Tuesday, April 10, 2012

No Copyright Protection for Pi Music

According to the Pi Day website, Pi is "an irrational number, meaning it will continue infinitely without repeating."  If you want to see the first million digits of Pi and more information about Pi, visit their website HERE.

Pi has long been thought to be a mystical number and movies have been dedicated to finding the Meaning of Pi.  (See Pi, (1998), where "A paranoid mathematician searches for a key number that will unlock the universal patterns found in nature." http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0138704/)

Recent litigation explores whether the music of Pi is copyrightable.  An Oregon court recently said no in the ruling of "Erickson v. Blake, 2012 WL 847327 (D. Oregon March 14, 2012). The complaint. A prior ruling in the case transferring it from Nebraska to Oregon for jurisdictional reasons. Techdirt's coverage (1, 2)." (Read more here)

Eric Goldman of the Technology and Marketing Law Blog says, "[t]his case could be an instant copyright law classic. It provides a textbook illustration of a critical copyright doctrine (the idea-expression dichotomy), it involves musical principles that everyone--especially students--can relate to, its facts could be easily adapted to a law school exam, and the subject matter provides endless punning opportunities." (Read more here)

Investigate the subject of the litigation on Lars Erickson's Pi Symphony page, as well as a performance on YouTubeNew Scientist also has a video of Pi Music that is not to be missed.

And NOT to be copyrighted.

Ernster, the Virtual Library Cat

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