Jay-Z Explains He Is 'Honored' To Have His Work Remixed By Others

from the creativity-by-remix dept

A Dan points us to a fascinating interview with Jay-Z on Fresh Air that's worth listening to in its entirety.
However, there are a few quotes concerning copyright and sampling that are most interesting. For example, there's a discussion about the infamous Grey Album -- a mashup by DJ Danger Mouse mixing The Beatles' White Album and Jay-Z's Black Album. As you probably know, EMI went insane over this release, threatening to sue everyone -- as it has done since then on other Beatles mashups to this day. However, I can't recall ever hearing anything, one way or the other, about Jay-Z's opinion on the album, and it's basically the opposite of the way EMI/The Beatles reacted (from about 12:50 in the interview):
Terry Gross: "So I've got to ask you how you feel about the Grey Album, which is the mash-up that Danger Mouse did of your Black Album and the Beatles' White Album, without any copyright permission. So, how do you feel about it musically and how do you feel about the fact that he did it?"

Jay-Z: "I think it was a really strong album. I champion any form of creativity and that was a genius idea to do it, and it sparked so many others like it. There are other ones that, you know, it's really good, there are other ones that, because of the blueprint that was set by him, that I think are a little better. But, you know, him being the first and having the idea; I thought it was genius."

Terry Gross: "Did you feel ripped off by the fact that he used your music on it without paying for it? Or did you think it doesnít matter, itís really good art."

Jay-Z: "No, I was actually honored that, you know, someone took the time to mash those records up with Beatles records. I was honored to be on, you know, quote-unquote the same song with the Beatles."
If you listen to the actual audio, you can hear his sincerity on that last part. Later on (around 23:45), he talks about the process of getting permission to sample Hard Knock Life, highlighting the ridiculousness of permission culture. While he was thrilled about having others sample his music and do stuff with it, when it came to getting the rights for Hard Knock Life, he had to convince the original songwriters to let him sample it, and to do so he told "a big lie" concerning how he had seen the play, Annie, on Broadway as a kid, and had written an essay for some school essay contest about the importance of seeing Annie on Broadway. While the original songwriter of Hard Knock Life notes that he was happy with the Jay-Z song, it still highlights one of the problems with permission culture. Basically, Jay-Z had to beg (and lie) to create art.


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  1.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Nov 19th, 2010 @ 7:55pm

    While the original songwriter of Hard Knock Life notes that he was happy with the Jay-Z song, it still highlights one of the problems with permission culture. Basically, Jay-Z had to beg (and lie) to create art.

    I know! It's terrible that people can't do whatever they want to. I'm with you--pirates are great because they just take what they want. No permission or anything! Isn't piracy great? Go, Pirates!!

     

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    Marcus Carab (profile), Nov 19th, 2010 @ 7:57pm

    What I don't understand is why Jay-Z's label agrees release the acapella versions of his songs. Jay-Z does it because, as he confirms in this interview, he obviously loves remix culture - but if his label plans on suing everyone, why do they release retail acapella discs?

     

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    Marcus Carab (profile), Nov 19th, 2010 @ 7:58pm

    Re:

    Er, wait, Jay-Z owns his own label, doesn't he... It was just EMI with the lawsuits. Never mind.

     

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    Mike Masnick (profile), Nov 19th, 2010 @ 8:17pm

    Re:

    I know! It's terrible that people can't do whatever they want to. I'm with you--pirates are great because they just take what they want. No permission or anything! Isn't piracy great? Go, Pirates!!

    That's not what I said and you know it. I don't know why you feel the need to misrepresent what was said. It just makes you look silly.

    This isn't about pirating, it's about people creating entirely new works by building on the works of others before them. That you can't tell the difference and call them "pirates" is either willfully misstating what is being talked about or extreme ignorance. Neither makes you look good.

     

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    kyle clements (profile), Nov 19th, 2010 @ 8:23pm

    99

    He's got 99 problems, but a remix ain't one.

     

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    Brian, Nov 19th, 2010 @ 8:35pm

    Rightscroppers

    Aren't we made better by keeping track and paying dues? You say "...had to beg (and lie) to create art." What about saying '...had to beg (and lie) to sell art'?

    Yes it's a rough terrible mess dealing with claims and property but there's a distinctly aggressive twist we call dealing that often wrecks and confuses me.

    That's the rub. Partly, capital is discovering value and making use. Partly, capital is value found among anothers' property and negotiating carry.

    Claims and property. Isn't copyright a fair market for dispensing rights? If not, it's far more broken than its details.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Nov 19th, 2010 @ 8:44pm

    Nice words but they are just that nice words, nobody really knows what is in his head really.

    What I do know is that he is part of the people who pay the RIAA.

    So no buying from him, no listening no nothing at least for me, which is not much and people can safely ignore me.

    Where I listen to music there is no Jay-Z, Madonna, U2, Lily Allen, Metallica or anything like that, they are not part of my world.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Nov 19th, 2010 @ 9:36pm

    Re:

    Isn't art great? Go, Artists!!

     

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    djprinvale, Nov 20th, 2010 @ 1:39am

    Just want to point out that I've followed Jay-Z for a while now and this is pretty normal. He's a very intelligent business man when it comes to things other than rapping. His new book about Rap culture is a good read as well. Overall, Jay-Z is just a downright good person.

    That is all.

     

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    btrussell (profile), Nov 20th, 2010 @ 3:46am

    Re:

    Yes, and he is even still trying to take care of his old crack supplier back from the days when he himself was selling crack.

    Crack is made by remixing cocaine.

     

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    Kingster (profile), Nov 20th, 2010 @ 5:47am

    Re: Rightscroppers

    Maybe it's too early in the morning and I haven't had enough coffee, but I'm struggling with what you've said here.

