John Patterson’s article “Film & Music: Up Front: On film: It's Black History Month in the US - the perfect time to rerelease films that Hollywood considers too embarrassing to show for today” expresses annoyance of many films disappearing for its explicitly racial content. He understands that the content may be offensive, such as "Song of the South" and "Gone with the Wind," which are “racially questionable hit” and "Mandingo," a melodrama on the effects of slavery on victims and pratitioners. Patterson in conclusion expresses that these movies should be back in circulation because viewers now have broader understanding of differences in perspectives based on time periods and changes.
Patterson, John. “Film & Music: Up Front: On film: It’s Black History Month in the United States - the perfect time to rerelease films that Hollywood considers too embarrassing to show for today.” The Guardian 29 Feb. 2008: 2.
This book is a guide – as its title might suggest – to all things digital when it comes to music. It serves as not so much an analysis on copyright in the music industry as a whole, but rather as a set of legal and technical guidelines so that one may participate in the consumption and production of such music without infringing on copyrights. In other words, it describes for the reader all of the ins-and-outs of the digital music industry so that one may know where in the law his practices may reside.
Hill’s book has entire chapters devoted to the assessment of what is legal, what is not, and how to go about participating in said sanctioned musical practices. He identifies a list of acceptable file-sharing websites, and offers his own commentary on why others are forbidden, as well as why these are acceptable. The book begins with a basic introduction into the technologies and methods used in the digital realm and then goes deeper to list available services and to comment on the merits of various practices. His advice is clear and he condones no illegal activity, yet he makes clear why certain people might be motivated to circumvent copyright laws in terms of digital music. He further lists specific file types and programs that are used in these practices and he identifies useful software. He finishes the book with another broad chapter about the “Conscience of Digital Music” as a whole as well as his prediction of the future of the industry.
Hill’s technological knowledge is a key aspect of this book that has allowed me to delve deeply into the details of digital music production and sharing. He explains these issues in simple terms, while still conveying the complexity of their implications. In writing this final paper, the technological terms and details from this book will provide much-needed expertise in a field that I am not necessarily well-versed in. In my analysis of the acceptability of digital sampling, I must first know how the practice works and what techniques are involved; this book offers me this knowledge, which is key to reaching a conclusion in my final paper on what sampling is acceptable within copyright law.
tagged appropriation bootleg bootlegging burning copyright copyright_infringement digital_music digital_sampling downloading file-sharing grokster kazaa mix-cd mp3 music peer-to-peer piracy remixing ripping sampling sharing software song by minglet ...on 25-NOV-08
This book is at the opposite end of the spectrum, so to speak, from the previously-mentioned source. In this book, Williamson and the other authors discuss music from an expertise on the art itself. There is no mention of digital music, sampling, file-sharing, or other similar topics to be found anywhere in the book. In their places are excerpts from sheet music and examples of lyrics. They offer their expert commentary on subjects ranging from Chopin to Snoop Dogg, from Dante to the Beatles, and each is approached with the same level of intellect and scholarship. Multiple chapters cover the creation of music from scratch – as told from the songwriter’s point of view, and it is this unique perspective that offers a new form of insight into the practice of digital sampling.
Another important factor in this work is the chapter entitled “Mimesis, Gesture, and Parody in Musical Word-Setting.” This chapter not only explores the implications that a parody has on an original work but sets the framework for parody with an historical narrative about its origins. At first, this seemed to be irrelevant to the topic of digital sampling and copyright law, but after further inspection, it became apparent that this knowledge is very important to the understanding of parody and its stance in copyright law.
Words and Music discusses at length many different styles and genres of modern music, primarily “gangsta,” or hardcore, rap. This genre is a unique example because not only is it arguably the heaviest on lyrical content out of all kinds of music, but also because it is notorious for its sampling practices and is quite possibly the realm in which the most copyright infringement cases take place. Reading a scholarly assessment on such genres is especially helpful for this topic seeing as it provides a critical, but not condemning eye on the subject. This is all-to-rare in today’s academic and scholarly publications, and to have a source such as this is very useful in the terms of this research paper.
