Sunday, 12 June 2016

Wendy Carlos V Lewis Bond: Reinterpreting Fair Use

Synth music pioneer Wendy (né Walter) Carlos collaborated with Robert Moog, the inventor of the Moog synthesizer throughout the 1970s, helping to pave the way for modern pop and dance music as we know it today. We owe her a great debt for what she has brought to our culture, let's get that straight. However, she herself owes her oeuvre to classical music; many of her best known works are remixes of pieces from Berlioz's Symphonie fantastique and Purcell's Music for the Funeral of Queen Mary. It's the Purcell remix, which was used in Stanley Kubrick's A Clockwork Orange (the last two minutes or so) that has got vlogger Lewis Bond into trouble. An aspiring fimmaker, he makes video essays analyzing films. That should be straight up fair use, end of discussion, but apparently it's not.

Apparently a Torrent Freak reader contacted Carlos to ask for an explanation for this mess and received this terse reply:

“There is much bad advice on the internet about copyright and the use of music on YouTube, but some very good advice that should be followed is not to post other people’s copyrighted music on the internet ‘because you like it and want others to hear it’.”

One presumes that Carlos (or representative) thinks there's no hypocrisy here because the works utilised by Carlos for her works were in the public domain. If this doesn't prove that we need fair use to be ring-fenced, I don't know what does.

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