    Until there is demand, something is worth absolutely zero. In fact, it could be valued negatively - land for example. The government says it's worth X, and taxes you on it. No one is going to give you X for it. So at this point, you are paying Y%, so the worth of the land is zero minus Y% of X. This is also the whole basis of one man's trash is another man's treasure.

    So really, I guess my point is that the sample for "Hard Knock Life" was, at one point, worth zero. It wasn't going to make money in that sampled realm, until Jay-Z decided to do something with it. If he had used it, and not paid for it... Who would it really have hurt? Would the "owners" have "lost" anything? Nope.

    Hell, if I was Jay-Z, and was negotiating something like this, I would ask for concessions from the original songwriters, that if they see a 5% or more bump in sales within a year of his release, then they pay him a percentage of their earnings for that year. Why? Because he's adding value to THEIR property. Going back to the land example... You think those homes built by Extreme Home Makeover don't get taxed at the new worth?

    No, the sample had a worth of (really) zero. If I tell you I'm going to use a 3 second blip of your song, that should be enough, and you should hope that you're going to get a bump out of it.

    I'm sorry if that doesn't make sense. As I said... Still waking up, and may need more coffee.

     

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    Kingster (profile), Nov 20th, 2010 @ 5:49am

    Re: Re:

    And your point is?

     

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    out_of_the_blue, Nov 20th, 2010 @ 6:11am

    Mike, you're busy devaluing honor.

    "But, you know, him being the first and having the idea; I thought it was genius. ...

    Jay-Z: "No, I was actually honored that, you know, someone took the time to mash those records up with Beatles records. I was honored to be on, you know, quote-unquote the same song with the Beatles."

    Genius is thinking of a "re-mix", eh? And he's "honored" to have some of his audio mixed with the Beatles. -- The values of genius and honor have been so diluted and cheapened by such mis-use that we may never recover. And that society rewards such dolts so vastly more than it does those who produce actual goods and foods is obscene.

    It not's merely "Jay-Z"; it's the whole culture, Mike included, who find, or pretend to, something of great value in the *easy* and *trivial* re-mixing of *music*, and making heroes" out of those who merely produce pleasing noises. --That's not going to keep food on your table or the lights on in the post-industrial police state.

    The whole area of entertainment has *nothing* to do with the economy, has never made *any* society rich, it's mere luxury made possible by industrial production, but because *easy* and *fun* for economists too, this clap-trap is what we get instead of sounding the alarm that the industrial base in the US is vanishing. PHOOEY.

    There IS a third way, and that's to ensure that trivial entertainers and corporate greedy grifters don't thrive and prosper so out of proportion to their actual contributions to society, by taxing the hell out of high incomes.

     

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    abc gum, Nov 20th, 2010 @ 6:44am

    Re:

    Yeah, I see what you are saying and it is so true. For example, that dirty no good pirate by the name of Michael Angelo stole the method of dipping horse hair into pigmentation and applying it upon a flat surface.

     

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    Bob, Nov 20th, 2010 @ 7:03am

    I got no talent...

    ...but if I did have talent, and I worked really hard at producing an album, and some dumb@ss came by and took that work to make his own work to make money. Well? I would be miffed.

    Right... art. Yeah.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Nov 20th, 2010 @ 7:17am

    Obviously the Artist and Business will never mix. As an Artist, I say we need 2 separate copyrights.

    One for the Artist. These rights and permissions override all others. Also it is non-transferable except upon death. It never expires. The Artist created the work so them and their heirs should own it forever.
    Two we need a special Copyright for business which is controlled totally by contract and the Artist. This copyright is issued by the Copyright Office and requires a copy of the contract to be protected.

    This crap of the Artist losing their rights just to release a their work has to stop. The company that licensed the Artists work will then have no say over usage unless they can prove a loss in revenue.

    Of course I dream. All through history the rich have promoted the ideas of the poor and taken credit for them. They allow credit to go to the great artists and composers simply because they can't prove they did it. But I know for sure if they can steal it, they will.

     

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  17.  
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    Kaden (profile), Nov 20th, 2010 @ 7:44am

    Re: Mike, you're busy devaluing honor.

    There are a few flecks of spittle on the corner of your mouth... you may want to wipe them off.

     

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  18.  
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    RadialSkid (profile), Nov 20th, 2010 @ 7:54am

    Re:

    Man, you guys sure are terrified. Everything is about "pirates" to you guys, even in copyright issues that don't involve them.

     

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  19.  
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    RadialSkid (profile), Nov 20th, 2010 @ 8:03am

    Re: Re:

    So in other words, the remix is crack, and the music is cocaine? So remixes are more addictive than the industry crap they're based on?

    Great analogy!

     

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  20.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Nov 20th, 2010 @ 8:20am

    Re: Re:

    That's not what I said and you know it. I don't know why you feel the need to misrepresent what was said. It just makes you look silly.

    This isn't about pirating, it's about people creating entirely new works by building on the works of others before them. That you can't tell the difference and call them "pirates" is either willfully misstating what is being talked about or extreme ignorance. Neither makes you look good.


    You can try and frame the issue that way, but that doesn't change the fact that you're saying piracy is OK if it's for art's sake. I'm all for art too, but that doesn't mean I think artists can just appropriate whatever they want. That is simply piracy.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Nov 20th, 2010 @ 10:00am

    Re: Re: Re:

    You don't know what art and piracy are, do you?

     

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  22.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Nov 20th, 2010 @ 10:03am

    Re:

    The Artist created the work so them and their heirs should own it forever.

    No creative work should be owned forever. That's not how creativity works.

     

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  23.  
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    JohnK, Nov 20th, 2010 @ 10:10am

    Re: How about business and inventors?

