John Lennon On Copying Others' Music: It's Not A Rip Off, It's A Love In

from the copying-can-be-love dept

Aaron DeOliveira points us to this wonderful bit of historical trivia, involving John Lennon's 1971 response to an article in the NY Times that accused the Beatles of "ripping off" certain black musicians who the band covered. However, John Lennon saw it quite differently:

In case you can't read Lennon's handwriting, here's the text, with the key line highlighted:
In Flight... yes
Altitude... puzzled
Location... yes

14th Sep. 71.

Dear Craig McGregor

'Money', 'Twist 'n' Shout', 'You really got a hold on me' etc, were all numbers we (the Beatles) used to sing in the dancehalls around Britain, mainly Liverpool. It was only natural that we tried to do it as near to the record as we could - i always wished we could have done them even closer to the original. We didn't sing our own songs in the early days - they weren't good enough - the one thing we always did was to make it known that these were black originals, we loved the music and wanted to spread it in any way we could. in the '50s there were few people listening to blues - R + B - rock and roll, in America as well as Britain. People like - Eric Burdons Animals - Micks Stones - and us drank ate and slept the music, and also recorded it, many kids were turned on to black music by us.

It wasn't a rip off.
it was a love in,


John Lennon

P.S. what about the 'B' side of Money?
P.P.S. even the black kids didn't dig blues etc it wasn't 'sharp' or something.
When we talk about things like mashups, remixes, covers, tributes, homage and other such works that so directly build off of the past, we're quite frequently told that this is not art and that people should "make their own." It's a common refrain we hear here all too often. And yet, they never seem to recognize that replaying what you've heard before is an important part of culture. It's a way of sharing, spreading and building culture by connecting it with a larger group of people. It wasn't a rip off, it was a love in.


Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  1.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jun 17th, 2011 @ 7:42pm

    murdered

     

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  2.  
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    Justin Olbrantz (Quantam), Jun 17th, 2011 @ 8:13pm

    Bastard

    Only someone with absolutely no creative talent and with immense envy of those that have it could say something like that.

     

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  3.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jun 17th, 2011 @ 8:21pm

    Today he may have been influenced to believe a story where in he's the victim.

     

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  4.  
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    me, Jun 17th, 2011 @ 8:31pm

    Re: Bastard

    TROLL

     

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  5.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jun 17th, 2011 @ 8:34pm

    Re: Bastard

    deuche

     

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  6.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jun 17th, 2011 @ 9:38pm

    How surprising that the rich white guy, who claimed copyright on songs that we all agree he didn't write, would offer up some meager bullshit defense.

    Can't wait to see handwritten notes from the guys who actually wrote the songs - oh, wait, they never learned to write. Suckers.

     

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  7.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jun 17th, 2011 @ 9:51pm

    Oh no! The Beatles did cover tunes, that they admit were cover tunes, and would have paid a license fee to cover if it was required at the time.

    Big deal.

    If you use a power shovel, you can make a mountain out of that molehill faster.

     

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  8.  
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    Marcus Carab (profile), Jun 17th, 2011 @ 10:00pm

    Re:

    What horrible tragedy in your life made you unable to enjoy anything? It must suck being anhedonic...

     

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  9.  
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    Mr Big Content, Jun 17th, 2011 @ 10:00pm

    Sad

    The guy was obviously crazed out of his mind on drugs when he wrote that. You can tell, just from the letterhead.

     

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  10.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jun 17th, 2011 @ 10:41pm

    It's so hilarious when nerds write about music as if they really know what they're talking about.

    Don't conflate cover songs with the rest of your pro-piracy BS.

    The NYT article claimed that bands that covered black artists rarely credited or compensated them. And they were 100% correct about that.

     

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  11.  
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    Justin Olbrantz (Quantam), Jun 17th, 2011 @ 10:59pm

    Re:

    You're absolutely right. Mass-scale commercial copyright infringement and micro-scale non-commercial infringement aren't comparable at all, and should not be conflated.

     

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  12.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jun 18th, 2011 @ 12:31am

    I never really liked the Beatles.

    I always felt they were overrated and derivative.

     

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  13.  
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    The eejit (profile), Jun 18th, 2011 @ 12:33am

    Re:

    Did you actually understand Lennon's philosophy? Like, at all? He loved sharing things, he lived his life by the idea that sharing is love.

     

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  14.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jun 18th, 2011 @ 12:36am

    Re: Re:

    Wait - Lennon, or Lenin?

     

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  15.  
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    felix, Jun 18th, 2011 @ 12:40am

    If - as I suspect is the case - The Beatles' cover versions of the songs mentioned were all properly credited and accounted to the writers then none of this is a good example of the argument you think it is.

    The "rip-off" occurred when artists such as Led Zeppelin recorded what were essentially - and in some cases literally - cover versions of songs and claimed the credit (and royalties) for themselves. In the case of LZ some of the original writers, Willie Dixon for example, were eventually compensated but many never were.

    AC above is correct, you've conflated two entirely different scenarios.

     

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  16.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jun 18th, 2011 @ 12:54am

    Re:

    Are you a troll back up or do you just not see when you get trolled?

     

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  17.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jun 18th, 2011 @ 1:03am

    DJ BC

    Ask DJ BC what happens when you remix the Beatles music now..

    Via Wikipedia.

    dj BC received both acclaim and controversy after the release of the self-made album 2004 dj BC presents The Beastles, which was removed at the request of Apple Corps, the owner of all The Beatles' intellectual property, including their recordings. In 2006 he went on to produce a second album named Let It Beast, with cover art by cartoonist Josh Neufeld."


    Granted, it wasn't Lennon harassing him.

     

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  18.  
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    Eugene (profile), Jun 18th, 2011 @ 1:19am

    Jesus, where'd all the John Lennon haters come from? I feel like I just stumbled into a meetup for "People Who Decided It's Cool To Hate The Beatles"

     

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  19.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jun 18th, 2011 @ 2:07am

    Re:

    For the record, I've hated the beatles since I was very young (early 80s) when it was unpopular to do so.

    I've changed my tune with a lot of bands since turning 30, but not them...

    beatles = boring bubble gum music

     

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  20.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jun 18th, 2011 @ 2:08am

    Re:

    "It's so hilarious when nerds write about music as if they really know what they're talking about."

    1. It's Geeks, not nerds
    2. We probably understand it better than you do. If it wasn't for us, you'd still be beating two rocks together and call that music.
    3. When was the last time you used an equalizer and actually knew what you were doing, as opposed to just randomly move sliders until stuff sounded "right"?

     

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  21.  
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    PoorThinking, Jun 18th, 2011 @ 4:52am

    The whole "make your own" is about the worst argument ever. If that were actually true everyone would speak their own language and there would be no such thing as copyright because we would all be running around like buffoons. Do the people that make that argument think they have this incomprehensible genius that allowed them to magically learn a craft without mimicking doing what others have done.

