don’t think it would hold up. The copyright owners would merely state that they had previous copyright on those particular melodies. But this whole idea of suing over snippets of melody is beyond absurd, even mor so the idea that you could sue and win because somebody was “subconsciously copying”. That’s how music works. Someone plays a song, people learn from that, they play something in the style, possibly with similar snippets of melody. Common chord progressions are just that. Because one person uses them doesn’t mean no one else can ever use them. Bach was influenced by Telemann. Rossini was influenced by Mozart. The Rolling Stones were influenced by Muddy Waters. That’s how music works.

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