[rumori] Re: pho: collage & advertising

From: Don Joyce (djATwebbnet.com)
Date: Sat Mar 03 2001 - 17:29:02 PST

ANYTHING used in an ad becomes part of its "message." We both know they
work hard to make sure this is true. "Alluding" to existing music is both a
psychological ploy and a mood producer for ... THEIR PRODUCT. To be
appropriated by a commercial is to become part of their message, their paid
propaganda. Nothing is "alluded' to in commercials, they don't have enough
time for that, everything in them is there for the purposes of a third
party, The product being advertised and its BRAND IDENTIFICATION. Now your
song is part of someone else's product brand identification. I can't
believe you are insensitive to this effect!

This attachment to an ulterior motive having nothing to do with a song's
original free expression should be a choice that artists are allowed to
make concerning the fate of their own work, but ONLY in the case of
advertising. No fair use in advertising because ADVERTISING IS NOT MORE

Art works in which the artist determines the content, no matter who is
paying them to do it, can trade praises and insults concerning things
outside itself and appropriate anything they want in the process forever as
far as I'm concerned, but ads cannot because THEY control the content and
are in the business (as well as the art) of directing ALL the contents of
their ad toward representing the "image" of - not their AD alone - but
their commercial product outside the ad.

Look, you don't want to record a song all about "buy nothing" day, and find
it next month in a Sprite ad as their latest anti-ad ad do you? They take
YOUR message as an artist exercising free expression against
commodification and put it into involuntary servitude to THEIR quite
different message which is extremely concerned with selling their brand of
soft drink by pretending to subvert themselves seliing this soft drink, and
using YOUR song to display this pretense. Whether or not the viewer
realizes you may not actually endorse this usage just because you're there,
for good or bad, your presence in this commercially motivated endeavor has
been noted.

But the many psychological mutations and permutations advertising will
reach for and attach to the other elements they're using is not only an art
motivated act, it is also an economic motivation trying to separate coins
from their owners in practically ANY way possible. Theirs is art as a tool
in a paid service to a non-art goal outside the art itself. An artwork
serves (and advertises) only itself, no matter what it's selling or what it
sells for. There is nobody behind that curtain behind the artist, and if
there is, their form of pay does not include directing content. (We might
indeed question if Britney is art on this basis! But I don't.)

Therefore, I would use this distinction - whether or not content is being
directed by a third party outside both the art used and the art using it -
to enable free appropriation for artworks of any kind, but not for
advertising of any kind. Advertising must continue on as it must now,
advertising's need for usage clearance representing the only favorable and
sensible application in copyright's present constraints on reuse in new
work, and which I would not seek to change.

Political ads are correctly named. They are ads, not artworks, (again, how
artistic they may be is irrelevant) and they too are in the paid service of
another product outside themselves which controls the content. ALL
advertising should require payment and permission in order to reuse other's
stuff in the service of a third party's message. Yes, Negativland could
stop Rudy's ad agency from using us.
But we might not if we thought we could perhaps double-agent this deal and
give them something secretely altered, which they'ld probably not notice,
to contain some kind of mental time bomb which would end up in Rudy's
campaign as a big tempest in a teapot, and cause our sagging notoriety to
suddenly leap into prominence among BOTH voters and non-voters!...

Art that is done for its own sake may tend to play with advertising as an
OPPONENT, using ad-think's own double-think in some tripled backed way,
from Pop Art on, and that says it all. Just because they both now contain
each other's methods and techniques, does not mean they are using them for
the same reasons, purposes, or effects.

All art makers (including commercials by the way) should be immune from an
unwilling attachment of their messasge to their "opponent's" message. Only
artworks without outside content control should be free to do free
appropriation. Seems like an art-sensible way to do it to me.

>Don Joyce wrote:
>> It's simply this: Advertising needs to get your permission before using you
>> or your work in their ads because they may be selling something you or your
>> work don't agree with or don't agree to be associated with.
>Except that, if the admen *don't* need to get your permission, no one
>will mistake your music's presence for an endorsement. They shouldn't
>have the right to fraudulently claim you've endorsed their product, but
>they ought as much as anyone to be able to allude to you or your work.
>> Again, it's the right to avoid association with the
>> ulterior motive involved in advertising. An individual's use of you or
>> your art in private expression, which is free speech, means they can
>> say any damn thing at all with you or your work. (Or I certainly wish
>> you could!) Free expression can embarrass you in any way it likes, but
>> paid propaganda for profit, a commercially motivated forced association
>> can not.
>What about paid propaganda for politics? If, say, Rudy Giuliani wants to
>use part of a Negativland song in an ad (pretend we're in an alternate
>universe), should you be able to stop him?
>If so, isn't that a clear-cut restriction on his free expression?
>If not, how is it any worse to be shanghaied into endorsing a politician
>than it is to be shanghaied into endorsing a product? Seems to me that
>the former would be much more offensive.
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