     

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  22.  
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    Rich, Jun 18th, 2011 @ 5:35am

    Re:

    Irrelevant

     

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  23.  
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    Rich, Jun 18th, 2011 @ 5:37am

    Re: Bastard

    Who, the Times or Lennon?

     

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  24.  
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    Marcus Carab (profile), Jun 18th, 2011 @ 6:10am

    Re:

    This is how obsessed the trolls are here. They will turn on ANYONE sooner than admit they are wrong. Show them that John Lennon disagrees with them and they will throw the Beatles under the wheels faster than you can say egg man.

     

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  25.  
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    iBelieve, Jun 18th, 2011 @ 6:22am

    Re:

    Copyright is for lawyers now, they do nothing creative in and of itself while they fight for the copyright they make millions from.. That is the worst part of this 'copyright' witch hunt.. or we'll take it up on the hill to the lawyers on high.. Its not about getting the money to the artist, its about the law firms.

     

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  26.  
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    PolyPusher (profile), Jun 18th, 2011 @ 6:23am

    Now I can refer to John Lennon

    When anyone has anything bad to say about my handwriting...

    I'd love to know what Lennon would say today. He truly was a visionary for his time. The man was able to communicate ideology through music in a way that almost no one could misinterpret. He was a talented artist, even if you didn't like his art...

    As for The Beatles, say what you want about them. You may not like their music and that's fine. But to deny the impact they had socially is absurd. Furthermore, to deny the impact they had on music is completely ridiculous. I wish I could assemble a reel of all the musicians who have cited them as influences.

     

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  27.  
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    Chris Myers, Jun 18th, 2011 @ 6:27am

    This applies

    Trolls, stop thinking about the sharing of music from a political or legal position. This is cultural.

    Way before anyone tried to monetize culture, before they felt the need to brain wash you into the defective little anger nuggets you are, real people were doing, sharing and making culture. It wasn't all good, but it didn't belong to people.

    It's a fact that not everyone got credit. That happens everyday. IBM says it make the personal computer, you gonna go right that wrong now?

    Picking your battles and trolling this site is just as bad biting someone else's work and not crediting. It shows the same self serving desire to bring someone down at your own benefit, twisting the momentum of their work to your own ends.

    Don't be haters. Contribute and share. Is someone going to rip you off? Maybe if you do a good enough job. Of course if you are working at that level you may just want to keep working for the love of it, rather than hunt down and fret over every injustice.

    Cause the secret is that there is only so much you can do, and worrying about it adds nothing to your life. The love you take is equal to the love you make.

     

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  28.  
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    TDR, Jun 18th, 2011 @ 6:38am

    "Copyrights? Where we're going, we don't need... copyrights."

     

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  29.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jun 18th, 2011 @ 7:01am

    Re: Re:

    There isn't much here to enjoy. The Beatles, like pretty much every other band that every existed, played some cover tunes. I would bet you that at their first gigs, they played entirely cover tunes. There is no crime, nothing negative about cover tunes.

    There are also tons of famous bands and artists who have released cover songs on albums and singles.

    There really isn't anything new here. This isn't shocking. Bands do it today just as they did 40 years ago. It's a non-issue. Many bands do covers of obscure songs. They generally all credit the original, and normally pay a rights fee to do so.

    I am sorry if I miss something unique in the story. Lennon loved "black" music. So what? Every artist is influenced by the music they hear. So what?

    Please Marcus, you are so much wiser than the rest of us. Explain it to the poor quivering masses.

     

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  30.  
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    abc gum, Jun 18th, 2011 @ 7:12am

    Re: Re: Re:

    If this is a non-story as you so vehemently claim, then why do you seem so upset about its discussion in this forum?

     

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  31.  
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    abc gum, Jun 18th, 2011 @ 7:16am

    Re: Re:

    Haters gonna hate

     

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  32.  
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    abc gum, Jun 18th, 2011 @ 7:20am

    Re:

    Yup - and it is hilarious because they copied the "make your own" idea from others, they did not think of it themselves.
    Monkey see, monkey do.

     

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  33.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jun 18th, 2011 @ 8:09am

    Re: Re: Re:Lennon or Lenin?

    They were both communists.

     

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  34.  
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    Richard (profile), Jun 18th, 2011 @ 8:15am

    Re: Re: Bastard

    Sarc detector fail...

     

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  35.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jun 18th, 2011 @ 8:16am

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Because they're poor and quivering, silly!

     

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  36.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jun 18th, 2011 @ 8:19am

    Re: Re:

    All their arguments are derivative, and they probably didn`t ask permission.

     

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  37.  
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    Richard (profile), Jun 18th, 2011 @ 8:26am

    Re: Re:

    1. It's Geeks, not nerds

    Geeks would be Ozzy Osborne (look up the original definition)

     

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  38.  
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    sollipsist, Jun 18th, 2011 @ 8:28am

    when your sense of musical history extends only as far back as The Beatles or Led Zeppelin, you're already screwed.

    The 'ripped off black artists' theme is tired and corrupt. Black artists (and white artists, and Cajun artists, and Romany artists...etc) happily ripped each other off for many decades, or centuries, before copyright BS came along to FURTHER ENRICH THE WEALTHY FEW.

    Traditionals, spirituals, folk songs, etc. made up the bulk of the black (etc) musical experience. No single author, just a constantly-evolving cultural expression. Love it or don't do it at all, but don't call yourself an 'artist' and don't whine about getting paid for it.

     

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  39.  
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    Jay (profile), Jun 18th, 2011 @ 8:48am

    Re: Re: Re:

    "They generally all credit the original, and normally pay a rights fee to do so."

    This is the part where we discuss ASCAP, using copyright law, to enforce a tithe on a business that is completely asinine, shutting down the business.

    This is also the part where you see that bands use earlier songs to build up a fanbase and succeed quickly.

    "So what?"

    The "what" as you mention, is that culture builds not around copyright, but around shared experiences. 5,000 people go to a concert, they want to tweet about it. If a song is to be developed using the lyrics of Amanda Palmer and the voice of Brie Larson, people want to hear about it. Such are the limits of copyright law on the enjoyment of entertainment (ie culture)

     

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  40.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jun 18th, 2011 @ 8:55am

    Re: Re: Bastard

    How douchey must one be not to spell 'douche' correctly?

     

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  41.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jun 18th, 2011 @ 8:58am

    Re: Re:

    That must be some pretty awesome bubblegum you got there...

     

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  42.  
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    Chris in Utah (profile), Jun 18th, 2011 @ 9:07am

    Re: This applies

    After all it is the sincerest form of flattery. :)

    When anybody tells me its annoying and wrong(culturally) I tell them in my most morbid joke I have in my repertoire. Fine, lets shoot all the kids because this is how they learn to function as an adult.

