Appropriation and Remix Culture in our Technological Times

This article reminded me of Joana Så’s influenced style of John Cage’s “the wonderful widow of 18 springs”. Joana Sa made a full length movie of her performing with a piano, THROUGH THIS LOOKING-GLASS, the same way John Cage did; using the piano as a percussion instrument. Though she uses the same idea that Cage did, she does so in a different expressive way; Even if they use the same idea, it is its own unique rendition. Many artists have taken John Cage’s ideas and done their own version, such as BBCs’ 4’33, Joana Sa’s multiple Cage covers, Tetsuo Kogawa’s radio pieces, and the countless youtube and vimeo John Cage covers out there.

I also think that it is kind of freaky how he humorously predicted the use of software to track down samples. Last semester a girl told the class how a video she had got flagged for copyright against a Michael Jackson song, when in fact she did not even use a song, it was an original composition.

Also, why make a sampler when it is illegal and dangerous to sample up to an extent? Its kind of like ‘why make bongs when its illegal to smoke pot?’ or even ‘why make cars go up to 70 when that’s the average speed limit in highways?’ ‘why provide the technology to rip music out from cds ?’ copyright sux

Steal this Film

In this article, Cory Doctorow tries to highlight the functions of what would be successful copyright law, and he proffers some good points. I like that he takes the capitalist and consumerist market economies into consideration, and focus on that for a bit.

As much as artists would love the “government will pay you 40 grand a year” scenario, it will never happen, and so copyright must exist in order to fund creativity. He points out that money and art do not have a direct correlation, that it would be better to have revenue from copyright be shared among many artists, as opposed to just one, and that copyright doesn’t deliver a free marketplace where creators or investors set a price for creative works.

I don’t believe that is entirely true: art is in a market place, perhaps, not negotiated by price, but by success, which in turn, increases revenue as if it was negotiated by price. What I mean is that even if Rihanna and her record company doesn’t charge a vast amount of money for people to listen to her new hit-single, they propel it to the top of the charts, causing the amount of people that want to listen to her to increase, which enables her to go on world tours and “float to the top in a pure and free marketplace,” helping her collect her profits.

Furthermore, he says that “money talks, and bullshit walks,” which is a fairly good label to pin on record industry executives and their investors. His argument that creators and investors are notoriously resistant to new media is one that is preventive of cultural advancement Investors possibly apply, but only until they figure out a way to manipulate the new technology in order to make higher profits. There are examples of creators being resistant as well (Metallica vs Napster), however in my opinion, on the whole creators are not only open to new media, they are the ones that spur the new media.

Art, and specifically music, is a market that churns out billions a year, and I feel like even though it’s damning to think about it this way and it’s much nicer to say, oh, art is priceless and art is sacred, the reality of the situation is that the market for art, music, and film is enormous, and it should be considered as such in terms of what the “new copyright law” should look like.