"Copying"...what does that mean?

Tyler Durden camera_lumina at hotmail.com
Thu Nov 24 17:44:46 PST 2005

Variola wrote...

a parodist can use perfect copies if the context distinguishes
the content."

Well, you'd think. On the other hand, that "Bittersweet Symphony" dude 
didn't make a dime off that song because the Rolling Stones are sampled in 
there somwhere. The "Gray Album" guy of course neve made a dime because he 
sample the White Album and Kill-Mo-Dee's Black Album (or whatever), which no 
one would ever confuse with the originals. So apparently a sample is a copy.

Now arguably, a "sample" is only a "sample" if it can be recognized (or so 
I'm told), but this means that "copying" is no longer a layer 1 through 4 
phenomenon. However, the demise of Kazaa, et al proves that's not true 
either. A copy is a copy if someone with money can buy the MwGs. Or at least 
that's what it looks like, given the above.

Which is not to say I'm so anti-statist that I don't believe in the very 
concept of a "copyright". For me, however, at best it's a social convention 
that we "outsource" the use of force to enforce, so that it will be possible 
for full-time recording artists to exist. I can live with that: Society is a 
devil's bargain. BUT, if enforcement boils down to the local official's 
definition of "copyright", then it's time to fire up the CD burner.


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