Who Says Remixing Isn't Creative Or New?

from the or-copyright-infringement... dept

There's been a bunch of buzz this week about a new "album" created by an Israeli musician, Kutiman, who took videos on YouTube of people playing different instruments, and mixed them together to create a series of songs (tragically, it looks like all the attention has brought down the site right now). The end result is incredible. The music is really good, even if it's based off of a mix of high and low quality clips that no one ever would have put together otherwise. Whenever we talk about the power of "mashups" or "remixed" content, there's always someone who complains that it doesn't count, and it's not really creative or new because the remixer "didn't create anything." However, I don't see how anyone can listen to the songs created here and say that Kutiman didn't create something new and amazing. But, of course, as reader Johnjac notes, in theory, those whose videos were used on this album certainly could claim copyright infringement (in the credits, you can see all the "original" videos), and perhaps they might. But it's difficult to take seriously any copyright law that says that creating music in this manner is illegal.


Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  1.  
    identicon
    Weird Harold, Mar 5th, 2009 @ 6:16am

    What music was created? none.

    Was something created? Certainly. But in the end, he created a collection of already existing music performed by others. Those people performing that music, and the people who wrote that music originally and have ownership of it have a right to say how it is used.

    What would happen if the clips were longer? What would happen if he just collected all the clips together at their full length and sold them (or used them for commercial advantage, which is the same thing in the end)? The length of the clip used doesn't suddenly grant additional rights to the user that were not there before.

    Please go back and look at 25 years of rap and techno music using sampling, the courts have pretty much always come down on the side of the rights holder.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  2.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Mar 5th, 2009 @ 6:21am

    Here's a new and insightful idea Harold, STFU!! If you don't want to hear it, then don't. Go to another site and leave us to our discusions, but your "insights" and comments have become tedious and boring.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  3.  
    identicon
    mobiGeek, Mar 5th, 2009 @ 6:38am

    Re:

    The same could be said of anyone who uses musical notes found on a piano. Nothing was "created". All those notes already existed.

    Some artists create music using garbage cans, nature sounds, street sounds, tupperware...heck, even COMPUTERS. This artist is using YouTube clips; clip-art if you will.

    You deny there is any art or anything created in Steve Reich's It's Gonna Rain? Rap? 80's synth pop?

    (Don't get me wrong...I'm not asking if you like these artforms, but do you deny that they are, in fact, art?).

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  4.  
    identicon
    TasMot, Mar 5th, 2009 @ 6:44am

    Re:

    Harold, you mean somebody stole the stars and stripes and the colors red white and blue to make the flag? Do everybody need to give credit to the makers of the plastic for the CD. Be real, mashups are taking a new "raw" material and creating something new out of it.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  5.  
    identicon
    JMG, Mar 5th, 2009 @ 6:48am

    Something was created

    I think that the mistake made here is that "since it all existed before, nothing new was created", but I just don't believe it. Take Andy Warhol's work. He took existing photos, and just re-worked them a bit, but it was widely seen as new and creative. Same thing here. One my music teaches once said that taking existing artistic bits (or being directly inspired by existing art) to make a new creative piece is one of the highest forms of art out there, and I agree. Further, this stuff is freely available to essentially everyone, so why can't he make a "collage" of music?

    I'm not sure if this analogy holds, but it's like a baker who takes flour, eggs, sugar and chocolate and makes cookies out of them. It's something new out of the old. Should the flour mill get part of the sales of the cookies? What about the cocoa refinery? No, they shouldn't. The baker took these items, and created something new out of them. Why shouldn't this be promoted, so that society can have something more useful (cookies) than the individual parts (flour, eggs, chocolate, sugar).

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  6.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Mar 5th, 2009 @ 7:03am

    Uh....

    TasMot: It's not about credit at all, it's about money, it's always about money. The people who made the original music may want to be paid for their physical creative efforts. The makers of the plastic for the CD *are* being paid for their physical efforts, so they don't care about credit at all.

    Making music this way is art, but discounting the original creators of the "raw" material, as TasMot put it so well, is stupid. One may compare this to remixing a piece of hardware, that is you don't have to ask anyones rights before turning your car into an art car or something. But that's idiotic, you already paid for the car and thus the rights to do with it whatever you want. You could also just stand in the store and look at the car and be inspired that way, for free. YouTube videos are the equivalent. People have allowed you to stand in the store and look at it for free, but if you want to do whatever you want with it you have to buy it.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  7.  
    identicon
    Weird Harold, Mar 5th, 2009 @ 7:08am

    There is a difference between raw materials and a finished product. A single note on a piano is raw materials. A combinations of noted played is a product. A single molecule of paint is nothing more than that, but enough of them together in a certain way is art, a finished product.

