Every Melody Has Been Copyrighted!

‘…project to copyright every possible melody, and why that’s a good thing.’

It’s all been done,. .so now just make the music you like.


If anyone thinks this is a silly joke in order to make an entertaining YouTube video, it’s more serious than that. I wouldn’t be surprised if a future copyright lawsuit will fail because the defendant calls up this guy asking for proof of prior art on a particular melody. He returns the evidence, the court says “Okay, looks like your 2032 song isn’t infringing on this 2030 song after all, because a human produced it in 2020 already.”

The fact that you can sue on a creative work that exists in the “small” design space of a few terabytes is silly, but that’s the truth of how some settlements have happened recently. E.g. Katy Perry v. Flame.


Only the melodies ranging on one octave and in 12 EDO tuning are on that hard drive, so there is still so much stuff things left to be copyrighted haha :crazy_face: . But yeah Andrew is right, and this little hard drive might save someone from a trial someday !

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For context, here’s a helpful look at the Perry v Flame case: https://youtu.be/0ytoUuO-qvg


Given the scale of the work being protected, it can reasonably be argued that excerpting an entire symphony out of it would constitute fair use.

sounds like a good idea for a module.

pretty terrifying that presumably someone could have done exactly the same thing but without the “dedicating it to the creative commons” part. copywrite fit for purpose :crazy_face:


Better watch that @Omri_Cohen doesn’t sue all of us for infringement!! :rage::grimacing:


Thankfully these squares have no concept of rhythm.


I believe Quinn Norton thought this up in 2006.

The law in the US is that every sample of another work has to be cleared, no matter how short.

A friend of mine, Kembrew Mcleod, has written extensively on issues around copyright, including his documentary Copyright Criminals, and we discussed a prank (his other obsession is pranks):

Since there’s no lower limit on samples subject to copyright and licensing, my idea was to computer-generate the paperwork to copyright 65536 ‘songs’ that are one sample long, comprising every possible value of a 16-bit sample. Then you could theoretically sue anyone who ever released music digitally.

Kembrew thought it was an interesting idea, but the practicalities of that much copyright paperwork was daunting.

Previous jurisprudence has shown judges care more about pitches than rythm, so i can understand why they kept the rythm factor out of the equation.

I read the title of this thread too fast and thought it said “Every module has been copyrighted” :crazy_face:


Audio falls under “sound recordings” in 17 U.S. Code § 114, which rests on the definition of “a series of musical, spoken, or other sounds”. I’d guess that a court would not find a 16-bit sample to be a “sound”.

I’m actually interested in what their response would be. Are they obligated to give a valid reason to reject your copyright application, or would they just reject it for being ridiculous?

A single sample is a very short ‘other sounds’

The point of it all would be to show the legal standard to be absurd, which it is. They should have a definition that either specifies an absolute maximum length of a sample too short to copyright.

And then we can all figure out how to make tracks out of samples too short to copyright!

If it ain’t wiggling, it ain’t sound, it’s air pressure.

Smh i had missed that. These things are becoming so dumb lol.

Adam said the claim was realeased since, but still… Claiming the video defending you, that seems quite crazy

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tunesmith wrote on HN thread:

It’s about fourteen kinds of ridiculous, as summarized in other threads. No rhythms, no meter, no tempo, melodies are longer than 12 notes, it’s diatonic, single octave, no concept of underlying harmony, the headline is literally false, etc.

Some of the copyright lawsuits are dumb and this is effective satire or performance art but that’s all it is.

Dear god please make it stop. It is way too much fuel for my hatred of laywers and multinational, soulless cooperations.