Saturday, March 1, 2008

K Cera Cera -- origins and first release

10 July, 1993, NME:

The K Foundation Presents



**  **
** **      CERA
** **       CERA
**  **
[war is over if you want it]
This recording will only ever be made commercially available once world peace has been firmly established. The responsibility is yours. Until then it will be heard only at selected state occasions, sporting events, music festivals or mass rallies. There will be no TV, radio or cinema broadcasting. K CERA CERA [war is over if you want it] is the interstellar anthem of the K Foundation.


13 November, 1993, NME:
THE KLF's Bill Drummond and Jimmy Cauty released their K Foundation/Red Army Choir collaboration 'K Cera Cera (War Is Over If You Want It)' as a single in Israel last week.

The pair originally vowed only to release the track once "world peace has been achieved" but decided to make a limited issue in celebration of the peace deal between the Israeli government and the PLO.

The 3,000 copy limited release, which has the title in English, Arabic and Hebrew on its cover, was made available by mail order to readers of one Israeli paper and one Palestinian paper through Israeli record label NMC.

Quoted in Israel's leading daily 'Yediot Ahronot', Drummond said, "Only a few days after the production (of the single) was finished, I turned on the TV and saw Itzhak Rabin and Yasser Arafat standing next to each other in front of the White House. I was very moved. It was like something you never dream would happen suddenly being realised. I phoned Jimmy and we decided to release the limited edition. For us, it's a sort of tribute."

Explaining the reason for establishing the K Foundation, Drummond said, "Our idea was to create awareness of peace in the world. Because we were worried it would be interpreted by the public as an attempt by The KLF to return to the music world on the back of a humanist gimmick, we decided to hide behind the Foundation."
A lot, of course, has happened since.

Friday, February 29, 2008

THE MANUAL - full text online

The Manual (How to have a Number One the Easy Way), the Justified Ancients of Mu Mu reveal their zenarchistic method used in making the unthinkable happen.

An excerpt:

Every Number One song ever written is only made up from bits from other songs. There is no lost chord. No changes untried. No extra notes to the scale or hidden beats to the bar. There is no point in searching for originality. In the past, most writers of songs spent months in their lonely rooms strumming their guitars or bands in rehearsals have ground their way through endless riffs before arriving at the song that takes them to the very top. Of course, most of them would be mortally upset to be told that all they were doing was leaving it to chance before they stumbled across the tried and tested.

Thursday, February 28, 2008

Richard Posner on Art, Plagiarism, and Copyright Infringement

Richard Posner, from Atlantic Magazine:
We must distinguish in the first place between a plagiarist and a copyright infringer. They are both copycats, but the latter is trying to appropriate revenues generated by property that belongs to someone else—namely, the holder of the copyright on the work that the infringer has copied. A pirated edition of a current best seller is a good example of copyright infringement. There is no copyright infringement, however, if the "stolen" intellectual property is in the public domain (in which case it is not property at all), or if the purpose is not appropriation of the copyright holder's revenue. The doctrine of "fair use" permits brief passages from a book to be quoted in a book review or a critical essay; and the parodist of a copyrighted work is permitted to copy as much of that work as is necessary to enable readers to recognize the new work as a parody. A writer may, for that matter, quote a passage from another writer just to liven up the narrative; but to do so without quotation marks—to pass off another writer's writing as one's own—is more like fraud than like fair use.

