11 March 2015

MUSIC: Gaye family lawsuit ruling - an ironic title? Blurred Lines

so how's everyone feeling about the outcome of Williams, Thicke, Harris vs. Bridgeport Music, Gaye et al, or as i like to call it, "aka the case of today's music mediocrity, late legends, and myopia"?

...and by myopic, i mean having zero perspective and lack of historical awareness.

today's judgment is the outcome of just the latest in a series of music industry copyright cases that may or may not change the landscape of songwriting, recordings and all the things we hold dear to the artistic process.

what IS music, art, creativity and/or an original idea, anyway? part of what bewilders me about this case is the way Robin Thicke denies accountability and excused himself from the songwriting process by blaming drugs and then claiming he was physically absent while the song took shape in the studio. despite this, dude still supposedly earned millions of dollars off the song.

of course, there's a part of me that wonders: what exactly about art / music is/was truly able to be conveyed to non-musician jurors in a courtroom, as evidence? to what extent is Marvin Gaye's estate truly concerned with Marvin's intellectual property and best interest, if they're trying to halt sales of "Blurred Lines"?

From Randall Roberts' opinion-editorial in Los Angeles Times, 6 March 2015:

Producer Brian Eno, responsible for seminal work with artists including U2, David Bowie, Coldplay, Devo and others, told me a few years ago that this new openness marks a vital shift. He noticed that during recent recording sessions artists often referenced old recordings as part of the creative process. We suddenly refer to music a lot in a way that never used to happen. 
"When you went into the studio in the past, you went to a space that was actually, deliberately sealed off from music, because the only music you were supposed to be hearing in there was yours," he said. "And this sudden thought that the whole library of recorded music is there and available to you as reference material, really, I think that's changed the way people work a lot. So as a composer, I think it makes a really big difference, because it sort of erases history in a way."

yeah, pretty much. i want to blame technology, complacency, hubris, and a grip of other things. i also want to enter law school now more than ever maybe.

but god i hope it's not true.

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