The following is a translated article from MediaMente:
(Original article http://www.mediamente.rai.it/docs/approfondimenti/290800.asp)
Artists defend online the right to the quotation and musical citation
Anticopyright music with the "Droplift project"
Where would Andy Warhol (or other artists) have been if someone had stopped his reuse of the famous images on the Campbell's label or prevented him from showing all the possible forms in the photo of Marylin Monroe? This is probably what is being asked by the artists of the "Droplift project", the latest challenge of the people of the Internet to the laws on copyright.
What is Droplift? To understand, it is enough to visit the website of the "Droplift project". Last July 28th in the shelves of musical shops across the world, a CD has been deposited without being filed by the salespeople. These CDs contain about thirty passages made freely available to public by the musicians of the "Droplift project". The pieces are all original rearrangements, ironic parody of passages taken from other CDs, from the radio, from film, and from television.
This unusual initative has been undertaken with a serious purpose - to protest against the legislation and the multinationals of music that consider the creative reutilization of musical pieces to be illegal. According to the artists of the Droplift Project, the collage, ironic quotation, and parody are forms of art that would benefit from a less restrictive legislation - one that does not force artists to become pirates by prohibiting the reuse of passages from other artists. The current state of the recording industry prevents the creation of original artistic products that are founded on creative reinterpretations of the sources of inspiration.
"For the last hundred years," it says in the liner notes of the Droplift CD, "artists have recognized the wide possibilities afforded by taking elements of the world around you -- newspaper clippings, photos, magazines, and even manufactured objects -- and recombining them to form works that are exciting, new, and often comment on who we are and what the times we live in are like. The artists on this CD do the same thing with sound."
The operation involves about fifty people, and has received a great reponse on the Internet. In addition, the net has been the physical place of connection among the different artists (many of which have never met in person) and the activists that have filled the shelves of shops with the CDs. And for anyone who's local shop has not been visited by the "droplifters", it is possible to download the whole CD and related information from the Internet.
The performance of the droplifters is the latest chapter of an underground battle which is still raging between the multinationals of music and the artists that try to make themselves known through the net without passing through the great houses of distribution. It is in this context that Napster, the site accused of being the online clearinghouse of pirated music, is to be shut down. As it has justly been written in the online magazine "Inside.com", Droplift is one kind of dadaist variation on Napster, proposing a new philosophy through social action and artistic performance.