[rumori] Re: [plunderphonia] 6996 unFairness (was unrareness)

From: Steev Hise (steevATdetritus.net)
Date: Tue Aug 28 2001 - 21:20:17 PDT

Tue, 28 Aug 2001 found pl1xATearthlink.net writing:

>quick leap by assuming that since this was a work of
>plundering that the general opinion was that it was a
>great accomplishment (and proof of fair use) that maybe
>it (and similar pieces) would be beyond the long arm of
>the law.

Beyond the fact that lawyers and accountants generally just
don't care about "good" art, the most interesting point to
be made here, and one that i've been thinking long and hard
on recently after reading the 6996 booklet and other Oswald
writings and interviews, is that there's a very good chance,
to my mind, that most of his "Plunderphonic" pieces would
NOT really fall strictly under Fair Use. The idea of Fair
Use is not "if it's really really good Art, then it's
excused." Fair use requires parody or commentary. But Oswald
himself declares repeatedly that most of the time he is not
attacking or making fun of the original works.

the Plunderphonic pieces are "improvements" (as Oswald often
mentions), as well as tributes, works of respect, and often
formal experiments in sound or music theory, but rarely are
they parody. A couple exceptions stand out - "Pretender",
with its oft-discussed transgender subtext; "Brown", a sort
of meta-commentary on sampling. It's hard to say, because
with a good enough lawyer and a few art school professors
you could probably make a case for all of them being some
kind of clever purposeful biting critique (and i've
definitely been inspired over the biting critique that i
used to think was there!). Or maybe not (One could attempt
to make a case that the early works of Led Zeppelin are a
parody of Willie Dixon. In fact something like this probably
was attempted and failed, when Dixon sued Zeppelin way back
when). It certainly wouldn't be as easy as with
Negativland's "U2" (whose very pointed silliness virtually
guarantees that no one would doubt that fun is being made
if it ever went to a courtroom.)

Which is not to say that I think Oswald's work deserves
persecution or will get it. I'm just bringing up the idea
that the holy grail of Fair Use that everyone has been
holding up ever since the book of the same name was
published is not the magic wand that we might like it to be.
Lots and lots of work that we all enjoy producing and
hearing/seeing SHOULD be produced and listened to and
seen, but technically, even under the fair use doctrine,
may not be protected from the wrath of intellectual property

>which of the big 4 (might as well mention the other
>three at the same time...yes i'm that unaware) was pfony
>originally working for to create all the art and stuff
>for 6996, have they said anything? Peter A Lopez

i can't get my brain to parse this sentence. whatever could
it mean?



Steev Hise, WebSlinger
steevATdetritus.net http://detritus.net/steev
*Recycled Culture: detritus.net
*Record Store: southtothefuture.com
*Progressive radio sketches: radioluchalibre.com
*Watching power flow: capitalletters.detritus.net
*Democratic sound collage generator: soundbakery.detritus.net
                     *** sig almost over ***
If you're not part of the problem, you're part of the solution.

Rumori, the Detritus.net Discussion List
to unsubscribe, send mail to majordomoATdetritus.net
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© Detritus.net. Sharerights extended to all.