"Plagiarism," in the broadest sense of this ambiguous term, is simply unacknowledged copying, whether of copyrighted or uncopyrighted work. (Indeed, it might be of uncopyrightable work—for example, of an idea.) If I reprint Hamlet under my own name, I am a plagiarist but not an infringer. Shakespeare himself was a formidable plagiarist in the broad sense in which I'm using the word. The famous description in Antony and Cleopatra of Cleopatra on her royal barge is taken almost verbatim from a translation of Plutarch's life of Mark Antony: "on either side of her, pretty, fair boys apparelled as painters do set forth the god Cupid, with little fans in their hands, with which they fanned wind upon her" becomes "on each side her / Stood pretty dimpled boys, like smiling Cupids, / With divers-colour'd fans, whose wind did seem / To glow the delicate cheeks which they did cool." (Notice how Shakespeare improved upon the original.) In The Waste Land, T. S. Eliot "stole" the famous opening of Shakespeare's barge passage, "The barge she sat in, like a burnish'd throne, / Burn'd on the water" becoming "The Chair she sat in, like a burnished throne, / Glowed on the marble."

Mention of Shakespeare brings to mind that West Side Story is just one of the links in a chain of plagiarisms that began with Ovid's Pyramus and Thisbe and continued with the forgotten Arthur Brooke's The Tragical History of Romeus and Juliet, which was plundered heavily by Shakespeare. Milton in Paradise Lost plagiarized Genesis, as did Thomas Mann in Joseph and His Brothers. Examples are not limited to writing. One from painting is Edouard Manet, whose works from the 1860s "quote" extensively from Raphael, Titian, Velásquez, Rembrandt, and others, of course without express acknowledgment.

If these are examples of plagiarism, then we want more plagiarism. They show that not all unacknowledged copying is "plagiarism" in the pejorative sense. Although there is no formal acknowledgment of copying in my examples, neither is there any likelihood of deception. And the copier has added value to the original—this is not slavish copying. Plagiarism is also innocent when no value is attached to originality; so judges, who try to conceal originality and pretend that their decisions are foreordained, "steal" freely from one another without attribution or any ill will.

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Andrew McLaughlin on Copyright v. Fair Use and Google’s Latest Response

Andrew McLaughlin on Copyright v. Fair Use and Google’s Latest Response

Kansas Joe McCoy and Memphis Minnie; Led Zeppelin; Bob Dylan

Dylan claims authorship of the words and music to his song.

Thou shalt not steal.

"Thou shalt not steal." [Exodus, Chapter 20, Verse 15] has been an admonition followed since the dawn of civilization. Unfortunately, in the modern world of business this admonition is not always followed. Indeed, the defendants in this action for copyright infringement would have this court believe that stealing is rampant in the music business and, for that reason, their conduct here should be excused. The conduct of the defendants herein, however, violates not only the Seventh Commandment, but also the copyright laws of this country.

Love and Theft

From "Plagiarism in Dylan, or a Cultural Collage?" by John Pareles:

The hoopla over " `Love and Theft' " and "Confessions of a Yakuza" is a symptom of a growing misunderstanding about culture's ownership and evolution, a misunderstanding that has accelerated as humanity's oral tradition migrates to the Internet. Ideas aren't meant to be carved in stone and left inviolate; they're meant to stimulate the next idea and the next.

Because information is now copied and transferred more quickly than ever, a panicky reaction has set in among corporations and some artists who fear a time when they won't be able to make a profit selling their information (in the form of music, images, movies, computer software). As the Internet puts a huge shared cultural heritage within reach, they want to collect fees or block access. Amazingly enough, some musicians want to prevent people from casually listening to their music, much less building new tunes on it.

Companies with large copyright holdings are also hoping to whittle away the safe harbor in copyright law called fair use, which allows limited and ambiguously defined amounts of imitation for education, criticism, parody and other purposes. The companies also want to prevent copyrighted works from entering the public domain, where they can be freely copied and distributed. The Supreme Court recently ruled, in Eldred v. Ashcroft, that individual copyrights could extend for 70 years after the life of the creator, or in the case of a corporation, for 95 years. As a result, Mickey Mouse will be kept out of the public domain — that shared cultural heritage — until 2024.

