Re: [rumori] outlaw (fwd)

Steev (
Fri, 9 Jul 1999 06:16:32 +0000 ( )

On Thu, 8 Jul 1999, Anki Toner wrote:

>Yeah, let's send them back their work. This is an interesting idea.
>Maybe we should send them their own Cds, just to prove that the music is
>still there. Or would they prefer MP3s?

  :-) How bout sheet music?

>Call me a radical but I don't care much if I break the law, either.
>First of all, not only laws (and judges) are different in different
>countries, but our relation with the laws also seems to vary between
>countries. I suspect americans are more respectful/fearful of the law
>than us europeans.

that's an interesting point.

I don't care if i break the law either, but as a matter of principle if
something i think should be permitted is forbidden by law, i'll speak out
against the law.

And just because you can GET AWAY with breaking the law
doesnt mean the law shouldn't be changed.

perhaps we americans, or maybe just me, are more idealistic that way.
Laws, ideally, should serve our interests. if they don't they shouldbe
changed, and they can be. perhaps europeans are more cynical, and admit
that laws will never ever really be in citizens' interests, and so they
should just be ignored. anyone else care to comment on this?

(btw, i've never NOT sampled something because of the law. Pretty much
all of the music i've composed in the last 3 or 4 years and most of it in
the last 9 has been created from samples. I've never cared that i'm
"stealing" someone's IP, worried that i might get in legal trouble, at
least before the fact [once Deconstructing Beck was getting so much
attention, i admit i was starting to wonder]. But some artists have
worried, like for instance EBN, who have "re-created" recordings rather
than sample something they don't have clearance for. And i think that's a
shame. When i saw EBN compromising what was originally a great aesthetic,
watering down their work, that saddened me. I keep hearing about this
kind of thing more and more and more. Like musicians who do an album's
worth of songs heavy with illegal samples, then leave them out when they
mix down, and only use those samples when they play live.)

>some very interesting stories in the book "BOOTLEG (The Other Side Of
>The Rercordin Industry)", by Clinton Heylin (1994, Penguin, UK - mine is
>happenned in America, of course). I highly recommend this book to anyone
>interested in copyright.

thanx for mentioning that. sounds definitely like something to check out.

>I am afraid, though, that I just mentioned one of the taboos of this
>list, piracy. After all, aren't we "respectable artists", not pirates?

I think the constant cause of most friction in this arena is conflict
between commerce and culture. if no one cared to make money from
"art" then there would be no concerns about "piracy".
but that's why there needs to be a distinction made, because
the other side is going to use as it's main argument that
infringing copyright is done simply to make undeserved cash. People need
to understand that there can be a motivation for it that is not about
money. By condoning outright piracy we muddle that point.

(To extend Oswald's old metaphor, "If creativity is a field, copyright is
the fence." - I just want to run around in the field and have fun. I don't
want to sell the field, or mow it, or build a house there. ...hmm. nah,
that analogy doesnt really work perfectly, but you can probably get my

>Aren't we trying to establish a limit (call it "fair use" if you want,
>admit that the "plunder" part of "plunderphonics" was just a joke -
>you'll find yourselves admitting that it was a bad joke, and a terrible
>mistake of course), a safe limit within which we can work respectfully,
>and then claim we are working without restrictions?

there are limits to everything. fact of life. ( case in point - on
another list i'm on there's been a huge argument about a performance
artist who goes by the name Death Squad, who did a show here in san
francisco where he held a loaded gun up to audience members' heads.
Afterwards he claimed that the piece's artistic merits provided sufficient
blessing for his actions, while others argued that even art is not an
excuse for violating other's civil rights. I tend to agree with them. You
can complain all you want about restrictions of your freedoms (artistic or
otherwise), but face it, your freedom ends at the point you're opressing
someone else. period.)

>That I know nobody has destroyed any work. I just downloaded all the
>"destroyed works". They seemed healthy.

"ALL"? hah. you've got to be kidding.

>> As for "slightly different opinion"... huh? hello? I would venture to say
>> that yours is a RADICALLY different opinion than the prevailing one here.
>Does that worry you, Steve? Forgive me if I get personal, but what are
>you running the list for? To have everyone agreeing with you?

>Sometimes it seems like you don't have much patience for arguing,

touche. guilty as charged. well, not exactly. actually my problem is i
expect a certain foundation of knowledge and assumptions on a list like
this, but i admit i probably shouldnt have that expectation.

and since you asked, the main reason i started this list is to get away
from the repetitive lowlevel crap of the Negativland list, Snuggles. I
wanted there to be a place where a certain level of background
information and common point of view could be assumed, so that more
in-depth conversation could be had, and where the focus could be on
concepts and ideas and artistic practice, rather than fannish trivia and
the same old questions ("on track 9 of 'Escape from Noise' i think they're
using samples! right? hey, anyone heard of a CD called 'Plexure'?")

like i said, you don't have to agree, you just have to expect that you'll
be argued with if you say something provocative. And I'm sure
GASK did expect it and probably that's why he started all this.
But now i guess i'm glad he did. It's worthwhile to have some foundations
challenged every once in a while.

>What are you so afraid of? I was born under a politic dictatorship (in
>Spain), I have seen many ways to fight censorship, and I know that the
>worst kind of censorship is self-censorship. I don't know if you are
>self-censoring you (Maybe YOU should have some serius thinking about it.
>Sometimes it looks like you are not only self-censoring you but also
>trying to self-censor the rest of us). On my side, I will try to never
>let my fears dictate how my work has to look like.

i feel the same exact way. i'm unsure how you interpreted anything i've
said to be in favor of censoring anyone. ??

perhaps my shock and impatient attempts to understand have been taken as
an attempt to censor. that was not my intention. (On the other hand,
i reserve my prerogative to try to keep the list focused, if neccesary.)

here's a good question: is an intolerance for fools the same as

>> 4. Current copyright law is clearly opposed to this type of cultural
>> work.
>I said it before, it is not so clear. That is just what we have been

hmm. that's debatable, but i'll leave that for someone else. let's hear
from the rest of you!


Steev Hise, Automagickal Adept
recycled art site:
"I'm 30 now, but I don't feel old in the slightest. I still do funny
things with my hair, I still take drugs and fuck."
             - M. G. (full name withheld to protect the guilty)

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