Sunday, February 15, 2009

These Guys are from England and Who Gives a Sh*t?

I Still Haven't Found What I'm Looking For - Negativland on their album U2 (that is, the letter U and the numeral 2).

I don't know how many of you out there will appreciate the above. Probably few. But I thought I would post it anyway, given that copyrights and the laws that govern them were brought up over at Dinosaur Trader (CLICK IT, you know you want to!). The above is the main song from Negativland's (I wouldn't be surprised if you've never heard of them; they sell very few CDs) album that was sued out of existence by the corporate owners of U2's brand and discographia. Casey Kasem of American Top 40 also wasn't too happy, having several out takes with angry cursing (e.g. "These guys are from England and who gives a sh*t?") about a new band called U2, "that is the letter U and the numeral 2."

Personally, I love the track and all it represents. Much of what Negativland aims to do is comment upon and use the culture around them in order to critique and create new things. They're obviously not trying to steal U2's content. They completely reformatted anything that U2 may have ever put together. It's obvious they aren't trying to ride U2's success anymore than I am trying to ride the success of whoever created the English language. Hell, Negativland probably wouldn't have made much money if they had been allowed to sell the record, and not only that, they agreed to donate all the money to whatever charity Casey Kasem and U2's label wanted.

I don't know. My train of thought is slipping. But I do know that this is not piracy. And if it is, what do you call Disney's use of Sleeping Beauty, Cinderella, Alice in Wonderland, etc? Also, it feels like corporate America is trying to silence a group of people who have different opinions about how corporate America operates. You shouldn't be able to shut someone up just because their opinion of your actions doesn't make you look good. That goes against the first amendment. And where would we all be without being able to critize politicians and government that we don't like?

Perhaps I am wrong. But, really, if I had enough money, I bet the courts and House would rule me right. Such is, at times, the American system of law.

No comments: