World Fair Use Day Wrapup

from the don't-stifle-creatitivity dept

So I spent all day yesterday at Public Knowledge's excellent World Fair Use Day, which was a very worthwhile event. PC World actually has a nice summary of the day's discussions, and if you want some more detail, some folks at Public Knowledge were live blogging the whole thing -- so I'm not going to recap the details of what everyone was saying. What I will say was that it really was an inspiring event in many ways. There were so many brilliant content creators who are doing amazing things that skirt the boundaries (or just ignore them entirely) of copyright law. The creative energy in the room was infectious -- and it would be impossible for anyone sitting through some of the examples of the works created to say that what these people do wasn't "creating something new." But it went beyond just creating new stuff -- the artists in the room have created wonderful works of art, music, video and commentary that are at times hilarious, inspiring or thought-provoking. It's the type of creativity that copyright is supposed to encourage, not hinder.

But in that point lies the very problem. While the conference was officially about "fair use," one thing that became clear is that many of the creators have no idea if their works are technically legal. Most noted that they had not been sued (yet). Some paid attention to copyright issues, while others just ignored them altogether. Some had tacit approval from copyright holders. Others had nothing. And, since (as copyright defenders constantly remind us), fair use is not a "right" but a "defense" (and there are reasons why this isn't quite true), all people can do is offer an opinion on whether their uses were "fair" or not. We can't say for certain -- and that leads to a great deal of uncertainty, and in that uncertainty many other creators dare not tread. That is tragic. As great as the works displayed and discussed at the event, there are an unknown number of additional inspiring works of art that will never get created because people fear the legal risk or they've been taught false propaganda by certain industries that any use of their works must be "theft" and not at all a creative new work.

But it's difficult to see how someone could claim that a work like DJ Earworm's mashup (both music and video) of the top 25 songs from 2009 isn't an amazing new and creative work. Yes, it builds on the work of others, but it is very much it's own unique song:
Given all this it was incredibly encouraging to have the day started off with Rep. Mike Doyle -- who first spoke out about these issues three years ago when he introduced Gregg Gillis and Girl Talk to bewildered members of Congress -- making incredibly strong statements about why we need to encourage exactly this type of creativity. And while it was certainly nice to hear Congressman Doyle confess in his talk to not just reading Techdirt, but using some of what we discuss here to help shape his understanding of these issues, the key point that came out of his talk is that we need to be encouraging exactly this type of creativity -- and that Rep. Doyle appears ready to stand up for such things. Now he's just one member of Congress, and even he admitted that this is an issue that a very large number of Congressional reps don't know the slightest thing about. However, slowly but surely, more and more are learning about it and beginning to realize that the simplistic message of "piracy = bad" pushed by certain interests hides a lot more important issues that really do impact creativity and free expression.

So on the whole, the day was at times encouraging, inspiring and exciting. But it was also frustrating in realizing how little concrete progress has been made. Many of these content creators may still face lawsuits in the future. The amount of uncertainty is great -- and the political will to help them out may not be there. While it was great to see that we can likely add Rep. Doyle to the list of Congressional Reps who clearly understand the deeper issues here, it's still a very small list.

Finally, while I focused most of this post on all the content creators, since those were the ones who made the day so worthwhile, I did want to briefly mention the key point that I tried to raise on the panel I was on -- which is a point we've discussed here over and over again. In so many cases, what are described as "copyright issues" are not really copyright issues at all. Almost always, they're business model issues (there are some exceptions, but we can deal with them separately). The problem is that someone or some organization has become so used to relying on copyright as a crutch to provide them with a business model that they fail to realize they don't need crutches to walk, but can throw them aside and run with other, usually better, more consumer-friendly, business models. So when people present "copyright problems" it's always worthwhile to take a step back and look first to see if it's a copyright problem or a business model problem.


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  1.  
    identicon
    Jollygreengiant, Jan 13th, 2010 @ 5:28am

    Typo?

    copyright is not a "right" but a "defense"

    'Fair use' , surely? You can tell when you're excited, Mike; you make more mistakes in your copy :)

     

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  2.  
    identicon
    :), Jan 13th, 2010 @ 5:40am

    We can work with the current legal framework.

    Creative people doing sampling should move from copyrighted stuff to copyleft stuff.

    If they can do great things with the copyright crap they can do wonderful things with the copyleft ones. The raw material is all there ripe for use.

    Yes the entertainment industry suffers from vision problems, but so do the public that can't see part of the solution that is right in front of them.

    We just need to shift our attention to the other side.
    The laws give us the opportunity to turns things around without even having to touch legislation or lobbies and everybody can do it.

    If we really care about our rights then we should start using what gives us those rights and that is copyleft licenses.

    Unless people are not serious about it and just want to give a good show and say we are all for liberties but we won't commit to it in writing.

    These is actually a free demonstration of democracy, if we can't make use of our right to choose then we don't really can complain about it can we?

    We don't need more laws what we need is to change how we consume and alert everyone that they have a choice and the exercise of that choice have profound repercussions on the environment that they live in.

    We can do and free our culture and maintain our freedoms just by changing how we deal with things and there is nothing the opposing camp can do about it after all we will be using their own weapons against them.

    So the solution seems obvious to me, stop using copyrighted products and start using the copyleft stuff like open source.

    There are some markets ripe for copyleft licenses like software, music and books the rest like TV, movies and even hardware is coming soon.

    The last part would be to change parts of the legislation that will still no matter what be barriers to innovation an progress.

     

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  3.  
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    Jon Renaut (profile), Jan 13th, 2010 @ 5:53am

    Doesn't always work

    Remember that many people who spoke at WFUD (and many more who didn't) use remixing and mashups and things that may not comply with copyright laws for more than just art. I agree that there is tons of good art to base your work on that isn't held back by copyright, but if you want to make a statement with your work, you often need to use samples that are well-known to the public.

    Using well-known works can provide necessary context to a listener that you'd have to spell out if you used an unknown work. Even if the unknown work was better quality, you might have a harder time getting your message across.

     

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  4.  
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    Jon Renaut (profile), Jan 13th, 2010 @ 5:57am

    Re: We can work with the current legal framework.

    My comment below (http://techdirt.com/article.php?sid=20100112%2F2238027720&threaded=true&sp=1#c55) was meant to be in response to this comment. Sorry.

     

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    The Anti-Mike (profile), Jan 13th, 2010 @ 6:03am

    The problem is that someone or some organization has become so used to relying on copyright as a crutch to provide them with a business model that they fail to realize they don't need crutches to walk

    Copyright isn't a crutch, it's one of the legs of the chair.

    By your own posts here Mike, you know that commercial licensing fees are up all over the world. and that commercial (non-consumer) spending appears to be about the only area that is showing net gain (consumer spending is flat, moving from recorded to live music). If I remember correctly, licensing is more than 25% of the total music industry revenue in the UK last year.

    I think you need to turn it around. The samplers and re-mixers working without permission need to re-examine their business models (or lack of one). They need to work with content they are permitted to work from, or make their own. Their business model fails, because it depends on taking other people's music as raw material. In any business, you should expect to pay for your raw materials.

    The entire conference makes me think that even the most ardent "fair use" people don't have a clue what fair use is.

     

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  6.  
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    Frankenskid, Jan 13th, 2010 @ 6:10am

    Minor Error

    And, since (as copyright defenders constantly remind us), copyright is not a "right" but a "defense" (and there are reasons why this isn't quite true), all people can do is offer an opinion on whether their uses were "fair" or not.

    Shouldn't that be "Fair use is not a "right" but a "defense""?

     

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  7.  
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    Chronno S. Trigger (profile), Jan 13th, 2010 @ 6:10am

    Re:

    You come here, you take Mike's name and then alter it, you take Mikes image and alter it, then you take his work and alter it and claim it all as your own. How about you do your own work some day, freeloader.

     

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  8.  
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    Mike Masnick (profile), Jan 13th, 2010 @ 6:14am

    Re: Typo?

    'Fair use' , surely?

    Oops. Yes. Fixed. Thanks.

     

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  9.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jan 13th, 2010 @ 6:15am

    Re:

    Culture is free.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Jan 13th, 2010 @ 6:16am

    "While the conference was officially about "fair use," one thing that became clear is that many of the creators have no idea if there works are technically legal."

    There should be their.

     

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    Burgos, Jan 13th, 2010 @ 6:22am

    In any business, you should expect to pay for your raw materials.

    "No", says the water company.
    "No", says the electric company.
    "No", says the record company, "because we don't have raw materials, we just give money to musicians and hire sound engineers."

     

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  12.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jan 13th, 2010 @ 6:27am

    Re:

    The raw material for new culture is, in fact, old culture.

    True story.