     

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  43.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jun 18th, 2011 @ 9:37am

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Jay, my point is only that it has happened all through history, it continues to happen today, and it will continue to happen tomorrow, and copyright has little to do with it.

    If you want to perform a song by another artist, you get the rights (there are methods to pay those rights) and away you go. If you want to record it and sell it, same thing.

    It's not really hard.

    What this Lennon letter proves is that it worked in the past, we know it works currently, and it will work in the future, and the presence of copyright didn't stop any of it. Our shared culture is shared culture, and copyright doesn't harm that. The only think copyright stops is people who aren't respecting others.

     

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  44.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jun 18th, 2011 @ 9:39am

    Re: Re:

    Wow, how did you come to that conclusion? The only thing going on here is Lennon admitting that he loves music from his past, has been influenced by it, and that they have performed and even recorded some of it.

    What's the big deal? I don't get how you think anyone throws someone under the bus. Lennon is only stating something that is common currency and completely functional under the laws of copyright of the day and of today.

    I don't see Lennon disagreeing with any of that.

     

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  45.  
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    The eejit (profile), Jun 18th, 2011 @ 10:37am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Wait, what?

    Copryright is causing the direct loss of the early history of jazz. It directly caused the loss of a number of Doctor Who episodes. IT is actively harming the cultural value of the current generation's creations.

    And as for, "The only think copyright stops is people who aren't respecting others."

    1) it's 'thing'; and
    2) copyright doesn't even do that efficiently. It allows a certain class of people to get rich - I'll givwe you a hint: it's not the creators.

     

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  46.  
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    Quisp, Jun 18th, 2011 @ 10:54am

    How can it be a rip-off if the copyright holder is getting paid? Chuck Berry made more money off the sale of Beatles records than off of Chuck Berry records. Publishing rights to songs is where the money is. Anyone the Beatles covered made a lot of money off those records.

    Someone mentioned Led Zeppelin, and yes, that's a great example (probably the best example) of a band that ripped-off black artists and put their own names on the songs as though they wrote them, and the law-suits keep on coming forty years later.

    Also, a little context might be helpful. When the Beatles started, bands did not record their own material. Buddy Holly, Chuck Berry, Little Richard were the exceptions, not the rule. Everyone recorded songs written by somebody else, either covers or songs written by people like Bryant and Bryant, Goffin and King, Lieber and Stoller, etc.. The Beatles changed all that forever.

    Not to mention this little fact: these days, bands put out albums every couple of years, some bands every five years or more. The Beatles recorded and released 15 albums worth of material over six years. 211 songs, 185 written by them. In six years. Two or three albums a year, plus singles (which generally weren't on the album, because they thought that was cheating, and unfair to the fans who would have to buy the song twice).

    of the 26 covers, I count 16 that could be considered to be written by black artists. And that number gets smaller when you consider that some of those black artists did not write those songs themselves (and so would not be getting paid by a cover version -- it's the writer who gets paid, unless he's sold his publishing rights).

    For example, "Twist and Shout," since it's mentioned in the letter. The Beatles covered the Isley Brothers version. But the Isleys were covering an earlier record by the the Top Notes, called "Shake It Up Baby." The song was not written by the Isleys (obviously) or the Top Notes. It was written by two white American guys, Medley and Russell. And those two guys are the ones who profited from all three of those versions, plus all the ones to follow.

    What a horrible "rip off" for them.

     

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  47.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jun 18th, 2011 @ 10:56am

    Re: Re:

    No, I'm pretty sure it's nerds.

     

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  48.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jun 18th, 2011 @ 10:58am

    Re: Re: Re:

    I don't chew bubblegum.

     

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  49.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jun 18th, 2011 @ 10:59am

    Re: Re: Re:

    Are the arguments copyright why you think permission should be needed?

     

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  50.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jun 18th, 2011 @ 11:01am

    Lennon's always been an annoying hippy.

    "Imagine" has always read like a dystopian nightmare to me. Hippies are ridiculous.

     

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  51.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jun 18th, 2011 @ 11:04am

    What's your problem, troll??

    Stop pointing out facts about how copyright helped the original creators. Don't you know that's not welcome here???

     

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  52.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jun 18th, 2011 @ 11:30am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    "If you want to perform a song by another artist, you get the rights (there are methods to pay those rights) and away you go."

    That right there is one of the most anti-cultural things I've read lately. Screw spontaneity, screw any moment of collective conciousness, screw whatever someone may have brought to their interpretation of a work, kill it dead 'cause someone didn't have the ability to foresee the future minute by minute...

    Grotesque.

     

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  53.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jun 18th, 2011 @ 11:33am

    Re: Sad

    Coffee successfully snorted out of at least one nostril.

     

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  54.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jun 18th, 2011 @ 11:39am

    Re: What's your problem, troll??

    It wasn't copyright that helped those original artists, it was other people playing their songs, keeping them alive in public view.

     

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  55.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jun 18th, 2011 @ 11:41am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Sorry, Jay, that was meant as reply to other AC.

     

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  56.  
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    PaulT (profile), Jun 18th, 2011 @ 11:55am

    Re:

    "would have paid a license fee to cover if it was required at the time."

    Would they? I thought that was the responsibility of the venue, not the artist. One of the problems with recent industry freakouts has been that increased license fees have shut down venues depending on bands getting their early breaks in the way The Beatles did.

    Not to mention that if the industry has at one point changed from license fees not being required to them being necessary, perhaps the industry could swing back the other way? It's not inconceivable that what was once necessary for progress is now a hindrance.

    "If you use a power shovel, you can make a mountain out of that molehill faster."

    I see no attempts to make a mountain out a molehill. I do see yet another AC post that attempts to deliberately misrepresent or misinterpret Mike's article to mean something other than was presumably intended.

    In this case, Mike pointing out an interesting quote from an industry insider that contradicts the tired idea that the only people who care about a right to copy or mimic are "thieves" and that "originality" is only enjoyed by those who create from whole cloth. It's an illustration of a point that's made many times.

     

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  57.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jun 18th, 2011 @ 12:03pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    Nerds are academic knowledge. Geeks are social knowledge.

     

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  58.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jun 18th, 2011 @ 12:47pm

    Re: Re:

    Not irrelevant because many people concerned about Freedom were murdered.

     

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  59.  
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    abc gum, Jun 18th, 2011 @ 1:49pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re:Lennon or Lenin?

    "They were both communists."

    ... and therefore one should not listen to anything they had to say because it's like a communicable disease.

    btw - when it comes to boogie men, terrorist is the new communist.

     

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  60.  
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    abc gum, Jun 18th, 2011 @ 1:51pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Are you here to chew bubblegum and kick ass?

     

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  61.  
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    abc gum, Jun 18th, 2011 @ 1:56pm

    Re: Lennon's always been an annoying hippy.

    " "Imagine" has always read like a dystopian nightmare to me. Hippies are ridiculous."

