Re: [rumori] re: copying versus artistic recycling

From: matt davignon (
Date: Sat Dec 30 2000 - 17:03:29 PST

While I'm not against the act of making tape compilations of songs for
friends, I don't think that would make a good tenet for the recycled culture
platform. First of all, a song is a completed work, more often than not. An
album is a collection of completed works, and one may argue, a completed
work in itself. Also, the amount of effort and artistic intent it takes to
arrange 10 songs in a tape is pretty minimal compared to the amount of
effort and artistic intent it takes to actually make the song. A tape of
songs put together just because you don't want to pay for them is quite
different in terms of "artistic value" from a piece of music that contains
recycled bits of music where the end result is a completely different

I think taped compilations traded on a personal level are great. If they're
of mainstream music, they counteract against the trend of major pop acts
making an album full of "filler" so that they can charge a full CD price for
only 1 or 2 "singles". (If anyone doubts that the majors do this, they need
to only look at who produces the songs on any top 40 album. The "singles"
from the album are usually produced by expensive, talented people, where the
filler tracks are produced by people who charge less for their work.) For
smaller, independant musicians, it's really helpful as a "word-of-mouth"
advertising form, as long as you don't go copying the entire album.

But to ask people to re-evaluate copyright for the aspect of copying entire
songs "because we don't want to pay for them" would be shooting our cause in
the foot. It would be similar to trying to legalize the act of stealing
Cable TV, on the argument that people will only watch one stolen show at a
time, and thus won't be stealing a "completed product".

If you're copying entire tracks for compilation albums -- yes, you're
stealing. You're probably doing it on a small enough scale that you're not
really hurting anybody, and (on a small scale) there really isn't that much
of a stigmata behind that type of stealing.


>From: Taylor McLaren <>
>MEEP! Steev done wrote:
> >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.

Then Taylor wrote:
>Both, however, can contribute to a more widespread consideration of the
>eventual uses of copying by people (like my sister) who have never thought
>about it as being anything more than a way of getting something that you
>want for free... which I think of as being a useful way of getting people
>to consider IP issues and ethics without having to resort to the
>condescending "Hey, you know that Puff Daddy guy...?" route.
> I'm not trying to argue that copying and sampling are exactly the same
>thing, but rather that there are *similar* ethical considerations being
>made by people who do either for reasons other than simply to avoid paying
>for things. And it's this notion that "taking stuff that isn't yours"
>doesn't always have to be solely based on greed or laziness that I think
>can be spread if people are made more aware of the ethical considerations
>being made in both cases... which, in turn, came out of the earlier call
>for suggestions on ways of dredging up public support against CPRM; I
>propose that doing so can at least *start* with getting people to think
>about the *many* acceptable reasons that they might have for wanting to
>copy things.

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