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Re: (OT) Copyright in a Sampled World...

On Thu, 16 Aug 2001 15:45:56 -0700, "Kevin Mulvihill"
<kmulvihill@mediaone.net> wrote:

>Caliban, I was with you in your message below until the very
>end. There, you talk about how "absolutely essential" you believe the
>concept of copyright law is, but you yourself consciously do not, in
>practice, adhere to it. I can see from your posts that you are very
>intelligent, so let me ask you: does this seem like a double standard to
>you, or is there some way to reconcile the two conflicting positions?

Concept and current statute are very different things. I think the
existing laws are wrong, but I don't think copyright should be abolished
altogether. Artists need to be protected from corporate predators, but
the current laws effectively make artistic production secondary to
monetary return. That needs to change, but someone who wants to change
it has to end up in a federal court first. 

>In your long message below, when it comes to the question of the artist
>doing what they want to with another's artistic work, you're suggestion,
>apparently, is to do what you wish, claim 'fair use' - and hope no one 

Actually, it's "honestly try to be fair, hope the artist agrees with
your idea of 'fair', and hope the law agrees if the artist doesn't".
>From a copyright law perspective, no amount of sampling is acceptable,
period. It's all in a big grey area. If you're in that grey area, hoping
no one sues you is all you *can* do.

>So, Caliban, I'm just wondering: assuming that you do want to earn some
>buckolas from your music, how do you legally and morally justify your use 
>samples (meaning music created by others and used without permission or
>compensation) under the fair use doctrine?

Morally? Civil disobedience. Our country was founded on it. Remember the
Boston tea party? Same thing. I'm chucking other people's tea into my
harbor and refusing to pay the taxes. ;)

Legally? Ahh, now we're talking. I don't care about that USC 17
paragraph 107 "fair use" crap. That's just icing. What *I'm* on about is
nothing less than the U.S. Constitution, Article I, Section 8, Clause 8:
"[The Congress shall have power...] To promote the progress of science
and useful arts, by securing for limited times to authors and inventors
the exclusive right to their respective writings and discoveries;"

Now, you see, *that* is the CONCEPT of copyright. The part that's
"absolutely essential". There's also a valid fair use defense, but I
intend to challenge the whole damn system on constitutional grounds if
anyone's ever dumb enough to take me to court. 

Dumb enough? Am I that arrogant? You betcha. No matter *how* it comes
out, I win. Oh, I may be held responsible for infringement and told to
pay millions of dollars, sure -- but between the media blitz, the
subculture rabble-rousing, and the marketing synergy, I guarantee you
I'll manage to get rich off it. And if I tear down the whole damn thing
and manage to start something that at least PRETENDS to protect the
artist, I just *might* become the single most important figure in the
history of sampling. 

"And it ought to be remembered that there is nothing more difficult to
take in hand, more perilous to conduct, or more uncertain in its
success, then to take the lead in the introduction of a new order of
things. Because the innovator has for enemies all those who have done
well under the old conditions, and lukewarm defenders in those who may
do well under the new." -- "The Prince", Niccolo Machiavelli