    Too bad we couldn't of had things like this in place back when Edison was stealing patents for practically everything he claimed to have invented. To this day companies still claim rights to inventions you came up with during your employment with them.

     

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  24.  
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    KnhoJ, Nov 20th, 2010 @ 10:13am

    Re: I got no talent...

    Heck Shakespear is till considered ne of the greatest wriers in history, and a LOT of his works are merely "remixes" of previous works.

     

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    KnhoJ, Nov 20th, 2010 @ 10:14am

    Re: I got no talent...

    Heck Shakespear is till considered ne of the greatest writers in history, and a LOT of his works are merely "remixes" of previous works.

     

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  26.  
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    vivaelamor (profile), Nov 20th, 2010 @ 10:21am

    Re: I got no talent...

    "...but if I did have talent, and I worked really hard at producing an album, and some dumb@ss came by and took that work to make his own work to make money. Well? I would be miffed."

    Except they couldn't take your work to make their money. If they took your work then you wouldn't be able to sell it, however if they've copied your work then you can still sell it and they'd have to compete with you. Nothing is created in a vacuum; either people are free to copy other people for their own work or everyone starts from scratch and we forget about having any modern music. Drawing a line in the sand serves no purpose other than to claim entitlement for the sake of greed.

     

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  27.  
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    Karl (profile), Nov 20th, 2010 @ 10:40am

    Re:

    As an Artist, I say we need 2 separate copyrights.

    This is kind of how copyright works in Europe. The "artists' rights" you speak of are called moral rights, or "droit d'auteur." They are, essentially, what is covered by a CC-BY license.

    Except for visual art (painting or sculpture), they do not exist in the U.S. or U.K.

    The Artist created the work so them and their heirs should own it forever.

    This is a terrible, terrible idea. Can you imagine how it would impact classical music?

    If you truly do believe in such rights, there's no reason they should survive long after the author's death. You can't infringe on the rights of a dead man.

    This crap of the Artist losing their rights just to release a their work has to stop.

    I agree with you 100%. "Assigning" rights should be unlawful, in my opinion. It should be licensing deals or nothing.

    Fortunately, there is a legal limit of 35 years on the length of such deals, as long as they're not "works for hire." That's why current RIAA VP Mitch Glazier secretly defined all sound recordings as a "work for hire" when he was a staff attorney in Washington.

     

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    out_of_the_blue, Nov 20th, 2010 @ 10:43am

    Re: Re: Mike, you're busy devaluing honor.

    What a crushing ad-hom quip! -- So original that it reinforces my point on how stale Jay-Z and remixes are: Google gets 93,700 hits for that exact phrase.

    http://www.google.com/search?q=%22flecks+of+spittle%22&hl=en&num=100&lr=& ft=i&cr=&safe=images

     

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  29.  
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    Transbot9, Nov 20th, 2010 @ 11:56am

    Re:

    As an artist, I can say that intellectual property laws (especially US IP laws) are worthless to me.

    I can't afford a lawyer, so I can't afford to defend my rights if someone does steal my work. So for me, it's the same as if the law doesn't exist. Current and proposed measures to fight "piracy" and "counterfitting" do not protect me, either.

    The artist as anything but a tradesman is a relativly new invention, of which we can probably thank Louis XIV (King of France) for, as he established the first Academy of Art. Personally, I'm not fond of the entitlement model, especially the one you are proposing.

     

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  30.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Nov 20th, 2010 @ 1:12pm

    Confusion between Art and Expression of Art

    The grey album is artifact. The creative *idea* to do the mashup was the actual art - the rest was craftsmanship (in which there may be different art).

    In a way, JayZ kind of made that distinction:
    "But, you know, him being the first and having the idea; I thought it was genius."

    EMI in no way prevented the art (the idea). It can't. Nor did it prevent the expression of that art through craftsmanship - the entire album could have been made legally (in the US, at least) and shared with friends and family. So you have perfectly legal art, and it's expression.

    However, to make a business off the resulting is what IP law is meant to prevent.

    The sharing of IP is so that we can build on the ideas of others, not build businesses off the ideas of others.

    I hate to say it, because I think EMI are a bunch of middleman no talent criminal douchebags, flogging an anachronistic business model. But they were right.

     

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  31.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Nov 20th, 2010 @ 2:19pm

    Re:

    Except a remix isn't the same thing as copying the music for free. Not even close.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Nov 20th, 2010 @ 2:41pm

    It's nice to hear him say this now. But when Dangermouse was having an issue... He missed an opportunity for change.

    If he wants to improve the artistic integrity of rap, make an attempt to get things back to the late 80s legal standing. It's all great to appreciate 'It Takes A Nation of Millions' and 'Paul's Boutique' but it's something else to make works like them legal again.

     

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  33.  
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    btrussell (profile), Nov 20th, 2010 @ 2:44pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    Just another example of what a fine business man he is.

    Buy product, cut with other cheaper, addictive/dangerous products, sell. Generally to younger people. Record execs and the like have money for the real stuff.

    I wonder how many lives were ruined that people forgive because he remixed some other peoples music?

     

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  34.  
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    btrussell (profile), Nov 20th, 2010 @ 3:07pm

    Re:

    "The Artist created the work so them and their heirs should own it forever."
    How can you continuously sell something, yet still own it?
    Or do you mean keep it private and sell once when your heirs desire to after your death?

     

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    Kaden (profile), Nov 20th, 2010 @ 3:16pm

    Re: Re: Re: Mike, you're busy devaluing honor.

    I don't think logic works the way you think it does.

     

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    Karl (profile), Nov 20th, 2010 @ 3:26pm

    Re: Confusion between Art and Expression of Art

    the entire album could have been made legally (in the US, at least) and shared with friends and family.

    In fact, this is wrong. You cannot distribute infringing works, even for non-commercial use.