    Would you think it fair for someone to open a restaurant and offer the chicken using the KFC recipe plus McDonalds fries and Starbucks coffee together as fair because nobody else sells this particular combination? Would it be fair for someone to collect short stories they like from different authors, and put them in a book and sell it, without paying the authors or asking their permission?

    Don't confuse the raw materials (like in a book, the individual letters are nothing, their combination is a product) with finished products. Taking finished products and combining them doesn't suddenly negate that they are in fact products in their own right.

    As for Warhol's soup cans, consider this:

    "It was only after Warhol's death, when the Andy Warhol Foundation began making licensing agreements with various manufacturers to use Warhol's imagery on products, that there was an official legal agreement between the Andy Warhol Foundation and Campbell Soup Company. Presently, both parties own a stake in the copyright and neither party can make licensing agreements without the other party's permission."

    Basically, as art (and only as art) the issue wasn't ever settled. It is clear that Campbells retains their rights and controls how their image is used.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  8.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Mar 5th, 2009 @ 7:21am

    Its all from YouTube. As far as i'm concerned, if you put it on there, its akin to putting it in the public domain. He did more than sampling. A new song emerged from what he did that didn't exist before.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  9.  
    identicon
    David T, Mar 5th, 2009 @ 7:25am

    Re:

    @Harold

    There are very few new things under the sun, Harold. Taking something that exists and making something new from it is the basis of human advancement.

    Copyright is a mechanism to hamper the evolution of an art form. It's about greed, nothing more.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  10.  
    identicon
    Douglas Gresham, Mar 5th, 2009 @ 7:47am

    Re:

    I love the completely arbitrary nature of your definition of "raw material". How many musical notes counts as "raw material"? It has to be more than one; there's only so many combinations of two you can have before you then can't have any more music ever. Is it one octave, one melody, one whole song?

    How about you name a number of notes where the transition from "raw material" to "product" happens, I'll whip up a system to create every possible combination (permutation generation isn't hard), and together we can own all music ever and RULE THE WORLD!

    Sadly, that's a pretty close approximation of how musical copyright is working currently.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  11.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Mar 5th, 2009 @ 7:53am

    First off "Here's a new and insightful idea Harold, STFU!! If you don't want to hear it, then don't. Go to another site and leave us to our discusions, but your "insights" and comments have become tedious and boring." is brazenly hypocritical. Harold's comments although not generally in line with those comments by others in the readership of this site are opinions, and he has every right to participate in this discussion by stating his point. It's not a real discussion if there is a circle of people telling each other they are right.

    Secondly, I think Harold has good points, that deserve to be pondered, and some points that deserve to be argued.

    My opinion, is that mashups of this sort really require a human opinion to distinguish something that truly builds upon what was there from something that simply tries to profit off the creation of others. If the clips were longer, and sections were entirely one older piece, or if ...etcetera. Similar to the famous comment along the lines of I dont know what pornography is, but I know it when I see it. If somebody is creating something of greater value by taking formerly existing works and modifying them, people, instead of suing, should be trying to collaborate with the person to try and create something far greater through interactive creation. Artists do not often mix all their own music, similar to a conductor of an orchestra or a composer of a large piece of music, none of the individual parts make the whole, somebody brings it together to something greater. In the case of most musicians these laborers are sound technicians, along with producers and other people behind the scenes, and they get paid, but disproportionately less than the artists themselves who may be unable to create such value without the aid of the skilled people who are aiding them.

    Ive enjoyed techdirt for some time now, but as with other open forums for discussion it has recently moved to the crowded squabbling between people unwilling to resolve their conflicts, come to middle ground, or listen and think without firing back unneeded and unhelpful commentary of no benefit.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  12.  
    identicon
    JMG, Mar 5th, 2009 @ 7:58am

    Re:

    There is a difference between raw materials and a finished product. A single note on a piano is raw materials. A combinations of noted played is a product. A single molecule of paint is nothing more than that, but enough of them together in a certain way is art, a finished product.

    What about a chord progression? Or a scale? These are collections of single notes, but are they a finished product? Or in the case of paint, what about particular colour schemes? If I place a certain tint of one colour with another, is that a finished product? Or is it sill a raw material? Is it ok for me to use a chord progression that another individual came up with without giving her credit? Even if I wrote a death metal song and she wrote a bluegrass piece that sounded nothing alike *except* for the chord progression?

    Don't confuse the raw materials (like in a book, the individual letters are nothing, their combination is a product) with finished products. Taking finished products and combining them doesn't suddenly negate that they are in fact products in their own right.