     

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    DH's love child, Jan 13th, 2010 @ 6:33am

    Re: Re:

    "The raw material for new culture is, in fact, old culture."

    Best things I've read in a long time!

    If these suits would quit holding our culture hostage, we wouldn't keep trying to free it.

     

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  14.  
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    Dark Helmet (profile), Jan 13th, 2010 @ 6:36am

    Re: Re:

    "The raw material for new culture is, in fact, old culture."

    Good lord, that is the most succinct answer to all this I've heard yet (why are you an anonymous coward? Stand up and be proud!).

    It's as if these execs, who have made a fortune from the progression of music and art that has all built upon itself, have suddenly decided that today is the day it's at it's best and has to STOP.

    Very, very strange....

     

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    Dark Helmet (profile), Jan 13th, 2010 @ 6:37am

    Re: Re: Re:

    Huh, me and my love child said almost the exact same thing.

    Somewhere, the fabric of space-time is ripping....

     

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  16.  
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    herodotus (profile), Jan 13th, 2010 @ 6:40am

    Wait a minute, mashups like that are supposed to be examples of what is good about fair use?

    Some of DJ Shadow's work is admittedly pretty impressive, and the Grey Album was at least kind of cute.
    The video above was neither.

    I remember when the 2LiveCrew controversy took place, a number of hardcore anti-censorship advocates lost their enthusiasm when they found out that the free expression they were defending consisted of a guy telling some hypothetical girl to 'stick it in her mouth'. It's not that any of them actually thought songs like 'Me so Horny' deserved to be censored. It's just that they couldn't get excited about volunteering their time to advocate on it's creator's behalf.

    That video made me feel the same way about fair use.

     

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  17.  
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    :Lobo Santo (profile), Jan 13th, 2010 @ 6:42am

    Re:

    Hi Igtor!
    Here's a thought: Let's make leaves the legal unit of exchange. We'll all be rich! Though, we'll have to start a deforestation campaign to stop run-away inflation...

    If this homage has helped you realize how incredibly backwards your troll head is right now, great. Otherwise, back to the books! You still need to learn to think.

     

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    cc, Jan 13th, 2010 @ 6:59am

    Re:

    "Copyright isn't a crutch, it's one of the legs of the chair."

    Yeah, they don't even bother to walk, let alone run. :P
    They just sit there and wait for the money to come to them.

    It's one of the legs of the _old_ business model that Mike is talking about. If they change their business model to something better, they won't need to depend on it any more.

    "The samplers and re-mixers working without permission need to re-examine their business models (or lack of one)."

    That thinking is not realistic -- we're talking about creating art here.

    Look at the video Mike posted. Whoever made it is obviously very capable of writing his own music, but _chose_ to use samples from all over the place as an artistic statement (a collage of sorts). That work would not have been possible if your rigid logic were followed, because for a small-time artist (possibly working out of his bedroom) seeking explicit permission for all those songs is nigh impossible.

    Remember that some of the most iconic artistic works of the 20th century are by "samplers and re-mixers": http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3oqUd8utr14

    We should not let these stupid legalities impede on artists' creativity. It's bad for artists, and MORE IMPORTANTLY it's bad for everybody else who won't be able to enjoy their art.

     

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  19.  
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    Zorkmid (profile), Jan 13th, 2010 @ 7:16am

    What We Reap

    Here's a perfect example of what all these laws are doing to free speech. So sad.

    http://fleeglesblog.blogspot.com/search?q=book+review

     

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  20.  
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    :), Jan 13th, 2010 @ 7:19am

    Re: Doesn't always work

    I hope you are wrong.

    My perception is that what is visible today is only the copyright works if you shift the focus to copyleft those works will be what you are looking for and will start being recognized by the public and will be gradually more useful over time.

    But it needs to start somewhere and that is with people willing to use what they got and make a market out of it.

    And it worked already with software why wouldn't work with other medias?

    People jsut need to have the plataforms and there are many already.

    Youtube: have a lot of webseries for a vast list you can go to wikipedia and search for it.

    Music: Jamendo and Magnatune both have vast libraries of songs and there is the CC Mixer iniciative.

    films: VODO started and have some good documentaries.

    Stock footage and sound: archive.org and freesound.org

    Is little but is a start and can grow.

    Nobody is going to challenge the reign of TV stations and hollywood any time soon, but for music and books that is already a reality people don't need labels or artists that don't give them nothing in return.

