Tuesday, September 12, 2006

Pushing the Bounds of Fair Use One Sample at a Time

Art or hook thievery? That is a question many in the music industry (and their attorneys) are asking about 24 year-old Greg Gillis's most recent musical release, Night Ripper. Gillis (pictured below), who goes by the stage name Girl Talk, is a biomedical engineer by day and a multi-talented D.J. by night.

Night Ripper represents a bold step forward in the music industry's ongoing struggle to maintain a balance between copyright protection for artists and the new doors opened for creative innovation by recent technological advancements. The album, released by independent label Illegal Art (a fitting name), incorporates the use of hundreds of uncleared and unapproved samples by almost as many artists to create a compelling album. Listening to Night Ripper, some samples are recognizable, others are not. Whether it's a creative work of its own, or mere recycling of beats and hooks made popular by the hard work of others is certainly open for debate. In my opinion, it's an artistic achievement by its own right. But don't listen to me, judge for yourself. For a (legal) download of a track from Night Ripper, click here. For an extensive interview with Greg Gillis, including his opinion on fair use, click here.


Blogger Toonzie said...

Do you own this? Because if you do I'd like to "borrow" it as I'm sure it's what Girl Talk would of want. I think its amazing. It's also exatly what I would be doing if I weren't in law school.

9/12/2006 7:17 PM  
Blogger Luis Villa said...

Erica: if you like this, you've got all the Kleptones stuff, right? If not, run, don't walk, to your local google :)

9/15/2006 6:23 PM  

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