    I am not, and I agree with you this point. However, if I am able to make something more useful out of raw goods - a finished good - I don't think I should be punished for doing so. I also don't think I should have to ask permission or give a share of my profits to the raw good producers. They had a product, I paid for it (note: I may have paid zero cost for it), and now I can do with it whatever I want. Or at least, that's how I think it should be. This doesn't seem to be a problem when it comes to making paper out of wood pulp or complete restaurant meals out of vegetables and meat. Why is it such a big deal with creative goods? If you wrote a story or a piece of music, and I can get a copy of it for some price, then why can't I take my copy of it and make more creative goods from it? As long as I'm not plagiarizing(or taking wrongful credit), I don't see the rational.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  13.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Mar 5th, 2009 @ 8:01am

    I stand corrected, Harold does in fact have a right to express his opinion. However, I also have a right to express mine and that is that the continuous outflow of negative comments from him is tedious and boring. I have seldom seen him do anything other than criticize, and have seen few useful suggestions or valid points of discussions.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  14.  
    identicon
    Weird Harold, Mar 5th, 2009 @ 8:02am

    The point isn't to punish someone making a mashup or a video montage, but rather to have the respect the original artists and seek permission / the right to use the original finished products. In as much as you are asking us to respect the "artist" who made the montage, should there not be respect for the original artist and their rights?

    It isn't all one sided.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  15.  
    identicon
    Thom, Mar 5th, 2009 @ 8:06am

    Which is why...

    Mike says it's difficult to take seriously any copyright law that says that creating music in this manner is illegal.

    Those videos don't belong to the people that created them. They belong to mankind, to humanity. Copyright recognizes that knowledge and ideas and creations are too valuable to be owned by anyone. It recognizes that an integral part of humanity, and nature itself, is that the new is built from and upon the old. Copyright's intent was to grant creators control for a very limited time so that they had a chance to profit from their ideas and could thereby afford to continue creating, to continue contributing material, to fuel the continued growth of humanity.

    Copyright has since been subverted and turned largely into a profit making device for a select few that does more and more to discourage people from creating or contributing to the greater good. You can argue the letter of the bought and paid for changes to copyright all you want, but it doesn't alter the fact that the many stories Mike covers illustrate violations of the intent of copyright.

    Copyright law has a lot in common with red-light traffic cams. The latter were put in to improve life by making the intersections safer by ticketing light runners. Then, when cities saw the revenue the cams brought, they expanded their use. Ever so greedy the cities started lowering the yellow light times to force more violations. Now many cities have yellow lights that are below safe limits, some below legal limits, and safety levels at those covered intersections is at all time lows. The cams still do their stated job, to catch red light runners, but they no longer achieve their original goal of making the intersections safer.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  16.  
    icon
    Crosbie Fitch (profile), Mar 5th, 2009 @ 8:08am

    Art Outlaws Without Lawful Reward

    Mike Masnick introduces us to a great new work, the like of which I have not seen since the Grey Album.

    Let us wonder why this musician ‘Kutiman’ may not have either prepared his derivative art or even obtained our reward without seeking the permission of all those whose work he sampled.

    Even if each of his sampled videos was CC-NC licensed, this mixing artist may not receive a single one of our pennies without theoretically becoming liable to copyright litigation – unless they painstakingly obtain permission from each and every copyright holder.

    Why should such permission be required?

    Why must this artist’s liberty be so suspended? Why may we not even reward them for their excellent intellectual work? Kultiman has provided attribution and links to each of the constituent works, so it is not as if we’re discouraged in also discovering and rewarding the underlying artists.

    If such art can only be created and rewarded outside the law, then we must look to outlaws for such art, and reward them as outlaws.

    Copyright is an unethical constraint on society’s cultural liberty and those societies who choose to remain bound by it choose cultural stagnation and obscurity.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  17.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Mar 5th, 2009 @ 8:14am

    Re: Art Outlaws Without Lawful Reward

    I don't think I have ever heard it put so eloquently. Well said.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  18.  
    identicon
    mobiGeek, Mar 5th, 2009 @ 8:19am

    Re: Re:

    I do not completely agree that copyright is "about greed, nothing more".

    There are people/artists who honestly believe that copyright is the only way that an artist can avoid having their works stolen from them.

    Historically, there was always the fear that a publishing house could simply take the works of an author, rebrand it and sell it. There was a very good chance that the original author wouldn't find out about this.

    However, in today's world it would be very difficult for someone to take credit for work they didn't do. The internet and global travel makes such plagiarisms nearly impossible.