    If it was just "friends and family," I doubt anyone would care. But if he made it available for free download, he would be infringing. And if you or I downloaded that Danger Mouse album today, we would be lawbreakers.

     

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  37.  
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    btrussell (profile), Nov 20th, 2010 @ 3:28pm

    Re:

    "The infringer has effectively already admitted owing at least $50 million and the full claim could exceed $6 billion. If the dollars don't shock, the target of the lawsuit undoubtedly will: The defendants in the case are Warner Music Canada, Sony BMG Music Canada, EMI Music Canada, and Universal Music Canada, the four primary members of the Canadian Recording Industry Association."
    http://www.thestar.com/business/article/735096--geist-record-industry-faces-liability -over-infringement

    Have a great day rooster sucker.

     

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  38.  
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    Mike Masnick (profile), Nov 20th, 2010 @ 3:31pm

    Re: Mike, you're busy devaluing honor.

    It not's merely "Jay-Z"; it's the whole culture, Mike included, who find, or pretend to, something of great value in the *easy* and *trivial* re-mixing of *music*, and making heroes" out of those who merely produce pleasing noises.

    If you think it's easy and trivial, it shows you have no clue what you're talking about.

     

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  39.  
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    Mike Masnick (profile), Nov 20th, 2010 @ 3:34pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    You can try and frame the issue that way, but that doesn't change the fact that you're saying piracy is OK if it's for art's sake. I'm all for art too, but that doesn't mean I think artists can just appropriate whatever they want. That is simply piracy.

    I'm always amazed at who clueless people don't understand the very basics of art. According to you pretty much all art is piracy. Shakespeare never should have happened based on your logic. Rock and roll music? Piracy, all of it. Soul music? Yup. You do know that Ray Charles "pirated" a church song that was written just a couple years earlier as his first soul song right?

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Nov 20th, 2010 @ 4:37pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    I'm always amazed at who clueless people don't understand the very basics of art. According to you pretty much all art is piracy. Shakespeare never should have happened based on your logic. Rock and roll music? Piracy, all of it. Soul music? Yup. You do know that Ray Charles "pirated" a church song that was written just a couple years earlier as his first soul song right?

    Your unconvincing rhetoric aside, you don't deny that you are pro-piracy if it's for art's sake then, do you?

     

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  41.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Nov 20th, 2010 @ 5:20pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    You sure do have a "black" and "white" view of "art" and "piracy".

     

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  42.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Nov 20th, 2010 @ 5:41pm

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

    I think the artistic world is doing just fine, especially since an "idea, procedure, process, system, method of operation, concept, principle, or discovery, regardless of the form in which it is described, explained, illustrated, or embodied in such work" is not copyrightable.

     

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  43.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Nov 20th, 2010 @ 7:03pm

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

    Yes, the artistic world is doing fine. I can listen to the White album, the Black album, and the Grey album.

    All at the same time.

     

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    herodotus (profile), Nov 20th, 2010 @ 7:20pm

    Re: Mike, you're busy devaluing honor.

    "It not's merely "Jay-Z"; it's the whole culture, Mike included, who find, or pretend to, something of great value in the *easy* and *trivial* re-mixing of *music*, and making heroes" out of those who merely produce pleasing noises."

    The fact that some people make music that is trivial doesn't mean that all music is trivial.

    The cultural importance (or unimportance) of Jay-Z doesn't impinge in any way on the cultural importance of, say, Milton Babbitt or Pierre Boulez.

    "The whole area of entertainment has *nothing* to do with the economy, has never made *any* society rich, it's mere luxury made possible by industrial production, but because *easy* and *fun* for economists too, this clap-trap is what we get instead of sounding the alarm that the industrial base in the US is vanishing. PHOOEY."

    Drama didn't make Athenians rich either. Do you really think that they were wasting their time watching plays written by Aeschylus and Sophocles? Are classicists wasting their time studying and translating them? Are students wasting their time trying to understand them?

    Is making money really the only worthwhile human activity to you?

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Nov 20th, 2010 @ 7:21pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Your complete dodge of the destruction of your logic aside...

    Oh, nevermind, we can stop there.

     

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    darryl, Nov 20th, 2010 @ 7:57pm

    Are you really superhuman Mike ?

    he had to convince the original songwriters to let him sample it, and to do so he told "a big lie" concerning how he had seen the play, Annie, on Broadway as a kid, and had written an essay for some school essay contest about the importance of seeing Annie on Broadway.

    Mikes lesson for the weekend,

    its ok to lie and cheat, and commit fraud, as long as it results in getting what you want in the end..


    @Mike
    This isn't about pirating, it's about people creating entirely new works by building on the works of others before them. That you can't tell the difference and call them "pirates" is either willfully misstating what is being talked about or extreme ignorance. Neither makes you look good.


    No mike, and ENTIRELY NEW WORK would NOT include the works of others, that is not what he is doing Mike, he **IS** using the work of others, so his work is NOT an ENTIRELY NEW WORK.. its a mashup as you explained.

    To create an entirely new work based on the work of others, would be for me to write a new blues song, or a new rocknroll song, I can easily be including the work of others, but I do not have to copy, sample, or lie, steal or cheat to get it.

    It is an entirely new work, its based on 12 bar blues, but it is a unique work, and it is recognisable as a blues song, but it is not recognisable as ANYONE ELSES blues song.

    So for you to say That's not what I said and you know it. I don't know why you feel the need to misrepresent what was said. It just makes you look silly.



    No mike, I dont know if you are silly, but that is exactly what you said, and it is what you ment.. so which is it,

    There is nothing stopping him from making an ENTIRELY NEW SONG, without having to copy or sample music from others, just he chooses not too, NO, instead he chooses to lie, and be fraudulent in his action to get what he wants.