    Things are moving slowly and while I do understand the doubts about the approach this is one that cannot be counteracted by legal means or policy and soften the other side greatly, unless they are willing to gut copyright there will be no stopping copyleft.

     

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  21.  
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    The Anti-Mike (profile), Jan 13th, 2010 @ 7:20am

    Re:

    I have to agree with you on this one.

    DJ earworm's video above is absolutely horrible, it's all the worst parts of pop music tossed through an auto-tune with a generic crap beat over the top.

    His only talent is in selecting samples, but even then.. it is so buried in autotune that he could select crap and it would all still go together.

    If this is what the fair use people are fighting for, they better put down their crack pipes and get some help.

     

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  22.  
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    Jon Renaut (profile), Jan 13th, 2010 @ 7:28am

    Re: Re: Doesn't always work

    I generally agree with what you're saying, and I wish more people would take advantage of other licenses beyond standard copyright. And yes, as more and more people do that, more and more works will become part of mainstream culture that use these licenses.

    But it will take time, and meanwhile we have to deal with what we've got.

     

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  23.  
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    cc, Jan 13th, 2010 @ 7:33am

    Re:

    Agreed, but if some people appreciate it, it's their prerogative.

    Anyway, here's something to make up for it: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Yxi6QDwQyLU

    It's doing the Cwf + Rtb thing. Buy looots of t-shirts and his album and whatnot.

     

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  24.  
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    Jon Renaut (profile), Jan 13th, 2010 @ 7:34am

    Re: Re:

    You should both be careful in making generalizations from one example that you don't happen to like.

     

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  25.  
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    The Anti-Mike (profile), Jan 13th, 2010 @ 7:36am

    Re: Re:

    It's one of the legs of the _old_ business model that Mike is talking about. If they change their business model to something better, they won't need to depend on it any more.

    In the end, the "new" business models are still dependent on copyright and image rights, otherwise the universe will be flooded out with cheap band gear, effectively limiting the abilty of bands to sell "lottttts of t-shirts" and so on. Heck, licensing is 25% of the UK business, and that would dry up overnight.

    You have to think past the end of your (virtual) nose, to realize that the models put forth depend on artificial scarcities (limited edition crap) as much as real scarcities (concert tickets). Even in concert tickets, the scarcities are often artificial, putting the act in a smaller room to assure a higher price per ticket sell out, rather than playing the biggest room possibly to reach the most fans. Mike can explain how that works with his usual Econ 101 drone.

    Look at the video Mike posted. Whoever made it is obviously very capable of writing his own music, but _chose_ to use samples from all over the place as an artistic statement (a collage of sorts). That work would not have been possible if your rigid logic were followed, because for a small-time artist (possibly working out of his bedroom) seeking explicit permission for all those songs is nigh impossible.

    I looked at the video. It's proof that auto-tune and drum machines are now cheap, and that you can create a horrible waste of 4 minutes if you work really hard at it. The world would likely be a better place without that waste of bandwidth. It is just the worst parts of pop, the worst tools of pop, overused to the point of stupid.

    Remember that some of the most iconic artistic works of the 20th century are by "samplers and re-mixers": http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3oqUd8utr14

    Yet this is a totally unique work, as the video shows. It doesn't matter the took, he took a live image and applied his "art" to it. It is neither a remix nor a "sample", as he created both the original image and the resulting art work.

    We should not let these stupid legalities impede on artists' creativity. It's bad for artists, and MORE IMPORTANTLY it's bad for everybody else who won't be able to enjoy their art.

    These stupid legalities are what the real artists use to protect their work and make a living, so they can afford to continue to be artists all their life. DJ Earwax or whatever his name is will just as likely be back flipping burgers or selling used cars in a few years based on this video, as it shows little artistic talent but plenty of knowing how to make a sample and run an auto-tune. There is little there new, if anything it is perhaps the best example of why there should be no fair use (or fair abuse) or other's works without permission.

     

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  26.  
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    Marcus Carab (profile), Jan 13th, 2010 @ 7:37am

    Re:

    I hope you two know that as soon as you shift the debate to being about what YOU like and what YOU think is worthwhile culture, based on your subjective tastes, you pretty much remove your opinions from consideration.

    Nobody cares if YOU think this is valuable. Go start the Ministry of Culture if that's how you think society should work. This is about the laws that dictate whether artists can create what THEY think is valuable in a free society.

    Enjoy being crotchety old men bitching about young people music. You are officially obsolete.

