Say That Again

by Mike Masnick

Someone In Congress Actually Understands Mixtapes And Mashups?

from the could-it-be? dept

Sean Garrett writes in to point out that at a recent Congressional hearing, there was a Congressman who actually seemed to understand the ridiculousness of the RIAA-backed SWAT raid on a well known DJ who was often hired by RIAA labels to create mixtapes for their artists. Garrett has typed up the transcript of Representative Doyle and added some of his thoughts as well.
Congressman Doyle: Mr. Chairman, I want to tell you a story of a local guy done good. His name is Greg Gillis and by day he is a biomedical engineer in Pittsburgh. At night, he DJs under the name Girl Talk. His latest mash-up record made the top 2006 albums list from Rolling Stone, Pitchfork and Spin Magazine amongst others. His shtick, as the Chicago Tribune wrote about him, is "based on the notion that some sampling of copyrighted material, especially when manipulated and recontextualized into a new art form is legit and deserves to be heard."

In one example, Mr. Chairman, he blended Elton John, Notorious B-I-G, and Destiny's Child all in the span of 30 seconds. And, while the legal indie-music download site took his stuff down due to possible copyright violation, he's now flying all over the world to open concerts and remix for artists like Beck.

The same cannot be said for Atlanta-based, hop-hop, mix-tape king DJ Drama. Mix-tapes, actually made on CDs, are sold at Best Buys and local record shops across the country and they are seen as crucial in making or breaking new acts in hip-hop. But even though artists on major labels are paying DJ Drama to get their next mixtape, the major record labels are leading raids and sending people like him to jail.

I hope that everyone involved will take a step back and ask themselves if mash-ups and mix-tapes are really different or if it's the same as Paul McCartney admitting that he nicked the Chuck Berry bass-riff and used it on the Beatle's hit "I Saw Her Standing There."

Maybe it is. And, maybe Drama violated some clear bright lines. Or, maybe mixtapes are a powerful tool. And, maybe mash-ups are transformative new art that expands the consumers experience and doesn't compete with what an artist has made available on iTunes or at the CD store. And, I don't think Sir Paul asked for permission to borrow that bass line, but every time I listen to that song, I'm a little better off for him having done so....
Of course, don't expect the rest of Congress to figure this out any time soon. The very next Congressman to speak, started with: "Hey, Mr. Chairman, I was just trying to figure out half of the words that Mike Doyle just mentioned. I am clueless...."

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  1. identicon
    Rick, 12 Mar 2007 @ 3:49pm

    "Hey, Mr. Chairman, I was just trying to figure out half of the words that Mike Doyle just mentioned. I am clueless...."

    Seriously? That is frightening, considering all the words were relatively simple and the only two words I noticed that could be an issue for an educated politician were "mix-tape" and "mash-up."

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

  2. identicon
    Jeff, 12 Mar 2007 @ 3:53pm


    I'm sure "Notorious B-I-G" provides a problem for plenty of them as well.

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

  3. identicon
    BillDivX, 12 Mar 2007 @ 3:59pm

    lots, actually.

    the artists names, web site reference links, and "indie-music" could all have caused problems for somebody over the age of about 60.

    This is what we young people get for whining on message boards instead of Voting. Maybe if we did, our congress might have enough people who understand this perfectly rational point enough to actually debate it.

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

  4. identicon
    Eric Something, 12 Mar 2007 @ 4:46pm


    Maybe it's time to get some politicians under the age of 50 elected?

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

  5. icon
    Anonymous Poster (profile), 12 Mar 2007 @ 5:35pm

    That's what I'm talking about, Eric. Time to get the old fogeys out of the offices of power where they're not doing anything but holding this country back. Get some young people in there -- people who might, oh I dunno, have a clue as to what people actually want and do in this country? As opposed to, of course, the delusions these old people believe. (Do any of them -- outside of maybe Mr. Doyle -- even USE the Internet, or do they all believe it's a series of tubes?)

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

  6. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 12 Mar 2007 @ 6:37pm

    I am a firm believer that the internets, well, the ones invented by Al Gore, ARE a series of tubes.

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

  7. identicon
    Overcast, 12 Mar 2007 @ 6:40pm

    Or maybe it's time to get people elected who have lived a real life and not brought up in the Hamptons, lol.

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

  8. identicon
    Julie Park, 12 Mar 2007 @ 6:54pm

    I think the real problem for why there are people in congress that are so out of touch with things is that many women under 50 and most men under 30, just don't care about politics.

    Next time there is a presidential candidate out roaming for votes, just look at the age groups of the people following him around town - this will help to validate the previous statement.

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

  9. identicon
    GoblinJuice, 13 Mar 2007 @ 5:00am

    Daaamn! A polisapien that isn't a complete idiot. How odd. Well, I'm sure he won't have a long career.

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

  10. identicon
    Karl, 13 Mar 2007 @ 9:56am

    Re: Doyle

    Doyle has a solid hold on his seat. Last election the guy running against him said, (roughly) "I'm actually voting for Doyle, I just wanted to give him a chance to campaign a little so people don't forget why he's a great representative"

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

  11. identicon
    Rick, 13 Mar 2007 @ 11:43pm

    Re: lots, actually.

    Good point, actually. Specific names of bands and popular things are typically not in the general vocabulary of politicians. I would make a derogatory comment toward them, but even my own grandparents aren't really up to the times I expect them to be up to. Even so, Grandpa seemed to get the general concept.

    So there! :p

    I voted for Bush in his first election. He likes using The Google. Please flame me, as if I didn't already know my own flaws.

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

  12. identicon
    |333173|3|_||3, 14 Mar 2007 @ 8:56am

    In Australia there is a term, "Its Time", meaning that eventually a party has been in power for so long that all the little grievances against it are just too much, the opposition gets a good cabinet together, and suddenly you have a new governement.
    There should be mandatory polling in the USA, so that you have to enter the polling booth and put a ballot paper into the box, but you do not have to vote for any candidate. That would encourage those who see no point in voting rep/Dem to vote for a third party, which could force some progress. Voters may of course spoil thier ballot paper (record a null vote).

    If you did not have to be a millionaire to become president of the USA then that might lead to some changes too.

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

  13. icon
    the_dukeman (profile), 19 Jun 2007 @ 8:39pm

    Re: voting and politicians

    Until we are allowed to vote NO to the offered politicians on the ballots, we will continue to have this problem. Instead of just a blank box for a yes vote for each candidate, there should be one box for YES and one box for NO, for each candidate. Then the true voice and wishes of the people would be heard. Anybody ever heard of the Rules of Order procedure where all votes YEAH and NAY are counted?

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

  14. identicon
    ron, 16 Nov 2011 @ 6:56am

    to the_dukeman

    Here there aren't just Yes boxes... here its the position for which the person or people are running for, and then you mark the name(s) of who you want for the max in that category. For example the school board was select up to five... I could have selected none if I wanted which would be the same as saying "No" to all of them. Or I could have selected two (two "Yes" and three "No")

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

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