    Closed minds are ridiculous.

     

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  62.  
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    abc gum, Jun 18th, 2011 @ 1:57pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    You freetards are all the same

     

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  63.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jun 18th, 2011 @ 2:37pm

    Re: Re:

    Awesome. Please share your money with me.

    Paypal me at:

    PirateDouchesSuckGoatCock@freetardsrus.de

     

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  64.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jun 18th, 2011 @ 3:02pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    And so unoriginal. "I can't think of my own arguments so I have to copy others!"

     

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  65.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jun 18th, 2011 @ 3:04pm

    Re: Re: What's your problem, troll??

    It was copying. Copying helps, it really does.

     

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  66.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jun 18th, 2011 @ 4:01pm

    Re: Re: What's your problem, troll??

    Copyright + cover song = publishing income and songwriting royalties for original artist.

    Sounds fine to me.

     

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  67.  
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    The eejit (profile), Jun 18th, 2011 @ 4:32pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    The email address does not exist, therefore I cannot pay you for works you overvalue.

    Sound familiar?

     

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  68.  
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    The eejit (profile), Jun 18th, 2011 @ 4:33pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    You're a week late, The Duke always comes.

     

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  69.  
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    The eejit (profile), Jun 18th, 2011 @ 4:36pm

    Re: Re: Re: What's your problem, troll??

    For at least the next 60 years?

    ...That's fine (in the 'Fucked-up, Insecure, Neuroptic and Emotional' way).

     

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  70.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jun 18th, 2011 @ 4:55pm

    for those who are closed mined , music is ment to bring people together. To spread culture and ones own history. A musician is like a great painter painting a picture for all of use to enjoy. So Fucken enjoy!

     

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  71.  
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    Nicedoggy, Jun 18th, 2011 @ 6:39pm

    Re: Re: Re: What's your problem, troll??

    Have you ever tried to collect royalties from a busker?

     

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  72.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jun 18th, 2011 @ 8:14pm

    Re: Re: Re: What's your problem, troll??

    Copyright is meaningless if obscurity's your problem.

     

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  73.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jun 18th, 2011 @ 11:55pm

    Re: Re:

    Paul, in some cases, the bar will rent their establishment to a band, who collects the door. That rent includes an amount for the bar's license fees.

    "In this case, Mike pointing out an interesting quote from an industry insider that contradicts the tired idea that the only people who care about a right to copy or mimic are "thieves" and that "originality" is only enjoyed by those who create from whole cloth. It's an illustration of a point that's made many times"

    Here I have to disgree rather strongly. There is an incredible difference between a band recording their version of a song "from scratch", using their own musical skills and instruments, when compare to a "sampling" artist who uses almost no musical skills, doesn't use an instrument, and basically copies the music work of someone else.

    It isn't to say that the sampling artists aren't talented in some ways (such as programming), but they didn't make the music themselves. They let others do it for them.

    There is a huge difference between picking up a guitar and learning power cords, as opposed to just sampling someone else's power cords and claiming them as your own.

    What Mike is trying to do is add confusion to the debate, to move the goal posts, to re-frame the argument. It's a failure from end to end, because it is just too transparent.

     

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  74.  
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    PaulT (profile), Jun 19th, 2011 @ 2:12am

    Re: Re: Re:

    "Paul, in some cases, the bar will rent their establishment to a band, who collects the door. That rent includes an amount for the bar's license fees."

    But, the band does not pay these fees directly, nor are they responsible for ensuring compliance with current legislation. Which is what I said.

    "There is an incredible difference between a band recording their version of a song "from scratch", using their own musical skills and instruments, when compare to a "sampling" artist who uses almost no musical skills, doesn't use an instrument, and basically copies the music work of someone else."

    Ah, the old "I don't like it nor understand it, so it doesn't count" argument...

    I've heard some atrocious musicians in my time, as well as many professionals who can't play more than 3 chords or basic drum patterns. Most musicians, especially when starting out, will not create anything original but just try to mimic their musical heroes.

    On the other hand, I've heard DJs and sampling artists create some astonishing music, often turning sampled works into something completely new. Sometimes the lines can be completely blurred. For example, the classic single Loaded by Primal Scream from their seminal album Screamadelica was in reality a remix of a previous single combined with samples from other artists. Is this not an original work simply because it utilises samples?

    You might say, yeah but they can't play live, can they? Actually, a friend of mine is a big fan of Beardyman (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2XryzjprNqE for a quick example, there's many, with and without samplers). If you're not familiar, this is a UK champion beatboxer who has moved on to playing live gigs using samplers. He samples - live - his own voice, then works with the resulting sample, adding new samples and creates new compositions on the fly. Whether or not you like the resulting music, you can't tell me he's not using the samples and other equipment as instruments that require skill as much as any other live instrument.

    You are correct in that live instrumentation and sampling can require different skills, but you're wrong if you think there's no art, skill and - yes - creativity involved with good examples of the work.

    "There is a huge difference between picking up a guitar and learning power cords, as opposed to just sampling someone else's power cords and claiming them as your own."

    What about sampling them, crediting the original artist then creating something brand new using those sounds? How many power chords actually exists, anyway? Is using the same chord someone else used in the past uncreative, or does it only count if you try to recreate it with a string instead of a chip?

    "What Mike is trying to do is add confusion to the debate, to move the goal posts, to re-frame the argument."

    No, you are claiming Mike is doing something he isn't, then trying to act like your own opinion is some kind of universal truth. You're the goal post mover here, there's been no change in Mike's argument.

     

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  75.  
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    Macstarter, Jun 19th, 2011 @ 3:13am

    Highest form of flattery

    There's a world of difference between a cover, singing somebody else's song live, and just plain ripping off. Nowadays, a lot of younger people have grown up listening to sampled music in songs, without in fact realizing that these samples came from on "original" song. I remember seeing an interview with Paul McCartney years ago, where he mentioned Sgt Pepper being released and very soon afterwards seeing Jimi Hendrix performing a song from it live. He took it as an incredible compliment. But too often, I hear music that has essentially lifted the beat, chords and "feel" of another song without so much as a credit to the original song. Just think Vanilla Ice (god forbid) and Ice Ice Baby. Only those old enough to remember the Queen original knew it was a blatant lifting of somebody else's music, whereas to others, he was a musical genius able to produce an amazing bass line!

     

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  76.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jun 19th, 2011 @ 5:42am

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Paul, once again, you can call a sample an instrument if you like, but it is similar to calling a dog's tail a leg. He still can't walk on it.

    Sampling with approval, sampling without approval comes to the same thing: They aren't musicians, they are technicians. I can appreciate the skills required, and often enjoy the music that results, but I am easily able to understand the difference. Only one of those "artists" is likely to be able to play their music around a camp fire on a guitar.