     

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  27.  
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    chris (profile), Jan 13th, 2010 @ 7:42am

    Re: Re: Re:

    It's as if these execs, who have made a fortune from the progression of music and art that has all built upon itself, have suddenly decided that today is the day it's at it's best and has to STOP.

    i think it's just the natural progression of business.

    as a startup, you measure success in terms of weeks and months, and you care more about your work (your creation or your innovation) than your position in the market. if at some point you become a market leader, you measure success in terms of stock price or annual revenues and so you care care more about protecting your position (and your profits) than you do about your work.

    indeed, your work becomes the position and the the profits and the creation or innovation falls by the wayside.

    another way to look at it is a small startup or individual creator succeeds initially by disrupting the market, but then grows into a large company that relies on protectionism; it effectively becoming a parody of the initial startup.

     

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  28.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jan 13th, 2010 @ 8:12am

    Re: Re: Re:

    I'm a real artist that doesn't use copyright.

    I guess that doesn't make me a real artist.

     

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  29.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jan 13th, 2010 @ 8:23am

    Re: Re:

    They were officially obsolete more than a decade ago.

     

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  30.  
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    cc, Jan 13th, 2010 @ 8:25am

    Re: Re: Re:

    "In the end, the "new" business models are still dependent on copyright and image rights, otherwise the universe will be flooded out with cheap band gear, effectively limiting the abilty of bands to sell "lottttts of t-shirts" and so on."

    Is that not a trademark issue?

    "Heck, licensing is 25% of the UK business, and that would dry up overnight."

    How much of that is for the licensing of samples as opposed to entire songs? Don't twist the facts.

    "Even in concert tickets, the scarcities are often artificial..."

    That only saves you money from renting a bigger room. If the band can sell out in either case, then:
    10 x £100 = £1000, and
    100 x £10 = £1000,
    but in the second case it's easier to charge £15 without anyone complaining.

    "It is just the worst parts of pop, the worst tools of pop, overused to the point of stupid."

    And I totally agree with you, it's terrible. But, if some people like it, I see no problem with that.

    "Yet this is a totally unique work, as the video shows."

    You don't know your pop art.
    http://tinyurl.com/y8ufbjz
    http://tinyurl.com/yczq2wb
    http://tinyurl.com/5cfu6
    etc etc etc, including several paintings of trademarked products, including Coca Cola and Campbell's soup.

    "Mike can explain how that works with his usual Econ 101 drone."

    You need a course in Ethics 101.

    "DJ Earwax or whatever his name is will just as likely be back flipping burgers or selling used cars in a few years based on this video"

    Maybe. Wikipedia says: "His annual “United State of Pop” mashups, short mixes featuring the top 25 songs of the year according to Billboard magazine, have reached the Top 100 for national radio play and become internet sensations." Reading on, several established musicians have contacted him to make mashups of their songs.

    So, any chance you might be wrong, pops? Without fair use, this artist wouldn't have been able to experiment, climb to fame and do well for himself. The same for many many others, and other ARTISTS, not LAWYERS approve of what he is doing.

     

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  31.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jan 13th, 2010 @ 9:03am

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    But lawyers understand art in ways that an artist never will.

     

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  32.  
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    The Anti-Mike (profile), Jan 13th, 2010 @ 12:22pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    ahh, cc, you must learn to read grasshopper. :)

    Notice what I said about DJ earwax "based on this video". I don't know or really care what all else he does, this one truly blows, making hannah montana sound like really deep meaningful music. That is so sad.

    As for Warhol, like much of "pop art" the pop part is taking something that is popular and riffing on it. For me, it isn't really art of the ages, as much as "art of an age". You can pretty much have a single photoshop filter do the same thing, and I don't consider that filter to be an artist. Basically, the first time he did it that was cool, after that it was "more of the same".

    It would be truly interesting to know what rights (if any) he had for each image used, or if in fact he created them freehand from scratch.

    How much of that is for the licensing of samples as opposed to entire songs? Don't twist the facts.

    There is no breakout on this issue, commercial licensing of all sorts is lumped together. While the consumer side of music in the UK is at the same levels as 6-8years ago, licensing is up dramatically. My point is that if you get rid of copyright to allow sampling, you effectively also do the same for other commercial uses, such as jingles, movie music, etc. It isn't a buffet where you choose "a" and not "b", they are tied together.

