Remixed, Revised, Ripped Off? The fine line between fair use and musical infringement.

November 3, 2008

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With the rise of hip-hop and music mash-up acts like Girl Talk who create "new" songs by mixing together phrases and melodies from the old (Vanilla Ice from Queen or Rihanna from Michael Jackson), modern music has focused more and more on sampling the old to create something new. With such a liberal use of others' material, when does the creative process turn into cutting and pasting-or plagiarism?

In conjunction with Goodman Theatre's world premiere of Turn of the Century by Marshall Brickman and Rick Elice, four music industry notables: Hank Hofler of controversial label Illegal Art (home of Girl Talk); author/professor Ronald W. Staudt; cover band guru Dave Dillard; and local D.J. Tamara Roberts discuss the creation of "new" music using an existing beat, riff or melody.

Hank Hofler is one half of the duo known as "Oh Astro," along with his wife Jane Dowe. With the Oh Astro project they continue their move towards odd interpretations of popular forms. Club music, children's songs, and fragmented samples of pop/rock all intersect on their first full-length album, Champions of Wonder, under the Oh Astro banner.

Ronald W. Staudt is a professor of law and associate vice president of law, business and technology at Chicago-Kent College of Law. He teaches Copyright Law, Intellectual Property Strategies, Internet Law, Public Interest Law & Policy and Access to Justice and Technology; and is director of the Center for Access to Justice & Technology (CAJT).

Dave Dillard, "Small Time Dave," has been performing on the Chicago music scene for over 25 years and has produced 7 CD's of music. His Classic Rock, Bluz Brothers and Elvis 2000 shows have travelled the Midwest and have entertained thousands.

Tamara Roberts has composed original music and designed sound for theaters including Next, American Theater, Strawdog (After Dark award for Three Sisters), Teatro Luna (Artistic Associate), the Cross-Town Teen Ensemble at Steppenwolf, Infamous Commonwealth, LaMicro (New York City), About Face Theatre, Serendipity's 2nd Story, Estrogen Fest, Chicago Dramatists and Northwestern University, where she designed/composed Cymbeline, directed by Mary Zimmerman.

Goodman Theatre's CONTEXT series uses themes from main stage productions to engage the community-both at the theater and at venues across the city-in conversations that explore particular issues raised within the plays and how they resonate in today's culture.

 

Recorded Monday, November 03, 2008 at The Spot.