Re: [rumori] credit where credit is (un)due?

Steev (
Wed, 30 Jun 1999 08:40:37 -0700 (PDT)

On Wed, 30 Jun 1999, The Evolution Control Committee wrote:

> ... we've put out a few releases where an "audiography"
>listing sample sources has been included. Originally I liked this idea
>because when sample-based pop music was a newer idea everyone was playing
>the game of "spot the sample". I decided it was better to get over the
>guessing game so that people would focus more on the music. I also view the
>music a bit like a research paper; you should cite your sources. If I have

for my work that's where i've been coming from, too. listing your sources
is like footnotes in a paper. however, meticulous record-keeping is
sometimes an obstacle to the creative process; i compromise sometimes by
describing the sources in a very general way when i can't remember -
"miscellaneous christian talk radio", or whatever.

however, i said "been" because i think i have mixed, or changing thoughts
about this now. The citation of sources is an act that is very
self-concious, part of the statement: "I am appropriating. Look at me. I
sample. It's okay." However, I would like to move on; I'd like to make
work that uses appropriation, but not as an end, but a means to a
different end, that being whatever point each particular piece is trying
to make. As such, crowing about how great copyright infringement and
sampling are is just diluting whatever you're trying to get across. It's
a bit like the trend in heavy metal where all the band members would list
what brand of instrument they used ("K.K. uses Gibson SG guitars
exclusively", blah blah).

This seems like a weird position the webmaster of to take, or
someone who just released a CD called "Original" that has a huge list of
sources. I guess these are pretty recent thoughts. And it's also a tough
call; a huge segment of the world still needs to be convinced. I'm not
saying we should stop advocating this issue. Only that sampling just for
the sake of sampling may be getting a bit tired in many cases.

> Hmmm, there's a question -- how many of your sample sources do you have
>some [artistic/ideological/etc.] respect or appreciation for?

i'd like to say none. but it ends up being maybe 5%. sometimes i can't
resist. But my reason for appropriating is not to pay tribute or respect.
You might as well ask the BLF if they've modified any billboards they
like. heh.

[vicki said:]
>>As far as I'm concerned, if something has been made available to the public
>>(recordings, radio etc) then I am ready to receive it.

 i agree with this. receive it and play with it! but:

>> There will always
>>be more people paying than those who take for free like me so what's the
>>problem? Most people live to buy finished products and wouldn't know what
>>to do with themselves if they couldn't pay - so they can pay the artists
>>their share of the deal. ...

I dont agree with this. First of all, by stating that there are more
people paying so it's okay for you to not, you're implying that they're
taking up some kind of slack, some total amount of money owed for our
culture is still being paid; even though you're not paying your share, the
total gets payed so everything is fine. I won't rehash the point someone
else made on the list, basically that this makes you out to be some sort
of immoral slacker. That's debatable. But beyond that, I would argue that
this "total debt for culture" is a tiny fraction of what our society pays,
or perhaps even ZERO.

So, yes, you shouldnt be paying, **but neither should anyone else.**

(btw, who is this "debt" owed to? Businessmen in Hollywood, says the
Culture Trust. I say, bullshit!)

Second, I don't agree that "most people live to buy finished products".
They've been conditioned to live that way. They may not know any better.
And yet at heart they do. There is an instinct that is innately
oppositional to the concept of intellectual property, and probably to
property in general. But people have been taught, and are being taught,
otherwise. My favorite example of this instinct is going to swap meets
and people are selling video tapes of movies they dubbed or recorded off
of pirated HBO. Just selling, right out in the open. They don't care
about copyright, they don't even think about it. To them, it was on THEIR
T.V., so they have a right to tape it, and make a few bucks from it. Not
that i'm advocating bootlegging, just illustrating a reflex attitude.

People are NOT innately stupid mallrats who "wouldnt know what to do with
themselves if they couldnt pay." People don't pay all the time. The
Culture Trust, actually corporate power in general, wants not paying for
*everything* to become unthinkable. But people know better, deep down.
(Just as the Iroquois knew it was ridiculous to SELL Manhattan. You can't
sell LAND. What stupid palefaces! But let's take these beads anyway.
Suckers! )

>>Rules are ridiculous when they are based on worse case scenarios and that
>>is why the copyright law is pointless. If we are killing the music biz by

i would venture to say all laws are based on worst case scenarios,
actually. Usually there's no need for a law until suddenly some idiot
goes too far, some bad apple spoils it for everyone. Before the first car
accident did they have traffic cops? If everyone just naturally "drove
safely", we wouldnt need any laws, right?

So, what does this mean in terms of copyright? Well, before the first
person tried to make money from someone else's creativity, there was no
modern copyright law. So, things are spoiled for the rest of us.

(actually the first copyrights were issued to printers by the British
Government, as a way of keeping track of who was publishing, so potential
words that were critical of the regime could be more easily controlled.
however, the modern idea of copyright was for the benefit of authors. see )

[the ECC:]
>much different; I have a bunch of MP3s of bands that I'm interested in but
>probably would never have bought. I don't feel guilty, because if the bands
>are as good as the record companies say they are then I'll just be enticed
>to buy their next thing and/or previous releases when I see them in a
>store, and I probably wouldn't have done that if I hadn't heard them first.

Actually there's a pretty good article about mp3s in Rolling Stone (the
issue with the unnaturally pale nicole kidman mannikin on the cover. heh.)
It concentrates on the fact that the internet is pitting many bands
against their own labels. Bands WANT to give away their music, because
they dont make any money from their music anyway, the labels do. Bands
make money from t-shirts and live shows. So the more free mp3s they give
away, the more exposure they get, the more people come to their shows and
buy merchandise. Meanwhile the major labels scramble to catch up.

 crazy, crazy world....


Steev Hise, Automagickal Adept
recycled art site:
"There's a place where money grows on trees - the only way to reach it
 is on your knees."
                -David Byrne

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