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Re: Re: how does copyright apply to collage?

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Posted by Michael Strauss on August 08, 2000 at 18:49:03:

In Reply to: Re: how does copyright apply to collage? posted by M. Arthur Auslander on February 23, 1999 at 06:47:26:

How does fair use apply here?

You might find this interesting:

The anti-copyright collaborative project known as "The Droplift Project" was released last weekend. The album is a protest against the copyright restrictions on sampling, along with the music industry in general. Through the prank of dropping our independently produced disc of culture jamming and "infringing material" directly into the bins of record stores across the planet, we hope to raise awareness of fair use issues in music, along with exposing some unsuspecting people to the wonderful world of audio collage and the art of the sample.

Much more information, along with free downloads of the complete album in mp3 or full uncompressed format is available at the Droplift Project website : http://www.droplift.org

LA Times article: http://www.droplift.org/latimes.html

Orlando Weekly article: http://www.droplift.org/orlando.html

Press release:


The idea came suddenly.

Manufacture our own CDs, go into chain stores, and leave them in the appropriate bins. Down among the established pop hits and top 40 product, these CDs await those curious few who take them to the counter.

Then what? Witness the confused faces of cashiers and customers alike when the CD does not show up in the inventory. But they'll most likely make the sale, and the CD known only as THE DROPLIFT PROJECT will go home with yet another customer. Mission accomplished.

On the weekend of July 28th, 2000, all across the United States and Internationally, ordinary citizens will walk into record stores with copies of THE DROPLIFT PROJECT hidden on their person. They will proceed to leave them, well filed, in the stacks, and they will walk out.

Why do this? Surely the artists know they won't get any MONEY from this puzzling act.

Ah, but perhaps you are starting to understand already.

The artists on THE DROPLIFT PROJECT make and find recordings of the stuff we all hear on radio, TV, in the news, on other CDs and tapes, and from everywhere around us. Then we cut it all up and rearrange it to make new art, social commentary, parody, and contemporary criticism.

It's nothing new. Artists have been making collages for the last hundred years. The world of Fine Art has long recognized the artist's right to use found objects in a new context to make a comment.

The world of music has been a little behind.

Record companies reject our works outright, wishing to avoid unpleasant lawsuits. CD Plants, acting on an RIAA mandate to curb piracy, are often not willing to press material that might contain recognizable samples. Even free music venues on the Internet refuse to allow sample-based works.

Is it illegal? Depends on who you ask. We know we are protected by the First Amendment and the Fair Use clause of the Copyright Act. Apparently, the music industry has other ideas. Because most of us do not posess the resources to defend our artistic rights in a court of law, we are often silenced by cease-and-desist letters and other legal threats. These tactics amount to censorship of an entire artform.

This oppressive resistance to the creative reuse of material has really got us in a bind. Our only recourse was to manufacture and distribute this free public domain "copyright infringement compilation" that calls attention to this issue of sampling in music.

So here it is! Listen to it! We're not doing this for our health. This is a deliberate attempt not only for our talents to be heard, but to encourage some discussion about artists' use of sound samples in their work. If you like the disc, help us spread the word by writing an article, playing it on your radio show, making tapes for friends, or even droplifting a few copies yourself! For more information, visit our website at http://www.droplift.org

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