One look at the pages of this book and it is immediately known that it is unlike any other sources to be used for this essay. The pages are printed with a hole in the center and the outline of a CD on each one – clearly a modern work by a modern author. This is the argument for all of the merits of sampling and Dj-ing music for a crowd as told from the perspective of an established DJ, Paul Miller (DJ Spooky). Despite its casual tone and appearance, however, this book is filled with intellectual commentary on the state of music and the art of remixing today.
Quoting anyone from Woodrow Wilson to George Clinton, Miller offers a wide range of examples to support his stance on the art of Dj-ing. He believes that sampling music is a form of creation, putting a musical piece of work together in a different way in order to achieve what DJs refer to as “flow.” He asserts that sampling is both the result and catalyst for new music. “You can never play a record the same way for the same crowd,” he writes, calling the digital sample a “recycling” of sorts, a “repurposing” of an old melody or riff.
Miller’s unique stance as a DJ himself, combined with the casual tone of this narrative offer the reader a conversation with a man deeply involved in the digital music industry. As mentioned above, he does indeed advocate the benefits of the art, but he also recognizes the dangers of “taking sampling too far.” Seeing the digital music industry from his eyes in this way is a welcome insight into yet another point of view on this topic. This will only add to the complex standpoint that I will be able to take in writing this essay.
Seemingly a sequel to his previous work, Sound Unbound is compiled with the help of numerous contributors and reads much more like a scholarly account than its predecessor. It delves further into the intricate aspects of Dj-ing and remixing: sampling, appropriation, plagiarism, and various forms of musical technology from tape loops to video opera. The list of contributors ranges from science fiction writers to media activists, from rappers to composers, and this wide range of expertise offers an even better insight into the intricacies of the music industry in the digital age that the first book provides.
Most important to the focus of this paper, however, remains to be the testimony and work of Paul Miller. Once again, his experience as a professional DJ offers an exclusive look into the life of someone who makes a living off of sampling and remixing, however the supporting chapters from his colleagues offer a much stronger foundation for his more up-to-date commentary on the industry. In addition, the work of novelist Jonathan Lethem on appropriation and plagiarism is a good complement to Miller’s chapters on sampling and civilization.
Contrary to the last book by Miller, Sound Unbound explores more deeply the legal implications of “stealing” another’s song or work, and the distance that one must go in order to gain such negative attention from the authorities or at least the original creators. Furthermore, the book includes a mix-CD compiled by Miller himself, made up of a variety of artists commonly classified as “avant-garde,” which only serves to enhance the written works that he includes in the book. It gives the reader something real and interactive – a way to experience what all of the scholars are talking about first-hand. It is the well-roundedness of this complete work and the many facets of the modern music industry that it covers from the inside-out that is the reason this is so helpful in the construction of my final paper.
tagged appropriation author's_rights bootlegging copyright copyright_act digital_sampling dj-ing dj_spooky fatboy_slim international_copyright_law jonathan_lethem lyrics mix-cd morality music music_industry plagiarism public_enemy remixing sampling song by minglet ...on 25-NOV-08
Lee Marshall, co-editor of the very first source, "Music and Copyright – Second Edition," authors this work of similar form but on a slightly different subject. The strictness of copyright law in terms of music is once again revisited but is no longer commented on as either fostering or inhibiting creativity in the industry. Lee more explicitly lays out the fundamentals of copyright law, especially when it applies to bootlegging and piracy, and he broadens the discussion outside of the United States to international copyright law.
Prior to his outline of the bootlegging/piracy portion of the industry, Marshall itemizes the four main copyright issues in music. The first two he identifies as the copyright of the original work itself: song and lyrics. Beyond that, he clarifies the issue of copyright of the recording and who often owns the rights to a song produced in a studio. Lastly, he outlines the details of copyright it terms of the performance and the differing stipulations both in the United States and abroad. Marshall then asserts that the main concerns over performers’ rights stem from issues regarding bootlegging, and he goes on to explain the complicated laws concerning it.
Bootlegging and piracy are two of the main portions of copyright law that are most closely related to, if not directly cited in, cases involving digital sampling. By referencing Marshall’s comprehensive look at copyright law as it pertains to bootlegging, I can not only ascertain for myself whether or not a particular usage is acceptable or not, but I can also refer to the various case studies employed by Marshall if unsure. In writing this final essay, Marshall’s detailed work on bootlegging and piracy in terms of copyright law has certainly been a valuable source to cite.