[rumori] [plunderphonia] what do you think about this? [james newton vs beastie boys] (fwd)

From: Steev Hise (steevATdetritus.net)
Date: Mon Jul 01 2002 - 11:00:53 PDT

indeed, what do y'all think? this is interesting.

---------- Forwarded message ----------
Date: Mon, 01 Jul 2002 14:44:18 -0000
From: lutherblissett71 <lutherblissett71ATyahoo.it>
Reply-To: plunderphoniaATyahoogroups.com
To: plunderphoniaATyahoogroups.com
Subject: [plunderphonia] what do you think about this? [james newton vs
    beastie boys]


Jazz Composer James Newton Appeals Beastie Boys Sample Ruling

June 10, 2002

Two years after filing suit, the U.S. District Court, Central
District of California denied jazz flutist James Newton's digital
sampling claim against Beastie Boys on May 21, 2002. In this closely
watched case, Beastie Boys admitted digitally sampling the "best bit"
from Newton's acclaimed multiphonic composition Choir in their hit
recording Pass the Mic. Although Beastie Boys licensed the Choir
sound recording from ECM and credited Newton, Choir and Choir's
registration with ASCAP in liner notes, they did not ask Newton for
permission to use his song. The District Court denied Newton's claim
for copyright infringement, ruling the six-second digital sample was
"unoriginal as a matter of law." Newton has appealed this ruling to
the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals.

James Newton filed suit in May 2000, alleging the Beastie Boys
unlawfully sampled his multiphonic flute composition Choir from his
1982 ECM album "Axum." In his lawsuit, Mr. Newton claims Beastie
Boys looped this six-second sample over 40 times throughout Pass the
Mic. Beastie Boys have continued to use the Choir sample in live
performances, new remix recordings, videos and DVDs, including their
recent Criterion Collection DVD anthology.

According to Newton's attorney Alan Korn, "This decision sets a
dangerous precedent for all composers and music publishers, because
it is the first time a court has ruled it is only necessary to
license a sound recording, and not the underlying composition, when
using a digital sample. By ignoring the sound of a musical work when
analyzing its originality, the court also appears to have created a
new standard that is less protective of non-notated 20th Century
musical forms, including jazz, electronic, avant-garde and ethnic

In response to the court's ruling, James Newton stated: "This
decision is extremely troubling. It ignores my twenty-three years of
international recognition, and my freedom of cultural expression by
insisting that my work fit within a European paradigm to be
protected. Beastie Boys have stolen my musical expression and now
vindictively seek to punish me financially for trying to protect a
work that celebrates God's place in the African-American struggle for
freedom in this country."

James Newton, a Guggenheim Fellow, has been the consecutive winner of
Downbeat Magazine's International Critics for Best Jazz Flutist for
two decades. His innovative work has been extensively documented in
publications like Gary Giddins' Rhythm-a-ning: Jazz Tradition and
Innovation in the '80s, the Penguin Guide to Jazz on CD and Jazz: The
Rough Guide. In addition to touring and composing, James Newton is
Senior Professor of Music at California State University, Los
Angeles, Director of Music Programming and Research of Luckman Fine
Arts Complex and Artistic Director and Conductor of the Luckman Jazz
Orchestra in Los Angeles.

For more information, contact Alan Korn (aakornATigc.org) at
415.397-0995, or Joe Mathis (Joe.MathisATtrw.com) at 310.814.2228.

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