Why all melodies should be free for musicians to use
by Damien Riehl
In the litany of copyright infringement lawsuits, technology lawyer and musician Damien Riehl demonstrates that music is merely math, and has a finite number of possible melodies. If you’ve ever thought a song you like sounded similar to another, the culprit may not be an unethical forger, but rather the limited mathematical musical equations that our favorite artists have to work with. Current copyright law is at risk of severely limiting future music creation and future human creativity. This talk suggests a new way to handle these legal cases. Damien Riehl is a technology lawyer with a B.S. in music. After beginning to code in 1985, and for the web in 1995, he has worked for the chief judges of state and federal courts; litigated for a decade; taught law-school copyright classes; and led teams in software development, digital forensics, proactive cybersecurity, reactive cybersecurity incidents, and world-scale investigations. Damien’s combined experience in the law, technology, and music has inspired his most recent project—copyrighting billions of unique melodies.