Mash ups and Stuff

Going back, once again, to that video we watched last week, a big part of it was talking about the artist Girl Talk, and his mash up-y style of music. Some believe that it’s a crazy form of copyright infringement and stealing and all that bad stuff, but copyright laws are crazy. Mostly.

To me, a mash up is when you take two or more songs and blend them together into something new. The term could also apply to doing similar things to movies and other videos, I suppose, to make your own stuff. The point of view of music and movie companies is that it’s taking their content (though they might use the word “stealing”) in order to make new content. To these companies, people are profiting off of their work, which is so not fair.

On the other hand, the artists are making something that could be considered completely new and original, using works that already exist. They take music that’s out there already, that people have heard a dozen times and are probably sick of it, and they create something new and exciting. Sometimes they even profit off of it, sure. But it was created by them, as something different.

To me, the argument could made both ways: yes, the content created by these artists is new, but in order to create it, they had to take music from artists. Theoretically, if those songs didn’t exist, artists like Girl Talk wouldn’t be able to make music, for it is all based off of the work of others.

However, does this mean that they’re stealing?

Some might think so, and in order to get around it, you would have to either get permission from the original artists, or pay them some sort of fee to use their stuff. Just getting permission seems reasonable, doesn’t it? But actually getting in touch with the artists or even someone who represents them is most likely more difficult and time consuming than it’s worth. Really, you should be able to email Rise Against and get an immediate response. That would be super cool.

There is also the issue that apparently, if you wanted to make mash ups of stuff in the public domain, the newest content you would find would be from the 20’s or something. I suppose you could mash up that stuff, but really, there is only so much BachxMozart stuff you can make before it gets tiresome.

Basically, this kind of stuff boils down to a (somewhat) simple issue: companies trying to control…everything. They don’t want us using their stuff, ever, for any reason. EVER. Even Youtube videos get targeted for “copyright infringement” even if there is no profit being made. I might understand people getting mad at you for using their content to make money yourself, but a Youtube video?

Come on, guys. Stop trying to control everything. It makes you look dumb.

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