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

Taylor McLaren (
Wed, 30 Jun 1999 01:57:56 -0400

[checking headers carefully]
  Yup... this one is actually supposed to go to the list.

MEEP! Miss Vicki(e) wrote:
>I just don't want to present my
>work as being made of fragments, I don't want to tell anyone about the way
>I did it and where it came from. The finished work to me should be the
>starting point for the receiver.
That last sentence seems like the most sensible approach to a large number
of intellectual property issues, at least so long as the end product *is*
the creator's point (rather than the end result of mixing and matching
parts being the end, in which case...). So far as justifying Vicki's point
goes, I can't see any problems, and I heartily encourage the idea of making
an audience work to appreciate or understand... well, anything, really. But...

>There will always be more people paying than
>those who take for free like me so what's the problem?
That's a cop-out excuse, pure and simple. Substitute the words "thinking"
and "coast along", or "buying groceries" and "live out of friends'
fridges", or even "fighting against copyright restrictions" and "let those
issues that require thought get them down" for "paying" and "take for free"
and you've got a lazy response to basic human responsibility... which
pretty much flies in the face of making an audience work for the sake of
teaching it/them to think for itself/themselves, ne?

>Rules are ridiculous when they are based on worse case scenarios and that
>is why the copyright law is pointless.
I'm not going to try to argue the biz-kills-itself thing because, for the
most part, I agree. What I think is missing in this assertion is the
understanding that both art and law are oddball exercises in setting up
rules and then demolishing them again, often just to see if that process of
demolition is possible. While it's very easy to say that art and law
operate on different sides in a debate like this, they operate in very
similar ways, what with legal precedent being fairly similar to
tradition... somebody is always bound to come along, whether they're
hotshot young lawyers or smart-ass sample artists, and test the boundaries
of previous rules, and I think that's why both art and law frequently
settle too much into the too-conservative/-broad/-general side of things in
an attempt to secure some kind of permanence or relevance for themselves.
For art, a process of teaching people how to think and explore and step
outside of boundaries, that's a bad thing... does that make art ridiculous,
and concrete art pointless? Does this sound like late-night keyboard
wankery to anybody else?
  I guess this all boils down to my belief in some sort of case-by-case
approach to life and art and whatever else you feel like discussing: so
long as I'm constantly required to think about what I'm doing, I don't feel
as though I'm at the office, and I'm happy as a result. If this means that
nobody is going to annotate a recording for me on a sample-by-sample basis,
so be it, but I can also imagine cases in which listings (which might give
somebody the crucial bits of information that would allow them to *start*
unpacking a work, in the whole-is-dependent-on-the-sum-of-the-parts
instance above) might be useful. Maybe we should all just invest in "YOUR
MILEAGE MAY VARY" t-shirts and be done with it?


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