"If creativity is a field, copyright is the fence."

                                                            -John Oswald

The Viral Communications Anti-Copyright Policy

We here at VirComm couldn't agree with Mr. Oswald more. Its been said many times before, more eloquently and cleverly than we could ever phrase it, but basically we believe that current copyright laws are unjust, and are choking free expression. Today's copyright laws are far too strict for two reasons:

Contemporary examples and historic precedents abound. From the turn of the century we have seen artists using appropriation as a vital tool of creative expression, from visual artists like Max Ernst and Marcel Duchamp to composers like Ives, Stravinsky, and Cage. Recent events have brought the issue into clear focus: the Negativland/U2 fiasco, the destruction of Oswald's Plunderphonic, and a huge variety of artists rising up to recycle culture- ranging from Two Live Crew to the Tape-beatles.

Make no mistake, this stance is not about taking "the easy way out," profitting from others' work, or fooling the public. It is about nothing but free expression. The right to create new works from the cultural detritus that floats around us in an ever-thickening electronic media cloud. The right to use this raw media runoff as both content and context for artistic commentary.

As mentioned above, its been said before. Here's a brief bibliography of other sources concerning anti-copyright:

So, what does all this mean in a practical sense for VirComm? It means we're going to sample your stuff, and you can sample our stuff, as long we both do one thing: create somthing new from the materials we plunder. VirComm is not advocating wholesale bootlegging or complete ripoffs of other artists' hard labors. We simply claim the right to mix stuff up, churn it around, and come up with a work of art that truly bears the mark of our artistry, rather than that of those we plundered. We'd also love to be credited whenever you steal from us, and we'll certainly try to do the same.

If you have questions or comments please contact us. We'd love to hear about any websites, books, bands, artists or anything else dealing with copyright and artistic appropriation.

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