    The problem we are seeing with copyright is that of tradition. That is, artists traditionally believed that copyright was there to protect them, so they need copyright. Any attempts to modify copyright was seen as an attack. Tradition does not take to change very well, especially entire paradigm shifts. So the tradition of copyright has huge friction in the age of the internet.

    It just so happens that the "greed" side of copyright (which always exists) is extremely evident in light of this friction. But I do not believe at all that greed is the main reason that artists cling to copyright. It is because of tradition.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  19.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Mar 5th, 2009 @ 8:20am

    Re: Something was created

    @JMG,

    I don't think that those songs ARE raw goods. They are finished goods. This artist is taking finished good and using them as raw. To explore your analogy, it would be like taking free samples of different peoples' cakes, thoughtfully arranging them on a nice platter perhaps with a doily, and selling it.

    This is a complicated matter of opinion as to whether this creating something new and of artistic value. My opinion, as a musician and avid listener of much music that uses samples, is that it is not.

    By the way, what Warhol did was completely different. He took images of popular culture and painted them as original compositions. He elevated popular culture into the fine art world. He didn't just use other peoples' images and make collages out of them or reprint them.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  20.  
    identicon
    hexjones, Mar 5th, 2009 @ 8:20am

    Re: Something was created

    @JMG,

    I don't think that those songs ARE raw goods. They are finished goods. This artist is taking finished good and using them as raw. To explore your analogy, it would be like taking free samples of different peoples' cakes, thoughtfully arranging them on a nice platter perhaps with a doily, and selling it.

    This is a complicated matter of opinion as to whether this creating something new and of artistic value. My opinion, as a musician and avid listener of much music that uses samples, is that it is not.

    By the way, what Warhol did was completely different. He took images of popular culture and painted them as original compositions. He elevated popular culture into the fine art world. He didn't just use other peoples' images and make collages out of them or reprint them.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  21.  
    identicon
    mobiGeek, Mar 5th, 2009 @ 8:25am

    Re:

    Do I need to credit the metro system for the bus horns and subway sounds I use in my music? What about the people who were on the subway, who's weights and positions likely altered the way the wheels rolled on the tracks?

    Do I need to credit the lady who's 1/4 bicycle tire is on the cover of my album? The bike manufacturer? The tire manufacturer?

    This is just silly, isn't it?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  22.  
    identicon
    Azrael, Mar 5th, 2009 @ 8:43am

    No, they aren't art

    Art is the universe distilled at it's essence. This crap is nothing more than a cheap copy.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  23.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Mar 5th, 2009 @ 8:46am

    Just a note, this mix up is also working as free promotion for the artists involved. I already looked up several of them to hear what they sounded like by themselves. They all sound better with Kutiman's music behind them.

    When you put something up on Youtube you're just one clip out of millions, screaming amidst the screams. Anything that can give you a boost up, can be a good thing.

    It's the same idea as free music - your youtube clip is infinite, you can use it to make the scarcity that is you more valuable.

    But then again most people probably don't put this stuff on youtube intending to make money. I'm sure a lot of people do it just for the sheer joy of sharing and showing off. And if some of them do it because they want to be discovered, well this could only help.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  24.  
    identicon
    Weird Harold, Mar 5th, 2009 @ 8:59am

    Re:

    The funny part is that unless we respect artists rights (the original artists, not the guy who hacked them together), the only think that will be left in the music business will be lower quality products from people willing to work for only the joy of it. All this of course while flipping burgers at McDonalds.

    Yes, musicians make music for the love of music. However, if they are unable to make a living making music, they have to spend much of what would have been creative time instead punching a clock for the man so they can afford to live. We don't see it so clearly right now mostly because we are still in transition. Without a proper music industry to reward artists and allow them to work on making new original music, the music will go away.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  25.  
    identicon
    David T, Mar 5th, 2009 @ 9:05am

    Re: Re: Re:

    @mobiGeek

    I disagree. I feel the sole purpose of copyright is to lock the any derived value of a piece of art to the holder at the expense of the greater culture/society.

    An example is the Harry Potter franchise. The community surrounding Harry Potter is astonishing. I read the "leaked" fake releases of a couple of the books. I think the mashup of online lore for the HP world would be awesome. But none of it is possible because the rights holders block it.

    All of the unauthorized activity enhances the HP community and enriches society as a whole. But it's not possible to do legally because of control embodied in copyright. And don't tell me that JKR would be cheated in the process. Her books are the best, she is the authority, her vision has momentum. She can capatilize on that if she is cleaver.