The absolutely original artist is an extremely rare and possibly imaginary creature, living in some isolated habitat where no previous works or traditions have left any impression. Like virtually every artist, Mr. Dylan carries on a continuing conversation with the past. He's reacting to all that culture and history offer, not pretending they don't exist. Admiration and iconoclasm, argument and extension, emulation and mockery — that's how individual artists and the arts themselves evolve. It's a process that is neatly summed up in Mr. Dylan's album title " `Love and Theft,' " which itself is a quotation from a book on minstrelsy by Eric Lott.

Hip-hop, ever in the vanguard, ran into problems in the mid-1980's when the technique of sampling — copying and adapting a riff, a beat and sometimes a hook or a whole chorus to build a new track — was challenged by copyright holders demanding payment even for snippets. Although sampling was just a technological extension of the age-old process of learning through imitation, producers who use samples now pay up instead of trying to set precedents for fair use.

Artistic Influence v. Theft

From Jonathan Lethem, "The Ecstasy of Influence: A Plagiarism":

In a courtroom scene from The Simpsons that has since entered into the television canon, an argument over the ownership of the animated characters Itchy and Scratchy rapidly escalates into an existential debate on the very nature of cartoons. “Animation is built on plagiarism!” declares the show's hot-tempered cartoon-producer-within-a-cartoon, Roger Meyers Jr. “You take away our right to steal ideas, where are they going to come from?” If nostalgic cartoonists had never borrowed from Fritz the Cat, there would be no Ren & Stimpy Show; without the Rankin/Bass and Charlie Brown Christmas specials, there would be no South Park; and without The Flintstones—more or less The Honeymooners in cartoon loincloths—The Simpsons would cease to exist. If those don't strike you as essential losses, then consider the remarkable series of “plagiarisms” that links Ovid's “Pyramus and Thisbe” with Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet and Leonard Bernstein's West Side Story, or Shakespeare's description of Cleopatra, copied nearly verbatim from Plutarch's life of Mark Antony and also later nicked by T. S. Eliot for The Waste Land. If these are examples of plagiarism, then we want more plagiarism.
From Open Source:
Nearly every word of [Lethem's] essay about cultural borrowing and reworking was stolen — er, appropriated — from some other source and then cobbled together with a big dose of Lethem magic to form a cohesive whole. Even the “I”s aren’t Jonathan Lethem; they’re Jonathan Rosen writing in The Talmud and the Internet about John Donne, or William Gibson in a Wired article about William Burroughs, or David Foster Wallace on a grad school seminar, or Brian Wilson in a Beach Boys song.

But this is more than a stunt. It’s a passionate salvo in the copyright wars, a crowd of voices coralled together to say, basically: without borrowing, stealing, cribbing, remixing, mashing-up, collaging and compiling — without influences great and small, in other words — there is no “creating.” No hip hop, sure, but also no blues, no Disney, no Shakespeare. No Lolita or “I have a dream.” We’d be reduced to staring at campfires and barking at one another.

So how to think about the joys, perils, and contradictions of influence in our intellectual property age? Lethem wonders himself:

"The dream of a perfect systematic remuneration is nonsense. I pay rent with the price my words bring when published in glossy magazines and at the same moment offer them for almost nothing to impoverished literary quarterlies, or speak them for free into the air in a radio interview. So what are they worth? What would they be worth if some future Dylan worked them into a song? Should I care to make such a thing impossible?"
Here is a podcast (mp3) of a discussion between novelist Jonathan Lethem, author Siva Vaidhyanathan, and musicians Mark Hosler (of Negativland) and Mike Doughty (of Soul Coughing) about the politics of plagiarism and originality.