    It's the reason why the "lottttts of t-shirts" deal also falls away, because if you are tossing most of the copyright provisions out the window, duplicating the t-shirt is also easily done. So whatever premium is gotten for an "exclusive" product is lost because nothing is enforcably exclusive.

    It's the old "careful what you wish for" thing. You have to consider all that would be effected by the types of changes to allow sampling, covering songs without permission, etc.

     

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  33.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jan 13th, 2010 @ 12:23pm

    Re: Is that not a trademark issue?

    Is that not a trademark issue?


    Of course it is. But what's your point? A trademark is no less an artificial scarcity than copyright and as we've already learned, artificial scarcities are NEVER optimal and ALWAYS damaging...













    ...to parasites and freeloaders.

     

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    The Anti-Mike (profile), Jan 13th, 2010 @ 12:51pm

    Re: What We Reap

    They are leading to chatboard spam?

     

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  35.  
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    Chris Brand, Jan 13th, 2010 @ 1:07pm

    I don't understand

    "My point is that if you get rid of copyright to allow sampling, you effectively also do the same for other commercial uses, such as jingles, movie music, etc. It isn't a buffet where you choose "a" and not "b", they are tied together."

    Why ? For example. changing the law to say that "using less than 25% [or 40%, or 10%, or 15 seconds] of a copyrighted work as part of a new work is not copyright infringement", for example, would achieve exactly that, wouldn't it ?

     

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    herodotus (profile), Jan 13th, 2010 @ 7:22pm

    "I hope you two know that as soon as you shift the debate to being about what YOU like and what YOU think is worthwhile culture, based on your subjective tastes, you pretty much remove your opinions from consideration.

    Nobody cares if YOU think this is valuable. Go start the Ministry of Culture if that's how you think society should work. This is about the laws that dictate whether artists can create what THEY think is valuable in a free society.

    Enjoy being crotchety old men bitching about young people music. You are officially obsolete."


    Wow.

    Either I am mistaken, or you are lumping me in with TAM on the basis of my expressing an opinion about a single video.

    Seems a trifle intolerant. It's not like I am against what it is. I don't care if people want to make such music, or if they want to buy it, or burn it. I am saying that I, personally, would have trouble taking a bullet over someone's right to make this kind of video. It seems an empty, in-your-face gesture that cheapens the cause, the vitally important cause, of fair use.

    Obviously, you disagree.

    But it's pretty arrogant to presume to you know who is or is not obsolete on the basis of an opinion about a single video. I may 'bitch about young people music', but that hasn't kept thousands of young people from downloading literally millions of copies of my drum loops at this point. They get used in mashups of every description, every day.

    And for the record, I also bitch about 'old people music'.

     

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

  37.  
    icon
    The Anti-Mike (profile), Jan 13th, 2010 @ 8:56pm

    Re:

    Agreed again.

    I didn't like the song because it is crap. Maybe he does other stuff that is good, but this one is all the bad things that people complain about so hard here, crappy over produced beats, fomula delivery, overdone auto-tune... if it wasn't a "samplers delight" type video, most of the people here wouldn't listen to it for love or money.

    There is a difference between not getting the music and realizing that something is crap. There is plenty of decent "new" music out there, this song just happens to be the worst combination of production over content.

    I am way more likely to say "Turn that f-ing AC/DC off, I have heard that one too many times in my life", as I reach over to turn up the White Stripes, or Metric, or the new Rise Against, or heck, even older sneaker pimps.

     

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

  38.  
    identicon
    Stacia Yeapanis, Jan 14th, 2010 @ 5:52am

    Re: We can work with the current legal framework.

    You make some good points, and I don't disagree that, depending on the intention of the remix, other sources might be better. But I believe that when someone is remixing mass-media products, a large part of the underlying point is to comment/critique these sources specifically, to talk back to the media that shapes our lives. There's an implicit statement about how meaning is created both by original content producers and by viewers.

    I've been influenced by TV my whole life and my work is about unpacking how TV affects the individual. So I use remixed clips from TV to comment on how meaning is made while watching TV, to show the connections between shows that I see. TV is my subject matter, so that's why I choose that source.

     

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

  39.  
    identicon
    Stacia, Jan 14th, 2010 @ 6:13am

    Re: Re:

    Although I disagree with you about the video, that's not the point.

    Even good artists make bad art. That's part of the process. That's how they learn to make better art. So a remix or appropriation artist might make a lot of bad remixes, each time learning something new about editing and their source material, before they make something phenomenal. That's how art gets made. Even the people our culture considers to be genius artists made some crap, but that gets filtered out by time, art critics, and those who write the art history books.

