Re: [rumori] RE: pho: "threshold" for copyright??

From: krist (
Date: Sat Mar 03 2001 - 12:31:14 PST


>-> DJ

> ->there is no product outside Britney, no other product paying Britney to be
> ->Britney the product, though she can rent out herself for such purposes. And
> Britney is selling a lifestyle, an image, a worldview. Not
> just herself. She is a myth. In fact, another brand. What
> she makes and the process of making it is no longer
> exclusively about fun and creativity. And yet in a way, I
> agree that it is still art.
> ->you can advertise yourself in your own art forever and still be art. It's
> ->when something outside her "art" is paying the bills and writing the script
> ->that it becomes advertising.
> I think we can go on and on about this, like with all
> debates over "what is art".

> smh

I'm guessing/hoping most of us on this list agree to some degree with Steev's
broader interpretation of what Britney is selling; I know I do. There is simply
no such thing as an advertisment that advertises only itself.

I would actually take Steev's statement a step further, and not only call her a
'brand' but go all the way and state her output is, dependent upon medium,
'product' and/or 'advertising'. Any artistic value of her output is secondary
(if that).

However, I do have a couple of other observations on this subject.

If a musician creates music (art) and then sells permission for a song to be used
commercially, wouldn't their past art become product/advertisement? An
advertisement is not part of a vacuum, and one of the main reasons a corporation
buys permission to use a song in their commercial is that it forever creates a
'link' between the original song/art and advertised brand/product. When people
later hear the song again (on the radio, say), they will likely remember (if only
subconsciously) the brand/product from the advertisment. I don't think I need to
give examples here- just start thinking about hit songs of the past and products
should start coming to mind (if you're having trouble, start thinking 'classic

Or, even more insidious is the branding of the image- any ouput Bill Cosby (a
brand himself) has put out or will ever put out is now inextricably linked with
Jello in my head. He could create a majestic symphony and all I'd hear is the
sound of Jello quivering. So, if he were to make a song would your (don's) fair
use allow him to sample others? Or is his work commerical by brand association?
(Sorry for the strange example, but I had to get away from the Britney thing.)

What may seem to be 'art' is actually 'commercial', due to associations created
elsewhere in the the big cultural mix. There are no clean lines - Song A could
sample a riff from song B, then song B could license itself to a commercial, and
bamm, song A starts making people salivate for beef jerky.

I guess what I'm getting at, don, is that while I do like your basic assertions
about what 'advertising' is, I think it's over simplified. I also agree in
theory - that advertising should not should not benefit from 'fair use'. There
is just no escaping the fact that we live in a consumer culture completely
dominated by advertising - and that makes resolving IP in a viable manner a much
larger battle (as Steev suggested).


Rumori, the Discussion List
to unsubscribe, send mail to
with "unsubscribe rumori" in the message body.
Rumori list archives & other information are at

Home | Detrivores | Rhizome | Archive | Projects | Contact | Help | Text Index

[an error occurred while processing this directive] N© Sharerights extended to all.