Monday, February 25, 2008

The Theoretical Criticism of the Romantic Notion of Inseparability of Artist and His/Her Work and Its Potential Implications for Copyright Law

This a tangent from what we need in order to complete the project at hand, but some interesting theoretical issues involved in authorship and ownership are briefly addressed in Lionel Bently's review, "Copyright and the Death of the Author in Literature and Law," of The Construction of Authorship: Textual Appropriation in Law and Literature by Martha Woodmansee; Peter Jaszi, Durham, NC: Duke University Press, 1994, and Authorship and Copyright by David Saunders, London: Routledge, 1992, Modern Law Review, 57 (6), Nov. 1994, 973-986
...The claim that the concept of authorship in literature is intimately related to that which operates in law is principally an historical claim that copyright law, romantic authorship and the overpowering significance of the author were ‘born together’. That is, the link established in law between an author and a work, and the romantic conceptualisation of the work as the organic emanation from an individual author, emerged simultaneously at the end of the eighteenth century. The consequence of this, it is claimed (by Rose, for example), is that the literary critique of authorship threatens the intellectual foundations of copyright law. If the legal walls establishing ownership of the text were built on the same intellectual foundations as romantic authorship, and those premises turn out to be sand rather than rock, copyright will sooner or later come tumbling down...

Does appropriation offer new insights into the original that we'd like to promote?

Patry on Appropriation Art and Copies:
. . . Might some conceptual appropriation provide new insights into the original? If so, we might think twice before legally condemning it.

Still, it must be noted that the art community is itself divided on appropriation art, with some artists whose works have been appropriated viewing the appropriators as destroying art. Here is an article from the October 13, 2005 issue of that explores the divided views within the art community (scroll to the end of the article.) . . .

Copyright Protection and Appropriation Art

From the introduction to William M. Landes, Copyright Protection and Appropriation Art:

I want to examine the relationship between copyright law, borrowed images and appropriation art. As the term suggests, appropriation art borrows common images from advertising, the mass media and elsewhere, places them in new contexts and, thereby, aims to change the way we think about these images. Some appropriation art, such as Duchamp's use of found objects, doesn't implicate copyright at all. But when the borrowed image is copyrighted, appropriation art risks infringing the rights of the copyright owner.

Blanch v. Koons: fair use of copyrighted material in an artistic, “collage” setting

From Fair Use News:

On October 25th, 2006, in Blanch v. Koons (pdf)[, 467 F.3d 244 (2d Cir. 2006),] the U.S. Court of Appeals of the Second Circuit ruled on an important case dealing with the fair use of copyrighted material in an artistic, “collage” setting, affirming that artist Jeff Koons’ incorporation of a photograph into a collage painting was fair use.

Jeff Koons, an “appropriation artist“, created a collage entitled “Niagara” which depicts four pairs of women’s legs with the feet pointing downwards superimposed over images of “confections … with a grassy field and Niagara Falls in the background.” In his collage, one of the sets of legs in the painting was originally part of a photograph taken by a professional fashion and portrait photographer, and published in Allure magazine in 2000. Koons described his work as using popular images for commentary on the “social and aesthetic consequences of mass media.” The work was commissioned by Deutsche Bank and the Guggenheim Museum.

In ruling that Koons’s use of the legs from Blanch’s copyrighted picture constituted fair use, the Second Circuit went through a detailed explanation of the four-factor fair use test: the purpose and character of use; the nature of the copyrighted work; the amount and substantiality of the portion used; and the effects on the actual or potential market for the work or its derivatives.

Most importantly within the “purpose and character” factor, the court analyzed the transformative nature of Koons’s work. Courts will not “find a transformative use when the defendant has done no more than find a new way to exploit the creative virtues of the original work.” However, in this case, “Niagara” passes the transformative test “almost perfectly” because Koons changed the original copyrighted picture’s “colors, the background against which it is portrayed, the medium, the size of the objects pictured, their details.” Also, and “crucially,” Koons’s painting had an “entirely different purpose and meaning – as part of a massive painting commissioned for exhibition in a German art-gallery space.”

