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

I'm a bit reminded of something that happened at a Bulletin Board party 
in 1982.  The couple that ran Aphrodite East - not just a dating board, but
more or less a social one in the way we enjoy - had a party for all who 
on it.  This couple had just stopped being in the Swinging scene so that
they could have kids.  There were all types of people there, and some of
them were in the bad habit of copping telephone credit card numbers.  
into a room after hearing a heated bit of discussion, I heard the Sysop
saying this to one of these fellows:


So it goes for copyright infringement.  Sampling without giving due credit
(or either getting permission to use free, or paying the poor guy who
created the sample) IS NOT "civil disobediance", nor even bloody close to
the Boston Tea Party, even in spirit.

"Caliban Tiresias Darklock" <caliban@darklock.com> wrote:
> <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
> >you.
> 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 
> >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

Note: mp3.com now officially supports the Music Online Competition Act of
2001, which allows for people to use and make money off your work without
telling or paying you.  RIAA has officially sort of said that they don't
support it, despite having had a hand in designing it, from all indicators
and reports.  In conjunction with their stripping of ID Tags containing
copyright information this could be quite telling.  Coverage at

Stephen Goodman
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