    I don't ignore the "art", I am only saying it starts from different points. One is wholly original, made with your own hands (think building a house) and the other is made by using what other people have already built (think the guy who put the lawn in front of the house). Both are arts, both require skill, and I can appreciate both. They are different things, that is all.

    As for your beatboxer example, my answer is always the same: Without the art of someone else, without the actual musical ability of someone else, his "resulting music" would be empty space. You can think of his samples as instruments, but that is to ignore the completeness of the original songs, performances, and the like. I would be way more impressed if you told me that he spent time in the studio, playing various instruments in order to create the samples he works from. Just sampling others seems like a real waste.

    What is key here is that what Lennon and the Beatles did was always a new performance, from scratch, of the music they loved. Their own take, their own inflections, their own rendition. It depended on someone else's song writing skills, but didn't depend on any of their performing skills. The difference between that and a guy with a sampler is rather large. You have to cover one eye and squint really hard to try to make them look the same.

     

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  77.  
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    eternal, Jun 19th, 2011 @ 5:57am

    WOW!

    I can't believe how heated this debate is over something that seems should come with a level of common sense.

    I say "let it be guys" there is no need to "shout." It's just "a day in the life" of techdirt and not such a big deal. I understand some of you may have had a "hard day's night" but you have to keep in mind we are talking about fundamental rights but getting "nowhere man!" Treat her well or "She's leaving home." I know "she's so heavy" a topic but "we can work it out."
    This all just brings "lonesome tears in my eyes" seeing the hate. Let's just start a love in, "I wanna hold your hand" and remove those dark clouds of despair. I want to "hippy hippy shake" you and say DON'T FRET "here comes the sun."
    "It's a long and winding road" but if we "imagine" a world where we "come together," realizing you "can't buy me love" this "ticket to ride" will lead us to better times and "strawberry fields forever."

    :D

     

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  78.  
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    PaulT (profile), Jun 19th, 2011 @ 6:12am

    Re: Highest form of flattery

    Yeah, I know what you're saying in terms of Vanilla Ice, for example, but hasn't that always been the case even with cover versions? I know that I, for example, had no idea that All Around The Watchtower was a cover when I listened to Hendrix's version. I had a conversation with someone a few weeks ago that had no idea that Natalie Imbruglia's Torn (one of the favourite songs) was a cover, etc. Many listening to Beatles playing covers will not have known the originals, and so on...

    That's the way it is, the way it has always been.

     

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  79.  
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    PaulT (profile), Jun 19th, 2011 @ 6:15am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    So, yet again, you make statements of personal opinion as if they were fact and refuse to accept another viewpoint because... of something, I guess.

    "As for your beatboxer example, my answer is always the same: Without the art of someone else, without the actual musical ability of someone else, his "resulting music" would be empty space."

    So, you didn't bother watching the video then to show that he created the sounds from scratch with his own voice? Clearly, we're done here if you can't even view the evidence I show you proving that your opinion does not equal fact.

    I think we're done, and ask myself yet again why I try to debate self-admitted cowards such as yourself.

     

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  80.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jun 19th, 2011 @ 6:35am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Paul, the way you explained it is that he samples his own voice, and "adding new samples". I took that as samples of others work.

    If he is using only his own instrument (his own voice) then there really isn't any issue, is there? He is doing what I have suggested, which is playing your instrument rather than letting someone else play it for you. How he chooses to manipulate it after is an artistic choice.

    I didn't watch the video (I don't have all day to watch stuff, sorry). I took your words and worked with them. If I misunderstood that part I am sorry. Can you be more clear next time?

    BTW, nice that you ignored the rest of my post, and how it applies to almost every "sampling" artist out there.

     

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  81.  
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    TDR, Jun 19th, 2011 @ 6:52am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Pink AC, name one work that has been created without a single reference to another work or that doesn't use elements of any other work in any other way. You can't, because creation doesn't happen in a vacuum. New content is always built through the reuse and reimagining of old content. There is no new content that does not come from old content. It doesn't exist.

     

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  82.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jun 19th, 2011 @ 8:05am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Reference? That is incredibly difference from using someone else's performance. Referencing is natural. Using someone else's efforts and claiming them as your own is not.

    It is a weak argument.

     

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  83.  
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    Jose_X, Jun 19th, 2011 @ 8:34am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    >> There is a huge difference between picking up a guitar and learning power cords, as opposed to just sampling someone else's power cords and claiming them as your own.

    No one is claiming the power chord units as their own. They are claiming the musical piece that results from taking those sounds and putting them together in an extensive and fairly new way.

    >> One is wholly original, made with your own hands

    The musician did not process the minerals or build the tools required to process the minerals or grow the tree or build the tools that shape the wood or shape the wood, etc. The musician bought an almost entirely built musical tool and then took samples of the sounds that instrument makes and stringed them in some order and with some variation to create the ultimate composition.

    The person who samples likewise starts off with a particular sound and then strings it together to create music and an entirely new composition from a set of sounds and any other variations added.

    They do start at different levels, but if the person who created the instrument doesn't get a royalty and requires a license for every particular use of the instrument, why should the musician or composer? Why shouldn't the tree grower get rights that require licensing for any use of that tree?

    Of course, it would be stifling to try and deal at the "license every use" level, no matter who we are talking about.

    >> I would be way more impressed if you told me that he spent time in the studio, playing various instruments in order to create the samples he works from. Just sampling others seems like a real waste.

    That's like saying that the music is only the power chords that were sampled.

    That is garbage and totally false. Play a power chord. Then play it again. Then again. You will not have a very large audience or make very much money unless you do something else creative with it.

    The DJs add a lot of creativity to these basic sounds. If not, no one would pay attention by just playing a power chord over and over and over ad nauseam.

     

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  84.  
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    Jose_X, Jun 19th, 2011 @ 8:43am

    Re:

    >> The NYT article claimed that bands that covered black artists rarely credited or compensated them. And they were 100% correct about that.

    So you are saying that we are able to have the Beatles and many other great experiences thanks to not having to deal with licensing issues and extra costs?

    Just imagine what we are missing today because we can't do to Beatles songs what the Beatles did to others. The Beatles copyright enforcement has denied society the natural progress that would have resulted in Beatles Next Gen.

    This seems to be your point. Am I right?

     

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  85.  
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    Jose_X, Jun 19th, 2011 @ 8:53am

    Re: WOW!

    Wow! How long did it take you to clear rights to the samples in that piece?

     

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  86.  
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    Jose_X, Jun 19th, 2011 @ 8:57am

    Re: Re:

    >> because we can't do to Beatles songs what the Beatles did to others

    I take it back. Reading the other comments (and being a nerd), I now see that the rules of the copyright game appear to be different when you copy wholesale from a composer v. when you sample a tiny amount of sound from a musician.

     

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  87.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jun 19th, 2011 @ 9:41am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Who is claiming it as their own?