The transformative nature of Koon’s work dwarfed other issues, such as the commercial nature of the work and any bad faith allegations against Koons. Indeed, the court even minimized the parodic justification. The court did address the confusing and oft-criticized distinction between parody and satire (“parody needs to mimic an original to make its point, and so has some claim to use the creation of its victim’s … imagination, whereas satire can stand on its own two feet and so requires justification for the very act of borrowing.”) before stating that “[t]he question is whether Koons had a genuine creative rationale for borrowing Blanch’s image, rather than using it merely to get attention or to avoid the drudgery in working up something fresh.”

The remaining factors used by courts in these cases—dealing with the nature of the copyrighted work, the amount and substantiality taken, and the effect on the market—all also weighed in Koons’ favor or were deemed unimportant in this case.

Further information on the subject matter of this case: article the case.

Blog posting with snapshots of both pieces of art

Earlier Koons lawsuit (he lost this one) String of Puppies

Fordham Symposium on Fair Use

Fair Use: Its Application, Limitations and Future, 17 Fordham Intell. Prop. Media & Ent. L.J. 1017 (2007) (pdf).

From the Electronic Frontier Foundantion:

In OPG v. Diebold, [337 F. Supp. 2d 1195 (N.D. Cal. 2004)(pdf)] a California district court has determined that Diebold, Inc., a manufacturer of electronic voting machines, knowingly misrepresented that online commentators, including IndyMedia and two Swarthmore college students, had infringed the company's copyrights. EFF and the Center for Internet and Society Cyberlaw Clinic at Stanford Law School sued on behalf of nonprofit Internet Service Provider (ISP) Online Policy Group (OPG) and the two students to prevent Diebold's abusive copyright claims from silencing public debate about voting.

Diebold sent dozens of cease-and-desist letters to ISPs hosting leaked internal documents revealing flaws in Diebold's e-voting machines. The company claimed copyright violations and used the DMCA to demand that the documents be taken down. One ISP, OPG, refused to remove them in the name of free speech, and thus became the first ISP to test whether it would be held liable for the actions of its users in such a situation.

In his decision, Judge Jeremy Fogel wrote, "No reasonable copyright holder could have believed that the portions of the email archive discussing possible technical problems with Diebold's voting machines were proteced by copyright." In turn, Diebold had violated section 512(f) of the DMCA, which makes it unlawful to use DMCA takedown threats when the copyright holder knows that infringement has not actually occured.

Diebold subsequently agreed to pay $125,000 in damages and fees.

EFF's page providing all the legal documents in OPG v. Diebold is here.

Google's policy on DMCA takedown notices is set forth here.

Viacom terrorizes YouTube with DMCA Notices

From Cory Doctorow at BoingBoing on February 3, 2007:
Viacom did a general search on YouTube for any term related to any of its shows, and then spammed YouTube with 100,000 DMCA take-down notices alleging that all of these clips infringed its copyright and demanding that they be censored off the Internet. YouTube made thousands of clips vanish, and sent warning notices to the people who'd posted them, warning them that they were now on a list of potential copyright infringers and telling them that repeat offenses could lead to having their accounts terminated.

This is shockingly bad behaviour on the part of both Viacom and Google, YouTube's owner. Viacom's indiscriminate spamigation is incredibly negligent and evil. They certainly know that a search for a term like "Redbones" will catch videos like Jim Moore's Sunday nite dinner at Redbones in Somerville, Mass (a 30 second clip of Moore and several friends "having dinner in a ribs place in Somerville"). The idea that they have members of the bar -- officers of the court! -- signing affidavits swearing that they have a good-faith belief that these clips infringe their copyrights is disgraceful. Practicing law is a privilege, not a right. The law societies should be holding these attorneys to account for this kind of behaviour.

But Google's lawyers should have known better, too. The DMCA says that if a web-hoster ignores a takedown request, it's liable for copyright damages if the material in question is found to be infringing. YouTube can't afford to just let any lunatic -- including the savage pricks at Viacom -- indiscriminately censor the content it hosts. That's not fair to its customers.

DMCA Takedown Notices

From Chilling Effects:

Question: Does a DMCA takedown mean the material taken down was infringing?

