[rumori] copying versus artistic recycling

From: Steev Hise (steevATdetritus.net)
Date: Sat Dec 30 2000 - 07:55:28 PST

Fri, 29 Dec 2000 found Taylor McLaren writing:

>they're separate *activities* with (usually) different aims, but the
>participants have to decide how much of either activity is fair/reasonable
>*and* sufficient for their purposes; unless you're saying that the
>practices are distinct because the percentages of a complete work or the
>number of seconds being copied from A to B aren't the same (and I'm not
>suggesting that you are), then I think that there is a process of moral
>evaluation that is common to both of them, and I was reacting to your
>"separate phenomena with distinct moralities" comment.)

I think the two practices are distinct because in one you're
creating new artwork that bears the mark of the new creator.
That should be the test. In the other, you're simply making
an exact copy, with the intent simply to consume the work,
or enable its further consumption. One produces, the other
consumes. Of course consumption itself contains resistance,
blah blah, yeah, but the key distinction is, you're adding
something to the old culture in order to create a new piece
of culture.

As for moral evaluation, I don't think there's the same
evaluation going on for both processes, at least for those
who believe in the distinction I make above. Dubbing CDs,
Napster use, or making mix tapes is usually justified by
financial concerns. No one can afford all the music they
might want to hear. But artistic appropriation is governed
by aesthetic concerns. It is justified by the fact that the
appropriator is making new art and the new art needs the
source material in order to make the point it is making.

Of course this only applies to a subset of appropriators,
especially in music. Counter example: Lots of sampler-users
in the pop music realm use drum loops because they can't
afford to hire a drummer. So then we're back to financial
justification. Maybe that's the kind of case you were
thinking of, and I'd agree that that's a lot more similiar
to dubbing/mixtapes, etc.


Steev Hise, Would-be World-Wide Web Wizard (WWWWW)
steevATdetritus.net http://detritus.net/steev
"Why would you want to understand that? I just ignore it."
                   -15 yr. old girl noticing me reading
                        McLuhan's "Understanding Media"

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