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YouTube has become a treasure trove for rare live editions, outtakes and covers of popular songs -- the latter making stars out of acts like Pomplamoose. However, Google and the recording industry don't feel the same way, but the site's famous content filtering system can only handle exact matches of recorded songs -- so that 14-year-old moppet's cover version of Born this Way remains unfiltered. That could change should a patent application made available today result in a workable product. It describes a Melody Identification system that'll pluck out a "melody fingerprint" from any uploaded file and then determine the appropriate "rights management" to apply -- which sounds ominous. The patents haven't been granted and nowhere in the text of either document does it reveal how the company plans to deal with songs that sound very, very similar, but we can't imagine what'll be left if the worst comes to pass: lots of mute cat videos, probably.

Update: Josh Rice in comments pointed out that Pomplamoose actually buys the rights to its covers. That's the nicest form of prior art there is.