    And you Mike think that is something good and something that should be promoted.. nice one.. it must be the weekend.. !!! :P)


    I'm always amazed at who clueless people don't understand the very basics of art

    Classic Mike, what you are trying to say there is that it is not possible to create art unless someone has allready done it before hand.. Yes, Mike I'm amazed at who(sic) or even HOW clueless some people are, that they cannot even understand the basics of art..

    I would have to say Mike you would be in that group, if not the blind leader if it..

    What because you are not capable of creating unique art, then therefore NO ONE MUST BE ABLE TO DO IT.


    It appears to us poor suffering readers that if you cannot understand something, or if you cannot see how something could be done differently then for you it is not possible for ANYONE to do it differently, or in a new way.

    Luckily we live in a work where some people are actually smarter and more creative that Mike can even imagine, and the result of that is all the new a great things we get to play with.

    It must be a massive stain on your reputation that the real world does not work the way you have set it out in your simples "mik'es world" view. Thank goodness for that..

    With Mike telling me that it is impossible to create a new form of art expression or a new style of music, that is not based on anything specific from the past.

    You can write a jazz music peice, its is clearly in the jazz style, but it can easily not be sililar to any other jazz peice, it can be YOUR OWN CREATION.

    Thats right Mike, some people are actually capable of creating things .
    They dont need to copy or sample, or look at other peoples popular songs, they can pick up an instrument, and play around and make up a song.

    Or you can be totally uncreative, and copy something someone else has done, you contribute nothing to the advancement of the art. and you are just cashing in on someone elses real talent.

    So Mike its clear you do not like to reward talent, I can understand that from you, you are not in the boat to win a prize for being creative, so you just want to profit from others creavitve abilities, lacking those abilities yourself.

    Fair enough, if that is what you are like, as long as we know what you motives are.. and the reason why you appear to hate invention and creativity so much.

    If idea's are so common and infinite, why does someone then have to use someone elses idea, to make money, and why do you have to support that ?

     

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    Freak, Nov 20th, 2010 @ 8:00pm

    Re: Mike, you're busy devaluing honor.

    If it is, indeed, easy and trivial, then please provide me with a remix of your own . . . be sure that it's one that sells hundreds of thousands of copies.

    To be sure, there are trivial re-mixes. However, there are also trivial songs.

     

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    darryl, Nov 20th, 2010 @ 8:01pm

    I love that----- "to do so he told "a big lie""

    and to do so he told "a big lie" concerning how he had seen the play, Annie, on Broadway as a kid,

    So its ok to lie, cheat and commit fraud as long as it results in you getting what you want, and Mike thinks that is a good thing.. !!!

    But no, Mike does not support pirates, only liars and cheats..

     

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    Freak, Nov 20th, 2010 @ 8:10pm

    Re: Are you really superhuman Mike ?

    The last part struck me as silly.

    "If idea's are so common and infinite, why does someone then have to use someone elses idea, [. . .]"

    Why yes, I should always start with completely fresh ideas, instead of building on previous ideas, standing on the shoulders of giants and what-not.

    When I design a car, I shouldn't even go in with the idea of a wheel, nosirree, that wouldn't be a fresh idea!

    And when I program, I always start in machine language, build a compiler from there, build a high language from there, and then start! Except, oops, I totally stole someones idea for a CPU implementation right there . . . as well as languages, language structure, machine code itself!, basic logic, and even binary! Shit! I'm infringing on binary!

    And look at you with your entirely new blues song! Shit man, you're just copying that first blues song. Ain't nothing new about that. And . . . is that a guitar?! Are you too lazy to make your own instrument?! And hey man, are you using a beat that fits into a normal time signature, (ie: 4/4)? Now you're stealing ideas from the catholic church? How low can you get man, how low?


    /snark

    But thanks, I had a good long laugh.

     

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  50.  
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    Jay (profile), Nov 20th, 2010 @ 8:15pm

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

    AJ, don't you have anything better to do than be antagonistic?

     

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    Jay (profile), Nov 20th, 2010 @ 8:19pm

    I'm not fooled

    I'm struggling with this new view. This is the same man that sued a bar for playing his tracks. source

    He also sued Ortiz over the name of a club. Source

    If he's truly into allowing personal freedoms, you would think he'd be one to try to license with others rather than take them to court, in a similar fashion to what the music industry does.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Nov 20th, 2010 @ 10:19pm

    Re: Are you really superhuman Mike ?

    The Beatles, Jay-Z, and Danger Mouse, all talented and all rewarded. Shocking!

     

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    Transbot9, Nov 20th, 2010 @ 10:54pm

    Re: Are you really superhuman Mike ?

    No offense, but it seems to me that you know very little of the creative process.

    No artist exists within a vacuume. For example - one of the most well-known artists is Picasso; but Picasso did not invent Cubism alone. He and Braque kept playing off of each other's ideas until finally, Cubism was born. In fact, Collage became considered an art form thanks to those two, and that's the graphic fine arts version of a mash-up.

    DuChamp's ready-mades are further examples of fine arts "mash-ups" - in which the importance is creating the new expression or idea rather than the original materials. Granted, he did admit that the whole Ready-Made thing got a little out-of-hand once it caught on, but his work makes him the poster-boy for Fair Use.

    More or less everything has been done before, and truly original ideas are exceedingly rare. Archetypal literary criticism & Monomyth is still taught in institutions of higher learning.

    A major aspect of creativity is taking something that has come before and doing something different with it. One aspect is unusual juxtaposition - two unlike things are merged to create something new (like all the half-human, half-whatevers in mythology). You may think a Jay-Z mash-up or a moustached Mona Lisa is a little weak, but it is still artistically valid.

