hypothetical copyright exam question

mystery!

[picture: ‘Unsolved Mystery‘, by ButterflySha, used under a CC-BY license.]

Hypothetical copyright exam question for your late-night pondering: If a poem is derived from statistical analysis of 22 books, but contains no actual direct sequences from those books longer than 2-3 words, is it a derivative work of those 22 books?

Thou shalt be I. . .
Thou shalt be I, and quench the
fire in a pit
dug in the

direction of this rock,
deliberately,
now thy peace, the green weed

and explain the high road from which
miraculously we had
been left unsolved.

from King of Eatable Birds, by Anne Mordeus and the machine.

[hypothetical, though I think probably less interesting, parallel patent exam question: if an evolutionary algorithm creates a better design than humans, and the humans can’t necessarily explain why, is the resulting design or process still patentable?]

[Cross-posted from First Movers; comments over there.]