In this recent TED Talk, lawyer, musician, and technologist Damien Riehl talks about the rapidly diminishing number of melodies available to songwriters under the current system of copyright. In order to help songwriters avoid these melodic legal landmines (some of which are documented here), Riehl and his pal Noah Rubin designed and wrote a program to record every possible 8-note, 12-beat melody and released the results — all 68+ billion melodies, 2.6 terabytes of data — into the public domain.

We are running into this with our podcast. When I take our show, add video to it and upload it to YouTube, we inevitably get hit with some copyright claim.

Often for innocuous audio behind something that, if removed, would have no bearing on what’s being said. It’s a bit of sad music. Or a guitar riff that meanders on.

We aren’t at the level of making any money off YouTube, but if we were, it would give me a strong reason not to upload the show to their service.