     

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  88.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jun 19th, 2011 @ 9:43am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    DJs add something, in the same manner that a good painter can make a house look good. But calling the painter a house builder would be entirely misleading.

    The power cord reference isn't just to the cord itself, but to how each individual person plays them. No two people play exactly the same, no two musicians will get the same sound, especially when they start to put them together. A DJ will always have the same sound, because he isn't making sounds, he is just using other people's musical expression and claiming it as his own. That is a fail, as far as I can see.

    They start at different levels, and just like that house painter, if you say he is a great house painter, I will likely agree. Tell me he builds great houses, and I will laugh.

     

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  89.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jun 19th, 2011 @ 9:43am

    Re: Re: WOW!

    They clearly stole them.

     

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  90.  
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    PaulT (profile), Jun 19th, 2011 @ 12:34pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    "Paul, the way you explained it is that he samples his own voice, and "adding new samples". I took that as samples of others work."

    In that case, I apologise for the poor explanation.

    "BTW, nice that you ignored the rest of my post, and how it applies to almost every "sampling" artist out there."

    However, you do seem to deliberately ignore every point I made. The simple fact is that there is a massive gulf between some "sample artists" (e.g. Beasties Boys' Paul's Boutique) and others (Puff Daddy's early hits). By dismissing an entire genre of music because you don't like it makes you look like a dick. Sorry, but it does.

    Everything you claimed in the previous message stemmed from the the fact that you think that sampling is inferior to string instruments, which is totally subjective, and does not make your personal opinion into trutrh. Sorry.

     

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  91.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jun 19th, 2011 @ 2:32pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    What if they actually also build great houses? And check this out: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Collage

    Or are they not "real" artists?

     

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  92.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jun 19th, 2011 @ 5:15pm

    I just copyrighted the English language!

     

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  93.  
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    Jose_X, Jun 19th, 2011 @ 6:26pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    >> The power cord reference isn't just to the cord itself, but to how each individual person plays them.

    The played chords form a very small unit of time. A full composition by a sampling artist is much longer in duration and does modify the individual unit sounds through many manipulations of processing algorithms as these are strung together.

    I understand your point that just as a typical band depends on writers and on tree makers and on many engineers who craft many tools (from tool-making tools all the way down to sound electronics of all sorts), as well as on many other artists for ideas and inspiration, so too does someone who uses samples depend on others, essentially being one layer up to leverage all that came before to create something larger a bit more efficiently.

    I understand your point that different people play different roles and can be called different names.

    Do you understand the point that the best houses require many diverse contributions from many contributors, who are able to earn a living without relying on monopolies?

    One topic we (the techdirt community in general and this article more specifically) are talking about is creating music and supporting creativity and how copyright as it exists today puts up a wall against a lot of great creative expression that otherwise would exist. Copyright bestows one type of monopoly to a single "copywriter" who leverages the work of many others who work hard and are creative in different ways in order for the copywriter to be able to create something. That wall prevents progress, *at least* to the extent this progress would be created by those of us who don't have billions in the bank and an army of lawyers but who otherwise can create from sampling or from otherwise more easily leveraging existing copyrighted works. Copyright does not stop, generally, a new artistic band from coming around, but it certainly stops many other artists that take bits and pieces of the products of traditional bands in order to make their artistic contributions.

    Recognizing that not all sampling is the same, many people (including researchers) believe that some degree of more limited copyright might be useful or at least form an acceptable compromise among all the current stakeholders; however, techdirt and others do try to make the case that in the Internet world copyright in many forms (and certainly as it exists today) gets in the way more than it helps.

    It might be useful to go into the case studies section of techdirt to see how many groups have embraced "piracy" of their own works in order to grow their market and incomes significantly. Many have also formally embraced "piracy" via many types of zero royalty and near zero restriction society-friendly copyright licenses. So these are artists and writers who have figured out ways where dropping restrictions, even without reciprocation from most others, helps them today. At a minimum, most of these people appear to recognize that wholesale piracy makes their works and their reputations spread much farther, increasing their potential for income significantly. With so much information around us competing for our attention, lowering the entry bar much further than traditional copyright restrictions helps most creative authors. Digital information is extremely cheap (with some of the costs picked up by the end user and other distributors) so you can give away freebies on a tiny budget ad infinitum just about.

     

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  94.  
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    Jose_X, Jun 19th, 2011 @ 6:31pm

    Re: Re: Re: WOW!

    a techdirt Robin Hood

     

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  95.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jun 19th, 2011 @ 7:33pm

    Re: Re: Re: to Anonymous Coward, Jun 18th, 2011 @ 11:55pm

    the whole argument about originality ("if it's not 100% new and original there's no talent") is one of the LEAST original arguments one could ever make

    every time i see it used in context with art or anything really i just facepalm in a sad attempt at keeping my hypocrisy detector from exploding

    i'm going to just start saying anyone who brings up "originality" in this sort of way as someone lacking communication skills, doesn't make any sense of course but that's the point

     

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  96.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jun 19th, 2011 @ 7:36pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    and? You copyretards are all the same, what point are you trying to make?

     

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  97.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jun 19th, 2011 @ 7:38pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    or copyrightards, whichever, i can't decide on the name

     

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  98.  
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    abc gum, Jun 19th, 2011 @ 8:49pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    I find it humorous when someone takes mocking ridicule as a serious statement.

     

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  99.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jun 19th, 2011 @ 9:19pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Paul, the funny part is that I like the end result. From Fatboy Slim to Terminator X, there are all sorts of DJs, samplers, and the like who do assemble interesting work, have incredible technique, etc. But I also don't find their source material to be all that original. I mean, gee, we would do picture collages in school in 3rd grade. Most of us grew past that toward photography, painting, or drawing. :)

    Don't confuse how I feel about the process with the end product. That is where you miss my points, because you are confusing what you think is a subjecting appraisal of the end product itself with a subjective appraisal of how they get there.

     

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    The eejit (profile), Jun 20th, 2011 @ 12:05am

    Re:

    Too late, Shakespeare had it beck in the 16th Century. Now pay his one remaining heir all your future earnings.

     

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  101.  
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    JEDIDIAH, Jun 20th, 2011 @ 6:34am

    Greedy Anonymous Cowards

    > Awesome. Please share your money with me.

    As soon as MusOpen finishes their current Kickstarter project you will be quite free to do that but in a somewhat indirect manner.

     

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  102.  
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    JEDIDIAH, Jun 20th, 2011 @ 6:41am

    Corporate peons

    At least "Freetards" by definition are looking out for their own interests. The corporate defenders here are too stupid to realize that they are engineering their own destruction. They are sticking up for entities that would grind any of us into green crackers if it seemed profitable.

     

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  103.  
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    JEDIDIAH, Jun 20th, 2011 @ 6:46am

    Not Quite.

    Sophocles wants his Cut!

