It is possible to automatically generate all haiku and either own them for 70+ years at no cost, or place them into the public domain, thus preventing others from copyrighting them.
As copyright costs nothing in the United States and lasts "from the moment of [a work's] creation ... for the author's
life plus an additional 70 years ...", this lets you: 1) cheaply own an entire artistic field, and 2) influence future copyright law.
Analysis of automatic haiku generation:
A haiku consists of 3 lines of 17 syllables (5-7-5). Let's restrict the problem to haiku written in Japanese.
There are 46 syllables in Japanese. From combinatorics, we know that given 17 syllables in a haiku with 46 possible values for each syllable means there are at most 46^17 possible haiku.
But this assumes that there are no restrictions on what syllables can appear in what positions. In languages, there are syllables that either do not appear next to each other, or are very unlikely to ever be used in combination.
So let's say through a Markov analysis of Japanese or some similar approach, we can say that for any given point in the haiku, there are 5 most likely syllables.
Now, with only five candidate syllables to consider for each position in the haiku, we have 5^17, or 763 billion haiku.
With today's (2002) hardware, a system to create and store this many haiku would cost US $2500.
Under US copyright law, a document is copyright the moment it is created and fixed in tangible form.
So for $2500, you can own all (likely) unwritten Japanese haiku for as long as you live plus 70 years.
A similar approach would work for English and other languages, as well as other well-constrained copyrightable domains (for example: limericks, sonnets, ultra-short stories, pop-music lyrics, 8+ note songs)
--Pat / email@example.com