on copyright…

Posted on August 29, 2013

instead of talking about the ART we become distracted by issues that are not ART… but seeing as though these issues can impact on people in significant ways, let's get on with it…

there's a few broader points that I'll use to try to illustrate my point… around the time of Stone Roses debut there were a couple of musicians who were going about their ART recording tunes in a little Two-up-two-down in Salford (Giant Haystack's old house as it happens)… MC Buzz B and Carl Adesile recorded a tune called 'Never Change' that used a sample of a Bruce Hornsby song… some lawyers got involved and the credits went 100% with Bruce's people…

as an aside…
He wasn't that worried about the use of the sample per se, it's just that at the time samplers weren't sophisticated enough to deal with 'time-stretching' so the pitch of his voice went up so sounded 'squeaky'… Bruce even flew over to meet Shorn and there were no artistic issues in the end…

the whole debate about intellectual rights was kicking off… it's a shame the same didn't happen in the 1960′s when bands like the Stones were taking/borrowing/appropriating blues riffs from dirt-poor artists…

I recorded a song called 'Nutopian National Anthem (part 2)' based on the Lennon song… now I borrowed pre-recorded silence from other artists albums and mixed them all into a new song… I'd love to see the lawyers fight over that…

anyways, a little jump forward and I was in Carl's studio in Ducie House and met a fine poet called Lemn Sissay… I told him that I'd sampled him speaking his fine words on a tune I did… and, although I'd not written the words, I'd messed around with them and edited them into another piece… I said I'd give him 50% of what I'd made, so I went into my pocket and brought out my (empty) hand, which he generously took and shook…

bounce forward a few years more to meeting a lovely man who has given us so many seminal pieces of art… I'd take his fotos, crop them (taking out his watermark) and mess around with them, creating new pieces… the man is generous enough to share credit (even though I'm not altogether sure if he thinks I'm 'butchering his fine work!!!)…

I took a foto of another artist and messed around with it so much that he wasn't 100% sure it was his … I still gave the 50-50 credit…

I've only been pulled up once in my 35 years of creating art… a lass had taken a quote from a famous person and made word-art from it… I took this and messed around with it, she was livid, even though I'd pointed out that the words weren't hers… so I destroyed all my part in the art and it exists no more… no problem, if u don't like what I do I'll work with people who do… In hindsight I shouldn't have compromised but hey-ho…

I did a collaboration with Miss Yoko Ono on her Liverpool Ladders… my painted up ladders were highlighted on the Late Show Review (for a whole 3 seconds!!!) no one asked me or payed me or owt… no problem from me…

this whole saga is frankly a bit of a waste of time (except this piece will go into my 'notes' and 'geo in word' page so is part of my arts…)

if I sample Jimi Hendrix is some lawyer gonna tell me I'm not allowed to? if I use a Beatles riff that they borrowed from some old blues dog, who am I gonna pay? if I take one of Ian Tilton's superb shots, bounce it around my phone and send it into the web-o-sphere will he just recognise me as another artistic soul-bro?!?!?

I'm just the artist, I just do what I've always done… been inspired to create me arts… that my simple 'reason for being'…

so back to business… here's the deal… 50-50 has always been an equal and fair sum to me…

btw… what's 50% of fuck all?

geo… 27•6•12•