[rumori] Re: [plunderphonia] sampling = free promotion

Vicki Bennett (peoplelikeusATmistral.co.uk)
Tue, 6 Jul 1999 14:02:18 +0100

This is a good argument so I thought I'd transfer it from Plunderphonia.

>Date: Tue, 6 Jul 1999 05:47:28 -0700 (PDT)
>From: Peter Risser <knucklehead000ATyahoo.com>
>To: plunderphoniaATonelist.com
>Subject: Re: [plunderphonia] sampling = free promotion
>From: Peter Risser <knucklehead000ATyahoo.com>
>> As someone else has pointed out, people who advocate
>> this are really wanting
>> to have their trifle and eat it. It may not be the
>> way you intended it, but
>> it comes across to me as if you wish to ring-fence a
>> certain section of
>> 'collage-arty- type music' and say that, because
>> this is Art, then it's ok,
>> the rest of the sample-stealers can go to jail for
>> all you care. That would
>> be the worst of situations.
>No, that's not true.
>I certainly am not claiming a high art vs low art philosophy such that
>Negativland is free and clear to do what they want and DJ Shadow or the
>Beastie Boys or Beck go to sample hell.
>I'm looking for a relaxation of some sort that at least allows the
>concept that recycling is natural in art. It used to be analog
>recycling, and now it's digital. All art is based on what came before.
> You can always find a predecessor or an antecedant. It's just that
>these days, they are more literal.
>> I want to listen to my
>> stolen record with a few
>> clicks and pops on it, but you call it theft, but
>> your track is ok, it's
>> Art!!
>An interesting Cage-ian sore of concept. Here's my "Art". It's an MC
>Hammer record. :)
>Suddenly, hey, everyone's an artist.
>I don't know. Except that artists are there to help push the
>boundaries, and I suppose there would be a few who claimed it was their
>first amendment right to do that. The rest of us, even those on the
>list, would probably just shake our heads sadly.
>> Well, if you think the point of ownership should be
>> somewhere in the middle,
>> legally define 'the middle of an idea' and you have
>> a starting point....
>I can't. I'm one guy. That's like saying, Hey, Gask, find a cure for
>cancer. Can't do it? Well, I guess there's no cure, let's move on to
>something we can deal with easily.
>No, it's gonna take some thought. I've got ideas, but they aren't
>totally sound. They've got holes. (They currently revolve mainly
>around the concept of copyright vs. publishing rights.)
>I think all the majority of people on this list want is at least a
>*discussion* on the topic, legal or otherwise. The problem is that the
>"big companies" or whoever you wish to point the finger at have
>successfully been doing an end run by avoiding almost all legal
>situations, either by not suing or settling out of court.
>This is exactly the type of thing Negativland is trying to push. It's
>why they want to get sued.
>> Another Stupid Argument:
>> Is it ok if i come round to your house and take a
>> few photographs of you? i
>> intend to replicate them on posters above offensive
>> messages such as '<Your
>> Name> -- Child Molester'. You may wish to stop me,
>> but i will defend my
>> actions as an artistic statement about people, and i
>> will make sure i have a
>> small but annoyingly vocal minority on my side.
>Ironically enough, your face isn't copyrighted. Although, I would say,
>if it ever appeared on national TV, I'd certainly consider suing over
>But I believe people can take pictures of you all day long. Hence the
>tabloid paparazzi.
>The idea being something like, well, your face is part of the world, it
>just exists, and so can't have a copyright. Which is stunningly
>similar to the argument Negativland made on Dispepsi. Hey, our world is
>everything in which we live including the constant bombardment of
>commercials and music.
>As far as posting the posters in the name of art, that doens't mean I
>can't still get you tanked for harassment. It's well established that
>free speech does have a few boundaries, and those are the ones we are
>constantly fighting and outlining in the courts.
>But, then we get back to the no-court policy of the big companies, etc.
>> Now, isn't this an exaggeration of how the pop star
>> views the
>> sample-stealer?
>Hmm. Not entirely.
>I can see that being Jackon's point of view for something like the
>Plunderphonic cover. While I personally think it's clever, I can
>certainly see why Jackson would be pissed. I would be too if, say, the
>Offspring took my picture and grafted it onto some girls body for their
>However, as we've seen with plenty of unflattering Saturday Night Live
>skits, for one, public figures give up a part of their rights to
>privacy and to not be parodied when they get famous. I know there are
>court cases out there, but I can't remember what they are. I'm sure
>someone else does.
>So, whether they feel that way or not about samples, once you are part
>of the national subconscious, you lose some control over your image.
>And by extension, it doesn't necessarily not make sense that you should
>lose some control over your output as well.
>> My point being that i still think the principle of
>> copyright is fine the way
>> it has worked out in practice (not in theory).
>Again, until they decide to come down and crush the living bejeezus out
>of some new guy who may be a genius, but who crosses the wrong
>corporate bigwig.
>I'd rather work to try and find a suitable and honest solution for all
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