[rumori] Re: [plunderphonia] posers

Steev (steevATdetritus.net)
Tue, 29 Jun 1999 07:50:19 -0700 (PDT)

On Tue, 29 Jun 1999, Erick Gallun wrote:

>Regarding the issue of changing copyright law, I'd suggest that the folks
>at illegal art, who have released 'deconstructing beck', 'extracted
>celluloid' and (coming soon!) 'commercial ad hoc' are really interested in
>taking these issues to court. However, they have been totally unsuccesful
>at being sued (see http://www.rtmark.com/lawletters.html for the details on
>the almost-suit against 'Deconstrucing Beck'). As with Negativland's,
>'Dispepsi', the big corporations didn't bite. Not enough money involved, I

I would go so far as to say that the Culture Trust (the corporate owners
of culture) has purposely not followed a case all the way to court because
they WANT things to remain "gray". It's not just about the money, it's
that they're afraid a ruling against them that would establish a precedent
and would change everything. So they prefer to scare people (uninformed
and poor artists, namely) into out-of-court settlements and paniced

> Anyway, that was before the 2livecrew case, in which a legal precedent
>really was set saying that their parody was fair use. Essentially, no one
>has to see any artistic merit or pointed commentary in a song for it to be
>fair use. If you change the lyrics around and offend the original
>audience...bingo, that's parody.

I agree that's an important case, but i don't know if it really applies to
a lot of what's being done now, especially in the fine art world but also
just the general milieu of increasing use of the sampler in underground
and popular musics. There are many sample-based compositions that are
clearly not parody, yet should still be covered under a broader conception
of fair use, in my opinion.

For perspective, consider this: Folk musicians, prior to recording
technology, were not required to be engaging in parody to nip each others
melodies and lyrics, change them, incorporate them into new songs, etc.

The point is, parody and fair use in general are loopholes, which the
Culture Trust would like to close completely. There are reports of
*libraries* starting to have trouble *lending books*, for godssake! If
we're not careful, new laws will come along that make court landmarks like
the 2livecrew case irrelevant.

(some of these kinds of things have been discussed previously on the
Detritus discussion list, Rumori, which is why i keep cc'ing these things
there. If you're interested, there are archives of the Rumori list
and information on joining at http://detritus.net/contact/rumori )


Steev Hise, Nervert
steevAThise.org http://www.cyborganic.com/people/steev
recycled art site: http://www.detritus.net
"Nothing is worth more than this day."

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