    But the story has taken it's own life and is greater than JKR is. Culture should decide where the idea goes, not a single author. Copyright is about preventing culture from deriving value from an art form unless that value belongs to the copyright holder. That's why I think copyright is all about greed.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  26.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Mar 5th, 2009 @ 9:19am

    "Who Says Remixing Isn't Creative Or New"
    It is creative, but remixing certainly isn't new.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  27.  
    identicon
    mobiGeek, Mar 5th, 2009 @ 9:22am

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    One example does not negate my view, especially since my view does allow for the exception of 'greed'.

    The overwhelming majority of copyrighted materials do not make vasts sums of money. The majority of writers/musician/actors/etc. are not millionaires. But I would bet that the majority of those artists are quite opposed to changes (or the elimination of) copyright. They have been brought up to believe that copyright is *their* right.

    I do agree with your example of JKR, but I don't buy that it is completely about greed. I suspect strongly that JKR herself believes that she "owns" the HP storyline and wants complete "artistic control". But then there is also the business angle, and I'm sure that JKR and her business handlers are insisting on completely control fo the financial direction of the franchise.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  28.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Mar 5th, 2009 @ 9:24am

    Re:

    "What would happen if the clips were longer?"

    We should build a huge computer to figure out the answer. We shall call it, Deep Thought DA DA DAAAA

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  29.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Mar 5th, 2009 @ 9:25am

    Re:

    No sarcasm....... This was insightful. I also think Harold should STFU.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  30.  
    identicon
    Douglas Gresham, Mar 5th, 2009 @ 9:36am

    Re: Re:

    I don't imagine you'd care to either provide evidence for the claim that without copyright musicians can't make money, or to address the Trent Reznors of the world doing precisely that, or the fact that in the face of declining sales of plastic discs and rampant piracy the music business as a whole - and don't only count the recording industry in that, please - is making more money than ever?

    Do you have a blog or some such? Your writing - particularly the use of "the man" as an idea when you've so wholly bought into the recording industry's rubbish - is so laced with delicious stupid I'd enjoy a regular dose :)

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  31.  
    identicon
    Fuzzy Muffins, Mar 5th, 2009 @ 9:38am

    ultimate question:

    the ultimate question is:

    is Kutiman selling this music?

    if NO, then there are no violations at all. the music is free, he is not profiting from the sale of them, therefore how can anyone possible sue from a creation that is no intended for profit?

    that is why major artists are sued over copywriter issues, not plethora of music hobbyists who just do mashups for fun.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  32.  
    identicon
    mobiGeek, Mar 5th, 2009 @ 9:47am

    Re: Re:

    The majority of musicians make a living from the work of performing music, not record music at a loss and hope that the government will force people to buy no-cost items after the fact.

    Software developers make money creating software too. However the majority of software in the world is made on a time-and-materials (or fixed cost) basis...that is: the developers are paid to create, not look to get paid after the work is done.

    Why, oh why, do people insist on supporting antiquated approaches to business?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  33.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Mar 5th, 2009 @ 9:50am

    Nothing is original

    "Was something created? Certainly. But in the end, he created a collection of already existing music performed by others"

    Everything that is "truly" original has been done already. All current content is just variations.

    I would also like to point that the digital representation of anything that has or will be created has been done through natural quantum machanics. Ma'b nature should have a copy right on everything?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  34.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Mar 5th, 2009 @ 10:00am

    Re: Re:

    "lower quality products" - rather subjective, don't you think?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  35.  
    identicon
    random, Mar 5th, 2009 @ 10:11am

    Ice Ice Baby

    Yeah ice ice baby and under pressure was the same song under copyright standards.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  36.  
    identicon
    TKM, Mar 5th, 2009 @ 10:21am

    Re: Weird Harold

    Unfortunately, he's right about the courts opposing that type of creativity. But it is rather fortunate (for everyone, not just musicians and artists) that that kind of shit seems to be changing with the generations.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  37.  
    icon
    Mike (profile), Mar 5th, 2009 @ 10:28am

    Re: Re:

    The funny part is that unless we respect artists rights (the original artists, not the guy who hacked them together), the only think that will be left in the music business will be lower quality products from people willing to work for only the joy of it. All this of course while flipping burgers at McDonalds.

    Repeating the obviously false assumption that giving away *music* for free means you don't make money elsewhere, which has already been proven as false. The only reason Harold would repeat it is because he's either too dense to recognize reality or he's trolling.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  38.  
    identicon
    JMG, Mar 5th, 2009 @ 10:38am

    Re: Re: Respect

    The funny part is that unless we respect artists rights (the original artists, not the guy who hacked them together)...

