Making All The Music: Brute forcing (and copyrighting) 400 billion melodies

by Damien Riehl | at Minnebar 16 | 11:15 – 12:00 in Minnetonka | View Schedule

Want to hear about a coding project that was probably used by Led Zeppelin, Katy Perry, and Ed Sheeran — all to beat "you stole my melody!" lawsuits? Coder, musician, and lawyer Damien Riehl will discuss his project where he:

  1. Used a brute-force algo — not to break a password, but to break music: copyrighting all the melodies.

  2. He built (and open sourced) an application to write to disk: 2a. Every popular melody that has ever been written 2b. Every popular melody that ever CAN be

  3. Copyrighted everything (all 400 billion melodies)

  4. Dedicated everything to the public domain. help protect songwriters.

Hear him discuss how his startup coded and created the project — and how it has already improved copyright law.

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Damien Riehl

Damien Riehl is a lawyer and technologist with experience in complex litigation, digital forensics, and software development. A coder since 1985 and for the web since 1995, Damien clerked for the chief judges of state and federal courts, practiced in complex litigation for over a decade, has led teams of cybersecurity and world-spanning digital forensics investigations, and has led teams in legal-software development.

Co-Chair of the Minnesota Governor’s Council on Connected and Automated Vehicles, he is helping recommend changes to Minnesota statutes, rules, and policies — all related to connected and autonomous vehicles.

Damien is Chair of the Minnesota State Bar Association's working group on AI and the Unauthorized Practice of Law (UPL).

At SALI, the legal data standard he helps lead, Damien develops and has greatly expanded the taxonomy of over 15,000 legal tags that matter, helping the legal industry's development of Generative AI, analytics, and interoperability.

At vLex Group — which includes Fastcase, NextChapter, and Docket Alarm — Damien helps lead the design, development, and expansion of various products, integrating AI-backed technologies (e.g., GPT) to improve legal workflows and to power legal data analytics.

In 2019, Damien gave a TEDx Talk about his All the Music project, which to date has computationally composed over 400,000,000,000 (400B) melodies, has written them to disc (fixed in a tangible medium), and has given the public access through Creative Commons Zero (CC0), which provides rights similar to rights to works in the Public Domain. Arguably improving copyright law through legal decisions that appeared to draw upon his TEDx Talk's arguments.

“This guy [Damien] rocks!” - Elon Musk