[rumori] re: copying versus artistic recycling

From: Taylor McLaren (toastATprimus.ca)
Date: Sat Dec 30 2000 - 14:55:14 PST

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
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.
  All told, I guess this list's inherent focus on the creation of art can
be a bit of a blinder when it comes to dealing with people who couldn't
care less about making music (or whatever) for a living, and I was trying
to find some way of getting around it for the sake of a more general

>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.
For what it's worth, I don't have the time to properly absorb all of the
music that I *can* afford to buy, and I can't imagine that I'm the only
music nut who faces this problem. My own approach to the use of tools like
Napster (and one that I'm amazed has never been pushed more
enthusiastically by its supporters) is that it's handy to have around if
you're considering buying something but don't want to shell out for a
turkey sound-unheard; I'll download a track or two, and if I like them,
I'll buy the album somewhere. If I don't like them, they aren't worth
keeping around, so Lars Ulrich doesn't have to worry that I'm ripping
anybody off. I hope this doesn't make me a bad guy.


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