    What do you mean by respecting artist's rights? If I wanted to really respect and artist's "rights", I guess I shouldn't put on music at a party unless I know all my friends have paid for the album I'm playing. Or I shouldn't send my friend a song file or image of a painting through email, since they haven't paid for it. Making copies of albums for my friends is completely out of the question: if they want it, they can buy it themselves. I would hazard a guess that the musician/artist in question would prefer if I didn't "respect" his rights in that situation.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  39.  
    identicon
    me, Mar 5th, 2009 @ 10:52am

    harold

    I think the bottom line is that if someone wrote an original tune, put it on youtube, and some guy was using their work in a way that they do not want, they should have the right to say "hey stop using my song." Especially if it is just the original recording ripped right off the site. I just think that if you create something, you should be able to have control over how its used.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  40.  
    identicon
    Paul C, Mar 5th, 2009 @ 11:11am

    I found a bunch of the songs posted on youtube by this user: http://www.youtube.com/user/downwithutube

    After listening to them I can't imagine someone saying that he didn't create all new music from the samples. Amazing job!

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  41.  
    identicon
    David T, Mar 5th, 2009 @ 11:32am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    @mobiGeek

    We actually agree, though we are hung up on semantics. I equate "artistic control" as an expression of greed, and feel that artists don't have a right to prevent culture at large from taking a creation and building upon it.

    Regardless of the outcome of expansion on a given artistic expression, the original work is made more valuable either as the catalyst for something arguably better or as an original vision that has yet to be approached in quality. In any case, both the original author and competing interests can advance the expression further according to the benefit of everyone... until someone plays the copyright card.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  42.  
    identicon
    What?, Mar 5th, 2009 @ 11:37am

    Re: No, they aren't art

    Are you serious? Did you just open your mind to just close it back up in one sentence?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  43.  
    identicon
    eh, Mar 5th, 2009 @ 11:48am

    Re: Re: Something was created

    Youtube is pop-culture.

    Aside from that, taking original recordings from other artists, then mashing them up to make a new sound that no one (even those original artists) expects IS ART.

    Why are people so close-minded about remixing?

    Fine, I'll agree that there are many dance songs that are just cheap bass heavy beats on the actual song.

    But what this guy did is Art. He took all of these "average" people's videos and made them part of something bigger. If I was one of those people, I'd be shitting myself right now, knowing that someone was creative enough to hear my music and make it flow with a complete strangers.
    Kind of like Big Jazz Band.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  44.  
    identicon
    jonnyq, Mar 5th, 2009 @ 11:50am

    Re: Re:

    Heh... I was a music major (BA, so not as knowledgeable as some) and I was wondering who would mention something like Reich. (I wouldn't have remembered his name if you didn't say it)

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  45.  
    identicon
    interesting, Mar 5th, 2009 @ 11:52am

    Re:

    Good argument.

    "I remixed a remix, it was back to normal."

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  46.  
    identicon
    Devonavar, Mar 5th, 2009 @ 11:53am

    @Harold

    I'm sympathetic to the idea that artists be compensated for their contribution to culture, but other than that I disagree with almost everything you've said. Some points I think you've missed:

    - Kutiman is not making a (monetary) profit off his remix as far as I can tell. Requiring him to pay market rate the (mostly amateur) artists he remixed would mean that his project would most likely never happen because he would then be *required* to use his remix commercially to pay for the creation.

    - Music made by professional musicians is in no way fundamentally better than music made by people who don't get paid. As someone already pointed out, it's subjective.

    - Generally speaking, music that is created for the express purpose of making money tends to be artistically bankrupt. There is a distinct tension between creative expression and the kind of expression that you can profit off of.

    Creative work is fundamentally a selfish endeavour. Most people do not get paid for doing what they want, they get paid for doing what *other* people want. Claiming that musicians deserve to be paid simply because they are producing music ignores the fact that society as a whole does not really need or want their music as much as the musicians want to play it. Artistic professionals are perhaps the only people in the world who get paid for doing what they would be doing for themselves anyway. And, for the most part, the work they get paid to do is not the work that is closest to their heart. Photographers, musicians for hire, just about any technician in the film industry *do* pay their bills through "creative" work, but most of them create their own unpaid for work free that means much more than the work they are paid for. Only a very few, very lucky individuals get paid enough to live on the work that *they* want to do.