Answer: No. ISPs can take down material according to the DMCA anytime they receive a compliant notice alleging copyright infringement (see What are the notice and takedown procedures for we...?). The ISP does not have to investigate to determine whether the material was truly infringing before taking it down. The fact that someone has claimed infringement does not prove that infringement occurred -- there might be a fair use defense, or the claim might have been false or even frivolous.

In order to ensure that copyright owners do not wrongly insist on the removal of materials that actually do not infringe their copyrights, the safe harbor provisions of the DMCA require service providers to notify the subscribers if their materials have been removed and to provide them with an opportunity to send a written notice to the service provider stating that the material has been wrongly removed. [512(g)] If a subscriber provides a proper "counter-notice" claiming that the material does not infringe copyrights, the service provider must then promptly notify the claiming party of the individual's objection. [512(g)(2)] If the copyright owner does not bring a lawsuit in district court within 14 days, the service provider is then required to restore the material to its location on its network. [512(g)(2)(C)]

A proper counter-notice must contain the following information:

The subscriber's name, address, phone number and physical or electronic signature [512(g)(3)(A)]

Identification of the material and its location before removal [512(g)(3)(B)]

A statement under penalty of perjury that the material was removed by mistake or misidentification [512(g)(3)(C)]

Subscriber consent to local federal court jurisdiction, or if overseas, to an appropriate judicial body. [512(g)(3)(D)]

If it is determined that the copyright holder misrepresented its claim regarding the infringing material, the copyright holder then becomes liable to the OSP for any damages that resulted from the improper removal of the material. [512(f)]

Chilling Effects

Chilling Effects, in its own words, "aims to help you understand the protections that the First Amendment and intellectual property laws give to your online activities." They have a searchable database of of Cease and Desist notices sent to Internet users. They also have a very good set of FAQ's on copyright and fair use.

Economic Right, Moral Right, and Database

More from the Authorship Collaborative of CWRU's English Department:

Copyright protections are ubiquitous to contemporary Western societies, but the rationales behind them are widely divergent. The two basic categories of defense for copyright are the doctrine of Economic Right and the doctrine of Moral Right. Economic Right maintains that copyright protections are intended to encourage innovation by protecting what is rightfully the property of the creator because of his labor and "creative spark," and is thus concerned more with balancing the rights of creators with market access. On the other hand, Moral Right views the work as being in some way an extension of the creator's self, and therefore sees a need for more expansive protections. This difference generally represents the difference between the American (economic) justification and the European (moral) justification, and is well illustrated by the differing approaches of the United States and the European Union to the question of databases.

Sunday, February 24, 2008

U2 v. Negativland

"The facts" re U2 v. Negativland:

August 20, 1991: SST Records releases a CD single by Negativland called "U2", a tape-collage parody of U2's "I Still Haven't Found What I'm Looking For" featuring sampled and scrambled portions of the U2 song itself and a found tape of radio personality Casey Kasem losing his cool. As part of the joke, the CD packaging features the title--the letter "U" and the numeral "2"--largely and prominently with the attribution "Negativland" in much smaller letters below it.

October 5, 1991: two weeks later, a federal judge issues a temporary restraining order at the behest of Island Records and Warner-Chappell Music. "Preferring retreat to total annihilation," Negativland and SST immediately capitulate to every demand. These demands are:

  • 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.
From Wikipedia, more of interest on the entire incident:

