"Copying"...what does that mean?

Major Variola (ret) mv at cdc.gov
Wed Nov 23 18:30:52 PST 2005

At 12:46 PM 11/22/05 -0500, Tyler Durden wrote:
>As I said before, if a "sample" is copying, how small a sample are we
>talking about? Look-->0101
>I sampled Britney and that's what I got. I'm therefore copying and
could go
>to jail. I probably won't go to jail, though, unless I eat into
>profits or piss off individuals in the government.

"Five" is too short to be copyrightable.  A longer segment would be.
I once asked, can Intel's "ding dong dong-dong-dong" be copyrighted?
The answer is essentially, to be a glib information theoriest, if the
chances of picking that sequence are sufficiently small.  Of course,
given that its humanly perceptable, shifting the whole sequence
by a large number of Hz is also irrelevant, since humans (except
for pitch-perfect folks) will perceive it as the same.  OTOH,
a parodist can use perfect copies if the context distinguishes
the content.

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