Natalie – But if you sell a work to somebody, they have the right to do with it whatever they want, don’t they? Include destroy it? And when you do a painting or piece of graphic artwork parodying or quoting from some famous, iconic painting, isn’t there already the sense among artists and the public that that’s perfectly O.K.? See, that’s why I mostly stuck to writing and poetry here. As soon as you start talking about a physical object, it’s a very different dynamic, I think.
Shakespeare has been remixed – every time someone puts one of his plays on. He himself probably never performed all five acts as written of any one of his plays at any single perfromance. In fact, he didn’t even care about preserving them as written artifacts, they say. With Bach, or any other composer, it’s the same story – every performance is a new interpretation. We don’t even play him on the same instruments anymore. And at one time, when western classical music still included real cadenzas, you could say that the remix was an essential part of the performance, just as it is in jazz. Of course, people were careful to preserve the original scores. You seem to be implying that the original works would be somehow diluted or overwhelmed by the remixes, but I don’t think that’s what happens. If I thought it were, I wouldn’t be in favor of the copyleft concept.
You’re entitled to your point-of-view, of course; I just completely fail to understand how someone building upon your work and “changing it beyond recognition” in their own version does anything to harm you or the original work.
Anyway, I’m awfully tired, so I’ll have to stop there. Thanks very much for weighing in on this.