In June, 1992, R. U. Sirius, publisher of the magazine Mondo 2000 came up with an interesting idea. Publicists from U2 had contacted him regarding the possibility of interviewing Dave Evans (aka "The Edge") hoping to promote U2's impending multi-million dollar Zoo TV Tour, which featured found sounds and live sampling from mass media outlets (things for which Negativland had been known for some time). Sirius, unbeknownst to Edge, decided to have his friends Joyce and Hosler of Negativland conduct the interview. Joyce and Hosler, fresh from Island's lawsuit, peppered the Edge with questions regarding his ideas about the use of sampling in their new tour, and the legality of using copyrighted material without permission. Midway through the interview, Joyce and Hosler revealed their identities as members of Negativland. An embarrassed Edge reported that U2 were bothered by the sledgehammer legal approach Island Records took in their lawsuit, and furthermore that much of the legal wrangling took place without U2's knowledge: "by the time we [U2] realized what was going on it was kinda too late, and we actually did approach the record company on your [Negativland's] behalf and said, 'Look, c'mon, this is just, this is very heavy...'" Island Records reported to Negativland that U2 never authorized samples of their material; Evans response was, "that's complete bollocks, there's like, there's at least six records out there that are direct samples from our stuff."

The "U2" single (along with other related material) was re-released in 2001 on a "bootleg" album entitled These Guys Are from England and Who Gives a Shit, released on "Seelard Records" (a parody of Negativland's record label Seeland Records). It is thought likely that Negativland themselves were responsible for the re-release, and that U2 gave their blessing; although the Negativland website refers to this release as a bootleg, it is available from major retailers like Best Buy, Amazon, and Tower Records, as well as Negativland's own mail-order business.

Negativland are interested in intellectual property rights, and argue that their use of U2's and others' material falls under the fair use clause. In 1995, they released a book, with accompanying CD, called Fair Use: The Story of the Letter U and the Numeral 2, about the whole U2 incident (from Island Records first suing Negativland for the release to Negativland gaining back control of their work four years later). The book ends with a large appendix of essays about fair use and copyright by Negativland and others, telling the story with newspaper clippings, court papers, faxes, press releases and other documents arranged in chronological order. An unfortunate side effect of the Negativland-Island lawsuit was another one brought on between Negativland and SST, which served to sever all remaining ties the two had. To get back at Negativland (while wryly circumventing their name), Ginn later released the Negativ(e)land: Live on Tour album on SST.

Here is Negativland's interview with The Edge.

Negativland's "No Business"

Negativland's own description of this project:
"NO BUSINESS" is not only a term Negativland's accountant can identify with, but also a tenaciously pure attempt to make new music out of old, or to make old music new, whatever the critics decide this dubious case may be. Critically acclaimed by those same critics in Newsweek, NY Times, Washington Post, Urb, Spin, Blender, Rolling Stone, etc., and with their work now being taught in college courses nation wide, "NO BUSINESS" may be a race with Walt Dizzy to commit legal suicide, or it may be the most thoughtful novelty record you've ever heard. But either way, Negativland passes through your consciousness once again, this time with nothing original at all!

"NO BUSINESS" is all about stealing music, file-sharing, the supposed collapse of the music industry and a nice piece of pie. Taking famous and not so famous music from the whole array of show business, Negativland recomposes it all to make a project of thoroughly un-original music and dialog they hope to copyright themselves.

Hey, if you don't know what these guys sound like by now, here's the deal on this thing: they clipped out, cut up, and re-imagineered all the found sound they could get into their computer, and out came "NO BUSINESS". It's in a deluxe 5 x 11 inch die cut sleeve that comes with a laff-a-minute CD tribute to stealing and jamming popular culture, and a 56 page essay about the cultural public domain which isn't one bit funny, just for contrast. And then, just when you're getting all serious, there's a trademarked Copyright Whoopee Cushion included in every package, as well as a "Universally Computer Compatible Video Short™." This video, which uses one of Negativland's old chestnuts of criminal music, "Gimme The Mermaid," was made working with a now former Disney animator using Disney's own computers to create it and render it after hours when they weren't looking!

So, if you are a copyright lawyer, you'll want to hear this, see this and read this as soon as possible. If you have no respect for music or the music industry, this will confirm your suspicions. Whether you're going to a party or appearing in court for stealing music, take NO BUSINESS along for the laughs and stitches that will keep them staring at the speakers till it's over.