     

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    Bluezy (profile), Nov 20th, 2010 @ 11:14pm

    Honor

    "Imitation is the sincerest flattery". -Charles Caleb Colton

    I am impressed with Jay Z's passive acceptance of the obvious!
    Pass on the wisdom!

     

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    Bluezy (profile), Nov 20th, 2010 @ 11:24pm

    Re: Re: Are you really superhuman Mike ?

    If I eat onions do my farts smell like the other person's farts that ate onions, too? And who is brave enough to analyze or ANALyze this possible infringement?


    It is like Mattel toys suing is a company named Super Duper that makes toys that help autistic children for using the phrase "The cow goes moo". They made them throw away the already produced toys after they won the case with their mega bucks profit from Barbie and Hot Wheels, etc.

    My middle finger goes FLIP!

     

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    Bluezy (profile), Nov 20th, 2010 @ 11:38pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    No he is telling you that if you want to add almonds on top of your chocolate cake, it is ok because it still tastes good and even the baker agrees!
    And if the person who put almonds on the cake did it before the baker could taste it he can later offer this piece and say I was trying to honor your cake and well here have a bite and PEACE.

     

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    Bluezy (profile), Nov 20th, 2010 @ 11:40pm

    Re: Re:

    OMG lets hope that no horses were injured or abused. LOL

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Nov 20th, 2010 @ 11:57pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    You are not even trying hard with trolling anymore.

     

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    Bluezy (profile), Nov 21st, 2010 @ 12:26am

    Re: Re: Are you really superhuman Mike ?

    Bravo! Well commented.
    I had an idea a long time ago to take the famous works and alter them and make posters call it Vandalart. Then someone actually did it. You can buy Mona altered now and I like the thing they did with David where you can dress him up on your refrigerator! He looks sexy with a leather coat. Black and White classic look!

     

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    Bluezy (profile), Nov 21st, 2010 @ 12:38am

    Re: Honor

    Ok after reading the comment that linked to Jay-Z suing a club for using unlicensed music...this article is meaningless.
    My praise is retracted.
    I need to learn to read more before commenting.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Nov 21st, 2010 @ 1:02am

    Re: I love that----- "to do so he told "a big lie""

    When the law is in the wrong, there's not much currently one can do except to go against it.

     

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    Dunlop, Nov 21st, 2010 @ 1:49am

    Yeah, I see what you are saying and it is so true.

     

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    darryl, Nov 21st, 2010 @ 1:56am

    Re: Re: Are you really superhuman Mike ?

    Hi freak.

    Thats right when you design a car you start with a steering whell, and maybe 4 wheels for each corner and so on.

    But you dont have to invent steel, or plastic, or wires, or insulation, or carpet, or gearboxes, or engines, or wheels.

    Nor are you restricted from using those invention, or inventing your own products or materials.

    When you write you're software you do not have to invent the transistor, or the integrated circuit, or the wire, or the LED or the microcode, or the CPU structure, or the momory or the display and so on.

    When I crate or write a song, I can use notes, scales, tempo's, cadences, styles, techniques that are commonly availaible, but I can use those raw components to create something unique, its not based on anyone one elses work, it might be a blues song, it might use a 4/4 time with a 12 bar progression and use a blues scale like the pentotonic scale.

    There you have it, ive use notes and invention, and timeing to create something totally new and unique..

    You can do the same thing with your car, you can use the materials commonly available to create something that is unique, and it is unique because it is a product of your invention.

    Obviously you are not infringing on binary and it is clear that is your problem, you are not infringing on 'binary' you are infringing on someone's elses creativity with a raw material (binary) that you are infringing upon..

    when you write you software what are you going, you are working out how to do something, that others do not know how to do, then what you are saying is that because SOMEONE (anyone) knows how to do that thing, that EVERYONE should be shown how to do it.

    So going by that, you do not expect ever to be paid for your programming efforts, or for any work that creates knowledge, because if you create knowledge you assume its right for everyone to share that knowledge without reward..

    So when you write a critical program for the company you work for, you dont ask for any pay for the work you did because that information has a right to be free..

    Even if the person who contracted you to write that code (to solve that problem with the creation of information) are willing to make that problem solving information available to anyone who wants it, even that companies competition !.

    Sorry but are you really silly enough to propose that scales, or the sound of a particular instrument, or a timing, or "digital" or 'analogue' ,or 'words' or 'numbers' can be copyrighted or patented ?

    You talk about a blues song like "Shit man, you're just copying that first blues song".

    Shit man,,, really, what if the words are diffenet, the timing is different, the key is different, the style is different, the voice is different, the instrument is different, and we go to court, and you say "shit judge, its just like "this" song.

    And you play something that sounds nothing like my song, except you can class it as 'blues' music.

    The judge, and the world will laugh you out of caught, but not after fining you for stupidity and being a pest...

    You are a real joke if you are going through life believing that is how the world works.. Maybe you should get out more, and start to question Mike's motives and logic on occasions.

    You'll be mush happier thinking for yourself, and not believing you can be sued for playing a guitar, because someone else has done it before you !!!!.

    I wonder if you still believe the earth is flat and that the moon is made of cheese too ?

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Nov 21st, 2010 @ 2:44am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    I think you are confused.

     

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    Freak, Nov 21st, 2010 @ 6:24am

    Re: Re: Re: Are you really superhuman Mike ?

    Well, according to you, I should be sued for remixing a song.

    I guess I should also be sued for having been influenced by another artist.

