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

From: Steev Hise (steevATdetritus.net)
Date: Wed Aug 29 2001 - 09:25:28 PDT

Wed, 29 Aug 2001 found pl1xATearthlink.net writing:

>It was mentioned previously that there were 4 Big record companies/labels.
>And that pfony/oswald was working with one of these organization originally
>to help release 6996, before it was hijacked by Seeland. With the help of
>this Big 4 company pfony/oswald had produced the artwork, sequenced the
>music etc. Has this Big 4 company said anything about the results produced
>by Seeland?

i don't remember that mention, specifically. I know the
story was that he was trying to clear all the samples. This
would neccesarily have to involve most of the major labels,
if not all. Everyone is on there. And all the images in
the packaging i'm sure are owned by more than just 1 of the

But i'll say again, this was a hoax anyway. obviously this
story was spun to throw any particularly eager lawyers off
the scent, at least temporarily. Didn't anyone notice the
back inside cover, with the burning "Licensing" page? If
that's not enough of a clue I guess nothing is.

oh and to answer Wobbly's comment - no, not at all, I'm not
out to "demolish" anyone. I'm unpacking myths, that's all.
Furthermore, I'm not outraged at Oswald or "pFony" or
Seeland. I think the whole project was a very clever
action. However I am suprised and baffled that more people
on this list have not seen through it or at least have not
discussed it.

Perhaps the fact that Oswald himself is on his own fan list
has actually qwelled frank discussion of his work? If so,
that's a shame. But he chose to subscribe. We should not
pull our punches out of politeness.

Anyway, I must say, as archives of this list should show
(are there any?), I WAS outraged when the early rumors and
then announcement went out that clearances WERE being
sought. I thought that was a horrible idea, even if it was
possible to actually execute (which I doubted). If true, it
was a tremendous compromise of ideals (no, i won't use the
word "sellout"). So I was actually quite pleased to find
out that that was all an elaborate prank.

Now, everyone please start laughing. You never laughed at
the joke. c'mon. ha ha! ha!

>>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.

>Isn't the "act of editing" an act of commentary on a piece of work. So the
>significance of the work (boiling down pop tunes into 1 second fragments in
>Plexure's case) is how the edits interact with each other to produce some
>sort of dialog on the previous and newly editted piece? I guess the
>parody/"making fun of" is the easiest way to ligitamize something.

Well as Condoleeza Rice, once Provost at Stanford, now
Bush's National Security Advisor, once wrote, "The concept
of fair use is necessarily somewhat vague when discussed in
the abstract."

Julia Kristeva and other intertextuality scholars would say
that any text is a commentary on many many others, and that
re-editing a text automatically is a re-commenting.
["text" is meant here in the sense of post-modern theory in
which any cultural artifact (a song, a movie) - or in fact
anything (history, a natural disaster), but that is beyond
the scope of this topic - can be considered a text. ]

Again, with enough theory from the art or literary world,
you can prove anything, but these proofs aren't neccesarily
going to hold water in a court of law. Of course this has
always been the problem - this is a war between
law/commerce and culture/art. The 2 don't see eye to eye.

The only truly relevant, positive rulling about Fair Use
that I know of in court is the 2 Live Crew case. The ruling
is still pretty hazy, even if it clarifies things a lot more
than they were. The definition of "parody" and
"transformative" are left pretty vague.

Actually, as a re-read more of the ruling, the successful
defense of Plunderphonics does seem a bit more likely; but I
still think it wouldn't be an open-and-shut case. Get an
ultra-conservative judge and it might be a pretty hard sell.

My main concern in all of this is that of intent; Oswald
hasn't ever made it a secret what his motivations are, but
it's become more and more clear recently that with his
plunderphonic (and perhaps all?) work he's not interested in
social commentary. Plunderphonics is more about "the piece
establishing its acoustic individuality than it is about my
extramusical concerns," he says on p. 43 of the 6996
booklet. Plunderphonics is predominantly just Music about
Music. As such it may still be "fair use", but not,
perhaps, quite as "fair" as other works.



Steev Hise, Infoserf
steevATdetritus.net http://detritus.net/steev
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