Everyone who received a copy of the record – reviewers, record stores, radio stations, etc. – must be notified to return it. If they fail to comply, they may be subject to penalties “which may include imprisonment and fines”. Once returned, the records will be forwarded to Island for destruction.
All of SST’s on-hand stock of the record – in vinyl, cassette, and CD – is to be delivered to Island, where it will be destroyed.
All mechanical parts used to prepare and manufacture the record are to be delivered to Island, presumably also for destruction. This includes “all tapes, stampers, molds, lacquers and other parts used in the manufacturing” and “all artwork, labels, packaging, promotional, marketing, and advertising or similar material.”
Negativland’s copyrights in the recordings themselves are assigned to Island and Warner-Chappell. Negativland no longer own what they have created.
Negativland and SST must pay $25,000 and half the wholesale proceeds from the copies of the record that were sold and not returned. Estimated cost to Negativland is $70,000 – more than they have made in their 14 years of existence.
Arguably, this is Negativland’s track U2. I, however, doubt this is the true track as Island Records and Warner-Chappell Music’s demands were severe and ultimately led Negativland to bankruptcy. It is unlikely that YouTube would allow for the track to be played online with copyright law the way that it is.
Since being sued, Negativland has joined the fight to reform copyright legislation in America.
Negativland’s 1995 track Gimme the Mermaid (above) samples the vocals of a music industry lawyer as Disney’s Ariel (The Little Mermaid) to comment on the antagonistic notion of remix culture that anyone can create the ‘culture jamming’ content they do, but the corporations will not allow it, unless it is them doing it themselves.
Jamaican music in the early nineteenth century was categorised as the ‘slave song’ – music about working and being displaced. This African work sound founded the Calypso style which was accompanied by the uptake of western instruments to draw in audiences. The key aspect of which was the series of Jamaican owners of sound systems, sound selectors (our equivalent to a DJ) and DJs (to rap over the tracks) that would provide cheap and easy entertainment of African drum beats and melodies that would travel far for dance parties on the beaches. The influence of which would provide world class changes that would become the basis of contemporary music and effects.
Ska (1940s/1950s) : A fast, happy and upbeat movement with a walking bass line, accented jazz rhythms that draws on the influence of Calypso.
Rock Steady (1960s) : The beat slowed down as poverty set in, and DJs began to rap over the top of the beat.
Reggae (1970s) : The beat slowed down even further.
Dance Hall (Late 1970s/1980s) : The Jamaican influence became paired with a disco beat influenced by dub.
Jamaica is a music hub, with a particular sound that evolved, became tighter and more intricate, and did not forget about its past. The techniques to come out of Jamaica that are evident in each of movements (above) – such as reverberation and echo – became effects in audio editing programs and guitar pedals, that were originally the result of rusted and over-repaired sound systems.
Remixing videos can be done in a multitude of ways, and the aesthetic which is produced is dependent on the individual artist.
Israeli Musician Ophir Kutiel (known as Kutiman) experimented with YouTube videos in his project Thru You to create a raw album of seven tracks that showcase the musical passions of individuals who uploaded their recordings to the site.
Kutiman sourced segments of music from covers, instructional videos, and original music and artistically pieced it together to create a comprehensive track (see Mother of All Funk Chords above). He easily transformed a familiar medium, working with the original loops as they were uploaded, to create an album of easy listening tracks.
As with Kutiman, Kawehi utilises the methodology of building music. Both artists, similarly, begin with a beat – a drum loop – that allows for the layering of other sounds, and then for the spoken voice.
The example of the video Pogo Does Dexter (above), really makes evident the artist’s style of remix. He breaks up vocal samples so it becomes sound as opposed to spoken words, and layers it with chords and sound effects from (in this case) the television show Dexter to create commercial content that provides for successful promotion. Pogo’s work showcases the narrative being expressed.
Each of the featured artists explored, furthermore, possess some extent of integrity to where their remixes have come from. Kutiman provided credits with links to each YouTube video he sourced, Kawehi acknowledges when her uploads are covers, and Pogo works with the licensees of the content he is using.
From this reading, the comment, or rather, Lessig’s ideology in regards to remix culture, is one that I too have found myself believing:
We need “to craft a copyright system that nurtures the full range of creativity and collaboration the internet enables: one that builds upon the economic and creative opportunity of hybrids [commercial and sharing economies] and remix creativity; one that decriminalises the offence of being a teen” [a part of this generation embodied in technological advances].
To put it simply, the world needs to reform copyright legislation to adapt to and decriminalise the common behaviour of our contemporary society. We need to allow for the incentives copyright provides for creators to produce new works that would otherwise not have been published, whilst encouraging (as technology and the internet do) amateurs and recreational users to create and spread art differently to how it was created and spread beforehand.
In my previous posts about remix culture, I have been exploring the implications of using already published artwork to create something new. Now, I have attempted to sample and remix music, sound effects and films to completely understand the process of reusing material.
Utilising Audacity, I attempted to create a sound piece that (in the very least) was bearable to listen with each feature of the track complimenting one another. I began with downloading a synthesised drum and bass guitar loop from Looperman, and repeated it until the duration reached just over the minute mark. I then reduced its tempo by -12% and used the studio fade-out effect to end the track altogether. I then sourced an electric guitar loop that resembled a dance track, and repeated it until it also lasted in duration for just over a minute.
The practice of cutting beats and looping them to the duration of a music track has been long established as a case of “pop music always ripping off”its predecessors. Sampling, however, hasn’t prevented music from owning its own identity, whether it be out of simplicity – wherein the track is clever in that it is catchy and of dance quality – or a self-awareness that is found in the aesthetic of the music itself.
The familiarity of sampled rhythms or lyrics, paired with an electronica dance or hip-hop beat offers a broad mainstream appeal without detracting from a track’s individual identity. It is what consumers like to hear, or as The KLF less subtly put it: it is what the consumers want shoved down their throats – they don’t want good or original music. Whether the sampled tracks make for bad music is debatable to a personal preference, but nevertheless, does not make what The KLF have stated any less substantiated.