    Or using the same instrument . . . hell, someone had to invent that, didn't they? At one time, you could actually be sued for making another instrument that sounded similar, given that some part of the first instrument was patented.
    That time is actually now, people have/are sued/suing each other over the sound of electronic instruments, and when they could/can, sued/suing each other for using what boils down to basic physics, based on patents.
    I was actually thinking of one of those lawsuits when I mentioned that using a guitar could be infringing, (Short of it: Guy couldn't sue for infringement on the instrument on which a vital part of it is patented by him, (an electronic filter that gives it a characteristic sound), because it was only made for the 2nd guy's own use. When the 2nd guy tried to release an album using the instrument he made for himself, however, the 1st guy sued. A settlement was reached after the court didn't throw the case out).

    Most ideas build off of each other. The others are mutative permutations of existing ideas. Usually, they're both. That's how humans think.
    If you think that a new idea is worth less because it is built on the shoulders of giants, well . . . you wouldn't get very far in any science.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Nov 21st, 2010 @ 6:42am

    Re: Re: Re: Are you really superhuman Mike ?

    Sir I marvel at your stupidity, you argument on both sides of the fence and seems to not have a clue that it is doing so.

    You disprove your own previous talking points with this post and apparently without shame think others should pay attention.

    "When I crate or write a song, I can use notes, scales, tempo's, cadences, styles, techniques that are commonly available, and I can use those raw components to create something unique, its not based on anyone else work, it might be a blues song, it might use a 4/4 time with a 12 bar progression and use a blues scale like the pentatonic scale.

    There you have it, I've use notes and invention, and timing to create something totally new and unique.."

    ps: I tried to correct the grammatical errors but I'm illiterate so if anybody see anything else wrong please correct it for us all.

    Right there you admitted that using others hard work is ok and without shame LoL

     

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    Bruce Ediger (profile), Nov 21st, 2010 @ 7:20am

    Re: Re: I got no talent...

    I have no remix here, I just want to pay tribute to this great line:

    Drawing a line in the sand serves no purpose other than to claim entitlement for the sake of greed.

     

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    Bruce Ediger (profile), Nov 21st, 2010 @ 7:22am

    Re: Re:

    What he said.

    Also, what about independent creation? Like Roy Lichtenstein and that other artist recently, who had both done pretty much the same thing, I guess based on "remixin" the same comic book panel, but still, independent invention.

     

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    Mr. Oizo, Nov 21st, 2010 @ 10:55am

    Re: Re: Mike, you're busy devaluing honor.

    I agree, making good remixes is as difficult as making the original art itself. So, the argument that remixing is trivial and easy is kinda cheap.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Nov 21st, 2010 @ 11:10am

    @4 addon to mike

    i took 5 images of other artists work spent 3 days and made a new image, people were like wholly frak how'd you do that...so i explained it and even told them which artists and where there works can be seen....two came back and said thanks...for the free advertising...i said thanks for making your images and keep up good work.

    I also said man always builds off the old to make new.
    IF the tools make it easier so be it, you cannot fight change.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Nov 21st, 2010 @ 11:22am

    Re: @4 addon to mike

    Stupid people can try and fight change. They're usually enabled by politicians and overzealous lawyers and a broken system.

    Artists look past, present, future.

    Stupids and lawyers look past, present.

    Politicians look to see how much money you've given them.

     

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    YA riiiiiight, Nov 21st, 2010 @ 11:36am

    @29 , then @30 then @44 then @46

    too bad you do not see what you do as contributing to humankind , rather you see your so called art as a product it means YOU are not an artist but a marketer of a product.

    BTW didn't that king of france get his head lopped off for extravagance and arrogance towards his fellow countrymen?

    Actually IP law is or was made to so that new works could be made and you get SOME compensation to continue...i would argue the Beatles are not continuing to create art thus there works should be free to play with and remix redo and make a new....if you lock it down for 150 years in the usa then nothing new will come of it.....culture , art and science thus are hindered....(mixing technology and such would not be made )

    @44
    well imagine if mathematics which were written down were all copyrighted forever and you could not practice use or distribute it without expressed written paid permission.
    We'd prolly not have much math and or even computers or anything would we? As mike states a lil bit above you...according to you everything is piracy thus no one can do anyhting...Sweet...whom do we send our souls and checks too?
    I do things because i wish too, i make things for same reason. When i share it is because it feels good to know others appreciate it. Making any money is the last thing on my mind....

    @46
    you mean like the CRIA stealing all the revenue since 1980 and at min a 6 billion lawsuit by the artists follows?

    about entirely new work....
    HOW is this done tell me how, and ill strt giving you the IP that is associated to it and your payment is long over due on stupidity....ALL art and works are derived form that which came before. YOUR brain has sampled all kinds of things and due to that sampling you

    "come up with new works based on those experiences"
    and speaking of say "clipart" as an example of how imagery can be then remixed into new images that are then used in all kinds a things form movies , tv , marketing advertising all kinds a things...BUT it came form stuff before, and it takes a skill to see how 5-10 images can come together to make somehting uniquely new....same was done with this song, modernized , added to and made for culture of today....

    I too am also capable of making video animations form scratch as well as digital images , hte KEY here is if i can save time ( which we all can agree is also money ) with creating somehting from multiple works anew in a shorter time span that means my efficiency is greater and my potential to do more increases....

    thus society gets more from me rather then a tax which copyright has become for the lazy suits that go around suing everyone acs law style.

    one reason i do not publish much is i also do not have money for a lawyer to make sure all the "free clip art i use is really free , thus you can't enjoy because YOUR LAW makes it too easy to just accuse and sue....

    In conclusion copying to me is not about pirating or stealing your work. ITS efficient to do so in some cases.
    THINK about file sharing really for a minute.
    IS it a sign of smarts and efficiency that people will sit down in front of a computer and in 2 minutes have a full album or spend money on gas get into there car drive to store and pay for it with DRM that stops them form listening to it in the car or on there computer?

