June 24, 2004

Wilco vs. Irdial

The IP world is buzzing with news that the publisher of recordings of shortwave numbers stations sued and reached a favorable settlement against mega-stars Wilco, who sampled the Conet Project CDs without permission on their 2002 release Yankee Hotel Foxtrot.

At issue: who can really say they own something they simply recorded off the radio? Is that creativity?

Posted by steev at June 24, 2004 08:16 AM

The Washington Post just did an interesting article on the Numbers Stations and the Wilco vs Irdial case.

Posted by: Chardman at August 4, 2004 03:41 PM

At Issue: False.

What is at issue is wether or not an AOL Time Warner can violate copyright to the tune of one million CDs, and pay nothing, yet sue people for sharing music for nothing, which is their right.

Copyright and creativitiy have nothing to do with each other; it is a common misconception that copyright in some way flows from a creative act. This is false. Copyright is a right, in other words it is a part of the law that confers rights to people who make things. This is true wether what was created is creative or not.

As soon as you make something, write it on paper or record it with a tape, the copyright in that object belongs to you, and no one can copy from it without your permission. This is the right that is granted to you by copyright law; the right to restrict the copying of what you make.

What you write down (to use the example above) is irrelevant; you still own the copyright of that piece of paper. You for example could have drawn your own rendition of the Coca Cola logo. The copyright in that logo belongs to Coke (or the coca Karma man!) but your rendition belongs to you, and if Coke copy it on one million cans, you can sue them for infringement of your work, even thought the logo belongs to them.

Copyright is a subtle field, but on close examination, it makes perfect sense. Irdial were completely correct to sue WEA International, and anyone who is against them is for the RIAA/MPAA and for the unbalanced application of the law.

Posted by: Paul Williams at August 23, 2004 11:41 AM

Paul, thanx for the thoughts, but you're not making much sense. Not everything that's created is creative? Ha! What a linguistic acrobat you are! Hee hee!

We could argue your points for a long long time, and that's exactly what many people are doing, on blogs, in chatrooms, in courts, in boardrooms and in universities.

What's interesting and relatively unique about this case is what we meant by "At Issue." It's funny how you claimed that wasn't the issue, but then proceeded in the rest of your comment to argue about that issue, which pretty much proves that it IS the issue.

As for what you think is the issue: It's the position of this website, and everyone hosted by it, that AOL Time Warner should not be allowed to do ANY of those things you mention. But that's old hat to us and not that interesting to argue about anymore.

Posted by: steev at August 23, 2004 03:32 PM

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Posted by: Bingo at October 25, 2004 11:09 AM