Call#: Van Pelt Library NC1765 .I37 1991
Brophy identifies the Disney Company as important, first and foremost, for its inventions, devices, and processes that have defined and refined animation as we know it. Disney constructs cinematic totality with the interaction between image and sound. Regarding Disney productions, Brophy defines musical composition as an organic life force and image as an artificial life force. Disney’s fusion of the two leads them to distil each other, to effect a symbiotic relationship emphasizing synchronization. The sound cartoon world, he explains, is one where every mark and squiggle is energized by rhythm, vibrating in reaction to the soundtrack. Brophy suggests that “Fantasia” honors the organic life of music to which the trickery of animated imagery could only aspire. An example of the symbiotic relationship between sound and image, “The Sorcerer’s Apprentice,” shows how the orchestra conductor directs music while experiencing it. The experience and the direction determine each other. The real versus the dream-like are evoked in Mickey’s dream sequence. The passage demonstrates that music’s relationship with time is always relative. One’s reaction depends on what precedes and follows the sound. “A World is Born” is a commentary on the whole illusion of life which we infer from the preceding voice-over narration that delivers a literal content. Stravinsky’s score expresses a violence of rhythm, which Brophy links to barbaric behavior and reproductive and procreative activity (the juxtaposition of orchestral bursts and erupting volcanoes represents the phallic thrust of creation). Disney’s animated shorts and features manipulate sound-image relationship to mobilize narrative construction and our place within the text.
Music’s relationship with time explains the conductor metaphor that he can control a piece’s direction during his performance, but can never fundamentally alter it. The conductor thus never redefines music in any other temporal context but his own. The conductor, symbolizing the producer in the context of film, is given the opportunity to place the audience within his “text” to create a specific perceived narrative of sound within one sole context. The Nutcracker Suite in “Fantasia” is proof that associations and interpretations are all relative. In this sequence music is depicted by fantasy and nature. Coincidentally, it never alludes to the theme of Christmas for which the soundtrack was originally composed. The film therefore illustrates the myriad possibilities in musical direction while inferring that interpretation is contingent only on time. Brophy’s theory on the relationship between image, sound, and time proves Disney’s artistic intentions to simply sway the audience in a certain direction. Unfortunately, the animation, like that of the erupting volcanoes for example leaves no room for individualized creativity because it so clearly defines the action. Though the synchronization of music and this particular animation does not intrinsically harm the musical pieces, it does devalue them as art in the temporal medium of “Fantasia.” By falsely directing such musical manipulation, “Fantasia” significantly decreases its own artistic value.
This article came out in Time magazine on Mar. 23, 1936. It says that trouble between numerous retailers and the Guild of Fashion Designer of America had been developing for years. Retailers complained that the Guild was misusing its position. The Guild’s chairman at the time was dress- maker Maurice Retner, of Polish origin. The article describes an incident when a member from the Guild apparently behaved in an off- hand manner. At Philadelphia department store, Strawbridge and Clothiers, she walked in and demanded that a certain dress which looked like an imitation be taken off the shop floor. She wanted to know the manufacturer’s name but the managers refused to tell her as they knew it was up to their discretion to decide which dresses were copies and which ones weren’t. Two days after this incident all Guild members (Strawbridge and Clothiers were Guild members) were sent out pink notices saying that the department store had refused to cooperate and as a penalty orders from the department store were no longer going to be filed. Similar incidents happened in New York’s Bloomingdales and other stores. By the middle of February 1936 twenty stores had been red-carded by the Guild. The article goes onto state that the National Retail 'Dry Goods Association along with the Associated Merchandising Corp. believed that the Guild’s method of functioning was not in accordance with anti trust laws. Filene department store in Boston complained that the Guild was interfering with the store’s Spring showings and this issue finally developed into a case that went to court which happened when Filene filed for an application for an injunction.
This source is important for my paper as it shows how this practice of imitating began many years ago and is still prevalent. An interesting aspect of this article that I will further discuss in my paper is the concept of the Guild and its significance. Would modern copyright law mimic this institutions practices in any way?
On November 22, 1963, Lee Harvey Oswald assassinated President Kennedy in Dallas, Texas. At the exact time of the murder, Abraham Zapruder, who happened to be filming a home video, documented photographic evidence of the assassination on his camera. A few days after, “Life” magazine, a publication of Time Incorporated, purchased the rights to the film, and parts of the film were then published in several issues of the magazine. In his book “Six Seconds in Dallas,” Josiah Thompson utilized “sketches” of the Zapruder film, which were later declared as clear copies, to enhance his study of Kennedy’s assassination. In response to the book’s publication, Time Incorporated filed a complaint against Thompson and his publisher, alleging the film was “stolen surreptitiously” and the defendants use of “copies of the frames” was “an infringement of statutory copyrights, an unfair trade practice, and unfair competition.”
In response to a motion by Time Incorporated for summary judgment, the district judge evaluated whether or not Thompson’s use of the film shots constituted a fair use. The judge notes that Life properly registered the film with the copyright office and stated that Thompson’s book “relie[d] heavily on the Zapruder pictures.” At a first question to be answered, the judge considered whether or not there was a valid copyright in the Zapruder pictures. The judge evaluated the plaintiff’s assertion that the pictures were simply records of what took place and that “news could not be copyrighted.” Evaluating past precedents, the judge stated “any photograph may claim the necessary originality to support a copyright claim merely by virtue of the photographers’ personal choice of subject matter, angle of photograph… and the…time it was taken.” Next, the judge evaluated whether or not the use of the pictures constituted a “fair use.” The judge declared that there was “a public interest in having the fullest information available on the murder of President Kennedy. Thompson did serious work on the subject and has a theory entitled to public consideration.” Further, the judge proclaimed that the book “was not bought because it contained the Zapruder pictures” but because of the “theory of Thompson and its explanation is supported by the pictures” and that there was no injury to Time Incorporated because there was “no competition.” For these reasons, the judge granted summary judgment for the defendants as the use was deemed a fair use.
This decision is vital for my research paper, as it discusses the fact that all pictures can qualify for the originality needed for copyright and that “serious work” and a “theory” in association with a copyrighted photo can constitute fair use. For one, Hilton cannot claim that a paparazzo’s photograph lacks originality, and therefore cannot be copyrighted, because the photographer, among other things, personally chose “the subject matter.” Furthermore, it exposes the fact Hilton cannot claim fair use in cases where he publishes newsworthy photographs because he simply states what is in the photograph, rather than imparting a theory or adding anything transformative. Individuals go to Hilton’s website to see the photographs, not to see Hilton’s obvious explanation of them. As opposed to this case, where Time Incorporated and Thompson operated in different markets, Hilton and the copyright holder are in direct competition, as Hilton greatly reduces the value of copyrighted work because the pictures are exhibited in whole on his website.