Two programmers who are musicians have supposedly created every possible MIDI melody in existence, saved this to a hard drive, copyrighted the whole thing, and then released it all to the public in an attempt to stop musicians from getting sued for copyright infringement.
Whether this actually accomplishes what they want to do is uncertain.
Using small snippets of public available music (or computer code) to create a work, that is the same as a well-known larger work, may still be copyright infringement. It depends on whether the creator knew of and had access to the well-known larger work.
See Dais Studios case, where Ben Petro copied public Java script to create a larger computer program. See also AFR Article
This also has relevance to AI programs and how they are trained.
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This website has some useful links and references: http://www.epiphanysolutions.co.uk/article-index/rights-and-laws-of-the-internet/
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