    That's not to say that there's *no* demand for creative work. A few exceptional artists resonate enough with the general public that the public is willing to fund more creation by those artists, but the equation is never "hey, we need more songs — let's pay a musician to write some". It's more along the lines of "Hey, those songs are good — let's support the artist and see if he/she can produce any others". Artists that support themselves support themselves on the basis of their reputation, not on the basis of getting people to pay for things they haven't seen / heard / experienced and don't know if they are worth paying for.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  47.  
    identicon
    jonnyq, Mar 5th, 2009 @ 12:01pm

    Re: harold

    "I think the bottom line is that if someone wrote an original tune, put it on youtube, and some guy was using their work in a way that they do not want, they have no right to say "hey stop using my song." Even if it is just the original recording ripped right off the site. I just think just because you create something, you aren't able to have control over how its used."

    I agree - derivative works can often be transformative and quite useful.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  48.  
    identicon
    great music!, Mar 5th, 2009 @ 12:13pm

    Now That i have listened to every track I am 100% a fan of this music!

    This reminds me of the Billy Holiday Remixes.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  49.  
    identicon
    Anonymoose, Mar 5th, 2009 @ 1:05pm

    On the topic of 'creation'...

    To a musician, what he's doing is orchestration and composition. It's absolutely a creative process and output very different than the individual parts.

    Take a music keyboard that uses samples as one example... The musician didn't actually draw the bow across the violin, but has the ability to add intellectual value by arranging the sounds into something new, adding additional tracks with other instruments, etc...

    Similarly, the violinist who performed the sample didn't create the violin, but the genius of the individual who did enriches everything that comes after.

    All creativity builds on the context of what came before.

    Creative remixing is no different - just newer.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  50.  
    identicon
    mobiGeek, Mar 5th, 2009 @ 1:11pm

    Re: No, they aren't art

    Actually, I find it to be very well done. Not 100% my taste, but the mixing is clean, very Max Headroom.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  51.  
    identicon
    mobiGeek, Mar 5th, 2009 @ 1:12pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    Reich, Glass, Vangelis, Tangerine Dream...tunes I dig on a nearly daily basis. Though, to be honest, I can't STAND "It's Gonna Rain" anymore :-)

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  52.  
    identicon
    mobiGeek, Mar 5th, 2009 @ 1:17pm

    Re: Re: harold

    Whew! Jonnyq, I almost missed your derivatives and figured you were agreeing with "me"...

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  53.  
    icon
    chris (profile), Mar 5th, 2009 @ 1:18pm

    Re:

    There is a difference between raw materials and a finished product. A single note on a piano is raw materials. A combinations of noted played is a product. A single molecule of paint is nothing more than that, but enough of them together in a certain way is art, a finished product.

    yeah, and mashups use bits of other works as raw materials. what's the difference?

    if there is a difference, then by that logic anything that isn't 100% original is wrong. are you saying that recycling is wrong? are you also saying that covers and remakes are wrong? how about repeating an experiment to verify the results of the original, is that wrong? is quoting a work in a paper wrong? is making marginal improvements on an existing product wrong? is using part of work in a classroom wrong? is fair use in general wrong?

    most mashups are not sold for profit, they are used as examples of people's talent or people just create them for the hell of it. are you saying that is wrong too?

    Would you think it fair for someone to open a restaurant and offer the chicken using the KFC recipe plus McDonalds fries and Starbucks coffee together as fair because nobody else sells this particular combination?

    so you think that KFC hold some sort of exclusive ownership on fried chicken? why haven't they sued popeye's and church's then? oh, maybe any fool can make fried chicken, but it takes something more to bring a product to market and launch a successful business with it.

    you think that companies in all industries don't analyze the products of their competitors? are you really that niave?

    Basically, as art (and only as art) the issue wasn't ever settled. It is clear that Campbells retains their rights and controls how their image is used.

    do you think warhol gave an ounce of consideration to campell's rights? i'll bet the rights issue didn't come up until the work was a success. and just what does a picture of soup cans mean in the grand scheme of things?

    did campbell's really think that an artsy rendition of their label is going to negatively impact sales of soup? or was campbell's just trying to exert control over something unnecessarily?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  54.  
    identicon
    Unknwon, Mar 5th, 2009 @ 1:23pm

    Re: harold

    Harold: "I just think that if you create something, you should be able to have control over how its used."

    I disagree.
    If you create new art (music, book an idea) then it belongs to you as long as you don't share it with anybody.
    As soon as you share this idea/artwork/performance it becomes public domain.
    Sure there are some people that make up laws to make money out of it but it is only better for society in general if everybody is free to be influenced and use parts of other people works to create new work. There is a word for this and it is called culture.
    Even is Kutiman is selling his remix the people that have their performance in this remix shouldn't be allowed to get money from him. Why? If they want to make money of their music/performance then they need to sell it them selfs.