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Nov 21st, 2010 @ 11:54am

    oh and btw
    things like battle for wesnoth that have a lot of art contributions...how is that done for free OMG

    http://forums.wesnoth.org/viewtopic.php?f=9&t=21138
    you learn form someone thus they got that knowledge form someone else via sharings....

    ya kinda puts a hole right in the MY PRECIOUS don't it

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Nov 21st, 2010 @ 3:05pm

    Re:

    Lets see what happens when the future comes shall we.

    If said artist get 2 children, they both get some money for it, when they have their children it will get divided and probably in a few hundred years everyone can trace their lineage to that artist and get some money from everybody.

    Sounds like Social Security or healthcare to me.

    The more it get diluted the less people receive but the more somebody else needs to pay if that seems like a good idea good luck with it.

    Now if the copyright owner can dictate only one owner, this means that every copyright owner will soon have something to charge others for it and if you got only one piece of copyright but needs a thousand from others you end up paying way more.

    It is a no win situation, that is why copyright is stupid.

     

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    m0n0l1th, Nov 21st, 2010 @ 3:56pm

    Re: he Artist created the work so them and their heirs should own it forever.

    Your comment brings up the major crux in owning anything, including a piece of land: you don't really own anything you can't protect. You can pay for anything you want, you can create anything you want but if you cannot enforce your rights, you do not practically have those rights. Anyone can squat on "your" expensive land if you can't afford to throw them off. Anyone can play, re-mix and re-sell your music unless you have an EMI lawyer enforce your copyrights for you. And when you are dead, you definitely don't own anything, incuding your biological material that used to make up your own body.

     

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    Transbot9, Nov 21st, 2010 @ 5:33pm

    Re: @29 , then @30 then @44 then @46

    RE:
    too bad you do not see what you do as contributing to humankind , rather you see your so called art as a product it means YOU are not an artist but a marketer of a product.

    BTW didn't that king of france get his head lopped off for extravagance and arrogance towards his fellow countrymen?


    The difference between a professional artist and a non-professional artist is that the professional artist gets paid. That's it. That being said, I do produce art that will never make me a cent, because I enjoy making it. Personally...I think it's a little arrogent to be entitled for continuous payment for one's contribution to humanity, especially if the contribution is a "one hit wonder."

    Louis XIV lived to the ripe old age of (nearly) 77 before dying of gangrene. You're thinking of Louis XVI.

     

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    Mike Masnick (profile), Nov 21st, 2010 @ 10:18pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Your unconvincing rhetoric aside, you don't deny that you are pro-piracy if it's for art's sake then, do you?


    Wow. Your insane child-like obsession with trying to paint me as "pro-piracy" apparently blocks all reading comprehension vectors in your brain.

    As I stated -- and will now repeat -- this is not piracy, unless you know absolutely nothing about art, as appears to be the case for you.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Nov 22nd, 2010 @ 2:49am

    Create it from scratch? Re-mixing isn't art?

    That has to still be the stupidest argument I've heard anywhere bar none.

    As many have pointed out nothing in life is created from scratch, including every animal on the planet unless, I guess, you happen to be a creationist.

    Your mind is shaped by all the experiences of your life. If you create an "original" song, guess what? It's based on everything you ever heard. The only choice you have is whether to "copy" conciously or unconciously.

    I can't find the reference (probably because it pre-dates the web), but years ago I heard on the radio a "mashup" tune made to prove this exact point. They'd taken a famous classical track - something like Beethoven's fifth I can't remember - and to the tune, mixed up all the bits of other songs that they'd found that used recognisable snippets of it's tune to re-create the original. The result was rather amusing and included as I recall such giant works as "oh yes we have no bananas". Do you think the guy who wrote that sat down and thought "Hmmmm Beethoven... THAT's what I need to copy!". No, didn't think so, but would it have made any difference to the final song if he had?

    And as for remixes not being art? All I can say is Terry Gilliam. All his animations in Monty Python were created by him photocopying "great masters" then cutting out bits and moving them around. As far as I can see, that's about as close to the definition of "remixing" as you can get without it actually being music. Would anyone like to claim that the "art" of Monty Python wasn't enhanced by the linking "stream of conciousness" animations of Gilliam? Of that his animations in and of themselves have no artistic value?

    Just because I might think Jay-Z is a talentless noise polluter doesn't make his method any less valid. I could say the same of many "artists" who "create" less obviously copied works (i.e. "original" songs).

    Life copies and adapts. Get used to it.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Nov 22nd, 2010 @ 6:06am

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

    Wow. Your insane child-like obsession with trying to paint me as "pro-piracy" apparently blocks all reading comprehension vectors in your brain.

    As I stated -- and will now repeat -- this is not piracy, unless you know absolutely nothing about art, as appears to be the case for you.


    If they are taking something without permission and it is copyright infringement, then it is piracy, plain and simple. Do you deny that?

     

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

  80.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Nov 22nd, 2010 @ 6:27am

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

    If a law cannot be enforced and that same law leads to absurd conclusions it should never be respected let alone enforced plain and simple do you deny that?

    I call that pro-common-sense, pro-society, pro-harmony, pro-whatever.

    Besides there is the little fact that you can't prove something it is infringing or not, only a judge can do that because the law is so ambiguous that it is a judgment call, there is no process to define those things only gut feelings and that is another reason why copyright is moronic.

     

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

  81.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Nov 22nd, 2010 @ 6:33am

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

    People like you try to expand the concept of copyright to keep forcing others to comply, unfortunately people are saying no and you get sad.

    Rest assured society will destroy this ridiculous concept of imaginary ownership, it won't survive the test of time.

     

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

  82.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Nov 22nd, 2010 @ 6:45am

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

    what was taken? please show your work.

     

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

  83.  
    icon
    btrussell (profile), Nov 22nd, 2010 @ 6:47am

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

    Did it happen on the high seas?

     

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


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