From: Erick Gallun (
Date: Mon Jul 31 2000 - 00:13:46 PDT

>Again, I don't mean to dis the project. I'm really glad it's happened,
>it's great when wacky things like this happen. I guess I'm just getting
>older and more jaded, which means I'm getting more and more demanding
>and harder and harder to satisfy.... ;-)

My stance has always been that this is surrealist theater at its finest,
not necessarily political action or a concerted media blitz. The point is
to do it. The results are completely unknown. I can't wait.

Some folks are getting very serious about alerting the media. That's cool.
I am just as happy that it gave me an excuse to discuss copyright laws
with every single one of my friends and family and on every mailing list
and web conference I participate in. That counts as a succesful project
to me.

 I don't care if the record stores get to make money off it...maybe Britney
Spears will sue them for making money off her samples :) Seriously, this
is a problem that needs to get hit from as many angles as possible and
grassroots DADA is a method that appeals to me just as much as serious
media campaigns...because I don't think the world is a rational place, so
craziness is sometimes the thing that is most effective!

Who'd a thunk that Negativland would get sued for the PICTURE on their
album??! That's insane. So is this.

So what's happening? Well, the website is getting tons of hits and
downloads and the media is picking up on it. The LA Times ran this
(slightly inaccurate) piece today...

BETTER TO GIVE: Record store managers are always concerned about people
sneaking out CDs they didn't pay for. What about people sneaking in CDs
they didn't get paid for? That is something a few managers may find
themselves dealing with as a national music and art network has been
planting CDs in major chain stores this weekend. Titled "The Droplift
Project" (meant as a reverse on "shoplift"), the CD is a collection of
audio collages largely made from chopped-up and rearranged samples from
radio, TV and other sources. The person who organized the venture, L.A.
artist Tim Maloney, says it's all legal under fair usage allowances, but
says that the issue of sample clearances and unauthorized use of material
is so hot in the music business right now that no official distributor or
chain store would want to risk a lawsuit by carrying the work. Hence the
creative approach to distribution. "Even though it's perfectly legal, the
cost of proving it with all the music business lawyers is exorbitant,"
Maloney says, noting that CDs will be sold via the Web site, where free MP3 downloads of the entire work will
also be available. "Our expectations of this are that some people may hear
it," he says. "We know we'll never get any money [from droplifted CD
sales]. But the fun part, the prank of the whole thing, the performance art
of it, is putting it in places where they don't expect it to be and
allowing them to say it." Bob Feterl, L.A.-based territorial director for
the Tower Records stores, is amused by the notion and wishes the
perpetrators well. "It might be able to slip by [and be sold in a Tower
store], but not very often," Feterl says, noting that it's actually in the
store's interest to sell them since they didn't cost anything to stock.
"Good luck to them on that. And if it isn't bought, it would be discovered
when inventory comes around, and then we'd bar-code it and enter it into
the system and sell it like regular stock. We wouldn't throw it out."

Copyright 2000 Los Angeles Times

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