My question to Dave was probably too obvious: So who owns “The Lick”? Who owns music? Who owns 4/4 time? Who owns the flatted-fifth chord? Who owns the Bill Evans piano voicings? Who owns Count Basie’s swing rhythms? I hear this fascinating compilation as a nail (don’t I wish!) in the coffin of “intellectual property.”
I teach freshman comp and I will use this to highlight the idea of writing templates. I use Gerald Graff’s They Say, I Say as my text and this fits perfectly with the idea that licks (templates) are not uncreative. In fact, licks and riffs are the basis of improvisation. Although it seems paradoxical that a template is the basis for creativity, I think this goes a way towards showing that the contradiction can be resolved. Thanks for the link.