    So what fair use people are fighting for is the right to engage with the creative process without fear of litigation, the right to participate in our culture and comment on it and not get sued for it.

     

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

  40.  
    icon
    nasch (profile), Jan 14th, 2010 @ 8:47am

    Re: We can work with the current legal framework.

    If we really care about our rights then we should start using what gives us those rights and that is copyleft licenses....

    These is actually a free demonstration of democracy, if we can't make use of our right to choose then we don't really can complain about it can we?


    If you're saying only those who use copyleft media are allowed to criticize the copyright system, I disagree. I think that makes no sense.

     

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

  41.  
    icon
    nasch (profile), Jan 14th, 2010 @ 8:53am

    Re:

    If the RIAA hadn't been such dickwads for so long, I would be searching out the source songs from that video to see if they're any good, and maybe buy some of them. As it is, I'm just not interested in what they say the most popular songs of 2009 are, even if I might like some of them. It's a tired metaphor, but they really shoot themselves in the foot when they try to shut down things like this.

     

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

  42.  
    icon
    nasch (profile), Jan 14th, 2010 @ 9:06am

    Re:

    I am saying that I, personally, would have trouble taking a bullet over someone's right to make this kind of video. It seems an empty, in-your-face gesture that cheapens the cause, the vitally important cause, of fair use.

    I don't think you're making your case very strongly. Why does this cheapen the cause? All you've said so far is that it sucks. So basically all we can take from your comments up to now is that you're not interested in defending the fair use of this video because you think it's bad. Or maybe even (though this is a stretch) that you think it isn't fair use because it's bad.

    Marcus' point is that you not liking a music video has nothing to do with its fair use merit. So tell us what it is about this that hurts the cause of fair use. Is it that you think others will judge the value of the fair use principle based on how much they like this video, and that they won't like it? Or is there something more?

     

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

  43.  
    identicon
    Gene Cavanaugh, Jan 14th, 2010 @ 1:50pm

    Perspective in the arts and technology

    "Incredibly" creative art is very nice. I like songs as well as nearly anyone.
    However, we tend to be "incredibly" biased in the WRONG direction.
    Hedy Lamarr invented PCS technology, opening up cell phone technology (and benefiting all humanity) - we remember her as a great actress! So a few moments in a movie is more important than cell phones? Is the whole world insane? Was Einstein right, the only thing infinite is human stupidity?
    Somebody strums a guitar; somebody goes gaga over it - this is more important that stem cell technology?
    So, art is good, but NOT "important", in the same sense as real technological and business advances!!!!

     

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

  44.  
    icon
    herodotus (profile), Jan 14th, 2010 @ 6:17pm

    "I don't think you're making your case very strongly. Why does this cheapen the cause? All you've said so far is that it sucks. So basically all we can take from your comments up to now is that you're not interested in defending the fair use of this video because you think it's bad. Or maybe even (though this is a stretch) that you think it isn't fair use because it's bad.

    Marcus' point is that you not liking a music video has nothing to do with its fair use merit. So tell us what it is about this that hurts the cause of fair use. Is it that you think others will judge the value of the fair use principle based on how much they like this video, and that they won't like it? Or is there something more?"


    Actually, I was more detailed than you are letting on, but what the hell.....

    My opinion of this song is not the point. I don't like it, true, but I don't like a lot of things, most of which I never bring up in public.

    The point is that IT IS BAD PR.

    If you are trying to convince people of the vital importance of fair use, why are you making a mashup of the 25 most popular songs of the past year? It's like a commercial for VH1. Do we really want to defend the vital importance of every persons right to make and broadcast their own VH1 commercials?

    And does anyone really think that they are going to convert people who are on the fence about these issues with a video that consists of songs that the media is already saturated with? Why not use some of the thousands of orphan works that James Boyle is always talking about? Why not some of the millions of older recordings that are forgotten but still impossible to do anything with because no one can figure out who owns the rights to them?

    But in the end, it comes down to this: if I knew nothing about any of these issues; if I were completely ignorant about the harms caused by ever-expanding copyright law; if I had the exact same ignorant beliefs that Mark Helprin was rightly derided for having; if all this were true, and I saw THAT video, and someone were to say to me: 'See? great entertainment like this would be impossible without fair use', it would not only not make me a believer in fair use, it would do the opposite.

     

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


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