     

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  104.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jun 20th, 2011 @ 7:02am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    I agree with you for the most part. However, there is a point where you dropped logic and started down the road of wishful thinking, and that is where you get a little lost.

    No matter how compelling the result, modifying the copyright rules only to satisfy sampling "artists" would be a bad move, because it would only happen because we are attempting to backfill a legal issue. Legalizing an illegal act only to avoid hassles seems like a poor choice.

    Ripping rights away from one group to give to another seems arbitrary. Most of the suggestions here for shortening the copyright term would make copyright so short, that many musical acts would find themselves in competition with their own works later in their careers. How odd!

    There are plenty of people embracing "piracy", as is the common phrase here, but they aren't really embracing it from a desire to thumb their noses at the man, but rather because they can see that this illegal process may allow them to also sneak their works in and get the exposure they were not getting otherwise. In most cases, if they were in fact having to give up real and actual income to do it, they wouldn't be there. Almost every case study here involves people giving away what wasn't being sold anyway.

    Further, and this is the important part, if everyone was using it, it likely wouldn't be a very functional way to get exposure anyway, because you would be fighting against so many others. It works now because it is still a fairly rare way to get distribution.

    There is never any restriction on an artist in this manner. Unless they have a signed contract that says they cannot, they are always free to give away their works. That isn't something that changed when the internet came around. The only restrictions artists have is the ones they place upon themselves, by working with illegal source material (samples, or using someone else's songs without paying royalties / obtaining rights), or by signing recording deals that limit their choices, etc. Otherwise, they are as free as anyone else to do what they want. I am not limiting, you are not limiting, they are limiting themselves.

     

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  105.  
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    Pips, Jun 20th, 2011 @ 7:17am

    Moot

    If anyone knows history of music, especially Blues, they know that people have been borrowing each others music since it started. Today, when you hear guitars, it all stems from early Blues, and all of it has been done before. Every riff, every melody, everything. The really good Blues players are playing other peoples melodies. Stevie Ray Vaughn wasn't good because he was original, he was good because he played other peoples music better than anyone else.

     

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  106.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jun 20th, 2011 @ 7:18am

    Re: Re:

    then you obviously haven't heard the later beatles. broaden your mind...

     

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  107.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jun 20th, 2011 @ 7:25am

    Re: Lennon's always been an annoying hippy.

    what is ridiculous is stereotyping

     

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  108.  
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    Mike Masnick (profile), Jun 20th, 2011 @ 9:42am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    DJs add something, in the same manner that a good painter can make a house look good. But calling the painter a house builder would be entirely misleading.

    I'm assuming, then, that you don't consider electronic keyboard players musicians, either. After all, all they're doing is pushing a button and having a computer device make sounds that were pre-programmed by someone else.

    The power cord reference isn't just to the cord itself, but to how each individual person plays them. No two people play exactly the same, no two musicians will get the same sound, especially when they start to put them together.

    That sounds like most DJs and remix artists I know.

    DJ will always have the same sound, because he isn't making sounds, he is just using other people's musical expression and claiming it as his own. That is a fail, as far as I can see.

    That's simply not true.

    They start at different levels, and just like that house painter, if you say he is a great house painter, I will likely agree. Tell me he builds great houses, and I will laugh

    Exactly. Which is why keyboard players aren't musicians, in your book.

     

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  109.  
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    Mike Masnick (profile), Jun 20th, 2011 @ 9:48am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    I mean, gee, we would do picture collages in school in 3rd grade. Most of us grew past that toward photography, painting, or drawing. :)

    Interesting. You do realize that photography is one of the purest forms of "copying" there is, right? Why is that okay?

     

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  110.  
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    ltlw0lf (profile), Jun 20th, 2011 @ 10:00am

    Re: Re: Re:

    Geeks would be Ozzy Osborne (look up the original definition)

    A bat is not a chicken, but the objection remains.

    A Geek is a circus performer who bites the heads off of chickens during their act.

    Ozzy bit the head off of a bat during a performance.

    However, the word "geek", like "fag" and "hack", have changed meanings over the years, which is common with live languages. Just because they meant something 100 years ago doesn't mean that they will continue to have the same meaning now. Robert Heinlein used the word "geek" to ascribe to extremely knowledgable (almost fanatical) people in 1952, and even then, the word was commonly used for its new meaning then too.

     

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  111.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jun 20th, 2011 @ 10:12am

    set creativity free!!!

    when are we going to allow the new wave of artists the freedom to create. we have young inquisitive minds that just want to tinker and combine and build on the creative gifts of others. yet every time one of these creative minds tries to set itself free we have the SS of corpmerica come out to stomp and beat the creativity out of these future artists... heil corpamerica!!! also hats off to all the so called "artists" who stomp the creativity out of the young ones and support such brutal actions because they are afraid of the new artists the ones who are actually creating new works of art and enhancing our culture. new artists have always built on the works of the artists who came before to enhance and delight their audiences. future generations will call this the DARK AGES OF CREATIVITY all because of corpamerica and their schills who call themselves artists.

     

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  112.  
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    Failed Musician, Jun 20th, 2011 @ 10:40am

    The title is a bit misleading. I don't know anybody who claims covering a song is copying. I mean, it's obvious to most people when someone covers a song -- and if it's not, the onus is on the 'coverer' to credit the original artist.

    Lennon was talking about covers, not uncredited sampling or copying (derivations) - two completely different issues.

    When I started out as a musician back in the early 90s, we covered mostly grunge bands until we learned enough about our instruments to try writing our own songs. Copyright had zero effect on that process as I remember. As it turns out, we didn't have the creative genius to write interesting music. That's a painful admission btw!

    Whether or not you appreciate sampling as an art form is indeed subjective. As long as they properly credit the source material I have no issues with it.

    A good example is M.I.A.'s "Paper Planes". 75% of the younger folks in the office had no idea that it was "Straight To Hell". I found that horribly insulting to the Clash!

    I always hate the "all music is inspired by others" mantra. While that certainly is true for many artists, it does a real disservice to those artists (in any medium) out there today who are innovators and who are making conscious decisions to forge their own paths towards original art. Yes, it's much more difficult (with less commercial success as a prospect), but it's entirely possible.

    It's the difference between Warhol and Picasso in my mind. Both artists have merit. Picasso is revered for his unique vision, whereas Warhol was more the technician. That's a rudimentary analogy admittedly. I love BOTH artists but I hold Picasso in higher stead.

    I am always amazed and humbled by people who can create original art using their own imagination solely, eschewing outside influence as best they can(I can't). It's become such an anomaly that it shocks your senses.

    There is artistic value in collages, samples and homages/tributes. It's just important to recognize innovation over derivation in my opinion and to reward and recognize the artists who either choose that very difficult road or are blessed with unique artistic talents (Picasso).