    Kutiman came up with a creative idea, mix music clips found on youtube and if he wants to he should be allowed to try to get some money out of it, without having to ask 1000 of people for their permission.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  55.  
    identicon
    mobiGeek, Mar 5th, 2009 @ 1:24pm

    Re:

    Music made by professional musicians is in no way fundamentally better than music made by people who don't get paid. As someone already pointed out, it's subjective.

    What an interesting point. The difference between a "professional" and others is simply that a "professional" spends time executing on a business plan. The problem that we see is that often the model they are executing on is flawed.

    These are, after all, musicians. They need to choose their model wisely, but not being businesspeople first and foremost, they go with what they know (i.e. the traditional music industry model).

    And I wholeheartedly agree that artists that are funded are so because they have built a reputation. For everyone to have automatic government-sanctioned monopoly protections for every "thing" they create with no effort beyond creating the works is ludicrous.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  56.  
    identicon
    zcat, Mar 5th, 2009 @ 2:43pm

    What is raw materials? What is product?

    To a writer or publisher, blank pages are the raw material and printed books the final product.

    To a paper mill, trees are the raw material and blank pages the finished product.

    To a forestry worker, seeds are the raw material and trees the finished product.

    And sometimes it even goes the other way. To a paper recycler printed books are the raw material and blank paper the finished product.

    Everyone's 'finished product' is fair game to become someone else's 'raw material'

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  57.  
    icon
    chris (profile), Mar 5th, 2009 @ 6:27pm

    Re: Re:

    The funny part is that unless we respect artists rights (the original artists, not the guy who hacked them together), the only think that will be left in the music business will be lower quality products from people willing to work for only the joy of it. All this of course while flipping burgers at McDonalds.

    right, there is no work with music that isn't selling CD's. no one teaches music, no one writes jingles for commercials, no one sells music for real commercial use in movies and on television. all you can do to make money in music is sell music to consumers.

    Yes, musicians make music for the love of music. However, if they are unable to make a living making music, they have to spend much of what would have been creative time instead punching a clock for the man so they can afford to live.

    not only do they need money to live, but they need money for divorce lawyers, platinum grillz, alimony, ferraris, cocaine, rehab, mansions, agents, publicists, and lavish parties.

    that takes money that can only be generated by selling CD's. it's illegal for a musician to earn a living any other way. i cry myself to sleep every night worrying how pdiddy is going to be able to buy another giant diamond watch.

    We don't see it so clearly right now mostly because we are still in transition. Without a proper music industry to reward artists and allow them to work on making new original music, the music will go away.

    also exactly right. no one made music or enjoyed it before the record industry was invented in the 50's. artists like motzart and beethoven needed record deals to live and create music.

    thank god tribes in africa have a lucrative CD trade to keep traditional music alive or their culture would have died out hundreds of years ago.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  58.  
    identicon
    stk, Mar 13th, 2009 @ 12:00am

    Creationism

    And Lo ... the Earth, the Moon and the Sun were created, from bits and pieces. It tooks six days and on the seventh, the creator rested.

    Hail to the creator, without which, we would not have the Earth, the Moon and the Sun.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  59.  
    identicon
    beting, May 24th, 2009 @ 12:52am

    good topics

    good for us? China printing industry developed this years, who can tell us? China based plastic injection molding services with low costs and supeior quality Steel and aluminum scaffolding for construction is a very useful tool.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  60.  
    identicon
    China Tent, Oct 8th, 2010 @ 11:18pm

    This is a good,common sense article.Very helpful to one who is just finding the resouces about this part.It will certainly help educate me.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  61.  
    identicon
    China Tent, Oct 8th, 2010 @ 11:19pm

    This is a good,common sense article.Very helpful to one who is just finding the resouces about this part.It will certainly help educate me.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  62.  
    icon
    sprearson81 (profile), Jun 8th, 2012 @ 7:11pm

    Wut have tents got to do with anything? ↑ ↑ ↑

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  63.  
    icon
    lrobbo (profile), Jun 12th, 2012 @ 10:00am

    It's creativity at its peak. there can be no complaints.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]


Add Your Comment

Have a Techdirt Account? Sign in now. Want one? Register here
Get Techdirt’s Daily Email
Save me a cookie
  • Note: A CRLF will be replaced by a break tag (<br>), all other allowable HTML will remain intact
  • Allowed HTML Tags: <b> <i> <a> <em> <br> <strong> <blockquote> <hr> <tt>
Follow Techdirt
A word from our sponsors...
Essential Reading
Techdirt Reading List
Techdirt Insider Chat
A word from our sponsors...
Recent Stories
A word from our sponsors...

Close

Email This