     

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  113.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jun 20th, 2011 @ 10:49am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    No, the AC never copies anything when he takes a photograph. He has God like powers which allow him to create an entirely new world, born only of his own imagination, which has never been influenced by outsiders.

    When the AC takes photographs they are of sights so splendidly original that our tiny human brains can barely understand.


    I love this blog. I'm slowly starting to hate the comments. Willful ignorance can't be cured, that's why it's called willful.

     

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  114.  
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    Failed Musician, Jun 20th, 2011 @ 10:58am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Photography is an interesting art form. For me, it's the subject matter and less the photographer. That's why I love Diane Arbus!!!

    So you think innovation is impossible? Maybe I'm reading your comment wrong.

     

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  115.  
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    PaulT (profile), Jun 20th, 2011 @ 12:47pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    ""the like who do assemble interesting work, have incredible technique, etc.

    So, they're creating great art using high quality techniques. Yet, you think the guy who's just trying to copy James Hetfield's power chords is more of an artist because he plucks some strings? There's a disconnect, I think.

    "That is where you miss my points,"

    So far, your points appear to have been: "a "sampling" artist who uses almost no musical skills, doesn't use an instrument, and basically copies the music work of someone else". Your words, and I haven't seen you go past that argument.

    My points have been: many "sampling artists" are talented musicians in their own right (many, such as Pendulum, BT and - yes - Fatboy Slim are either classically trained and/or work successfully with live instruments) and that the equipment they use can be instruments as much as traditional equipment (Terminator X's live skills, for example, or the current equipment used by the likes of Beardyman). Most importantly, the "copied" work is often just the foundation of the new work rather than its entirety - and that's where the art comes from. Yeah, many "sampling" artists would be nowhere without the work to sample, but then the Stones and the Beatles would be nowhere without the artists they imitated.

    None of your points seem to be backed up by anything other than subjective opinion. We can agree to disagree, but like so many regular ACs here you seem to have cherry picked a particular point made by Mike in the article (mentioned samplers) while ignoring others (the comments on covers, tributes, etc. in the same damn sentence).

    If you accept that what you're saying is a perfectly subjective opinion, then wecan agree to disagree. But, if you think you have a valid universal truth somewhere in your points, you're sadly very much mistaken.

     

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  116.  
    identicon
    TDR, Jun 20th, 2011 @ 12:48pm

    Pink AC, I'm still waiting. Name one creative work that does not use any elements from any other work created in all of human history. Now.

     

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  117.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jun 20th, 2011 @ 12:53pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    I have to shake my head. If this is your logic, no wonder you end up with so many weird conclusions.

     

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  118.  
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    Huph, Jun 20th, 2011 @ 1:06pm

    Re:

    Oh groan! Alright, I'll bite...

    But first, define "elements".

     

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  119.  
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    PaulT (profile), Jun 20th, 2011 @ 1:14pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    "A DJ will always have the same sound, because he isn't making sounds, he is just using other people's musical expression and claiming it as his own."

    Wow... You'll have to tell me where you are and which clubs you frequent, because that sound incredibly dull.

    For those of us who don't live in Dullsville, you couldn't be more wrong. Even in the early days of DJing, it was the blend of the tunes that was as important as the records being played. The techniques invented by Terminator X weren't game changing because they were same sounds every time, nor do Carl Cox's 3 deck sets and Masters At Work's 6 deck sets get noticed because they're the same as the source material.

    In the modern era, the rise of laptop DJing has led to incredible new techniques that can completely alter a song while playing, sampling & remixing on the fly. Hell, even the cheaper kits today usually allow easy manipulation of the sound with quick samples and pitch/speed shifting options. Sasha cited the release of Ableton Live as being the key thing that stopped him from quitting DJing because he felt he'd reached the limit of the creativity he could achieve with traditional methods - is he delusional, or are you misinformed?

    I understand what you're saying about the house painter, but what you seem to be doing is to dismiss anyone who happens to work with paint as a house painter...

     

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  120.  
    identicon
    Huph, Jun 20th, 2011 @ 1:25pm

    Re:

    ^^^ This. Probably the most reasonable bit of dialog I've seen here in a long time.

    You see quite a few attempts at blurring the lines between covers, samples, piracy, and consumptive copyright infringement around here. Hopefully, most people see it for the pathetic attempt at sleight-of-hand that it is.

    There is artistic value in collages, samples and homages/tributes. It's just important to recognize innovation over derivation in my opinion and to reward and recognize the artists who either choose that very difficult road or are blessed with unique artistic talents (Picasso).


    I'm almost attempted to repeatedly quote this, so that maybe it will stick. And I play both sides of the fence, I sample and write original music. There is a world of difference between the two forms. And while I don't think one is "more musical" than the other, original works are definitely more important than derivative works; if for nothing else than the fact that I need original works to pull samples from. Original works conversely, don't need my sample-swiping ass to exist.

    And ditto about "Paper Planes". I spin "Straight To Hell" at some of the bars I DJ for and I'm always amazed at the distinct separation between older, more punk-ish people who are pumped to hear a "deep" (relatively) Clash cut, and the younger neon-clad jitterers who think M.I.A. has just been dropped. (perish the thought!) Maybe I just enjoy pissing off M.I.A. fans.

     

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  121.  
    identicon
    Huph, Jun 20th, 2011 @ 1:52pm

    Re: Re:

    Eh... I guess I don't have time to wait for your definition of "elements". I'll assume you mean... uh... that it wasn't inspired by anything that came before.

    I'll present to you Lou Reed's Metal Machine Music and more apropos, Sonic Youth's The Silver Sessions.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Metal_Machine_Music
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Silver_S ession_for_Jason_Knuth

    Seeing as how both of those albums were created without much literal human input, it's probably safe to say they couldn't have been "inspired" by anything else, in a musical sense. Operationally, maybe (but all that's similar is that the artists left instruments alone in a room). Even though The Silver Sessions follows the same mode of operation as MMM, I don't think you could honestly say one inspired the other. Mainly because you'd have to explain to me how amplifiers are conscious and somehow capable of being inspired.

    Oh, also take a gander at John Cage's 4'33":

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/4%2733%22

     

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  122.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jul 17th, 2012 @ 9:42am

    Re: Bastard

    If you're referring to what John said then you've got to be joking, right?

     

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

  123.  
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    inmyroom (profile), Sep 16th, 2013 @ 9:43pm

    John Lennon- fake

    Anyone that knows their music history knows Lennon was a fake and a scumbag in every possible sense of the word. McCartney was the creative force in the Beatles and the band was at their best in those early years (63-66). After they quit as a band in 66 their final albums (Sgt Peppers, White album, Abbey Rd) reflected that they were burnt out and barely holding it together. Without George Martin they would've been NOTHING. The Beatles were nowhere near the brilliance of the Beach Boys, because even tho they had McCartney and Martin, they were still no match to Brian Wilson. Any true music zealot would concur.

     

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


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