Silent Remix of John Cages silent 4′33″ in Copyright-Hoopla (UPDATE)

30.11.2015 Misc #Copyright

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[update] Soundcloud hat angeblich einen Remix von John Cages silent Track 4'33" wegen Copyright-Dings gelöscht. Der Track war tatsächlich ein JustinBieber-Track unter falschem Titel. Statement von Soundcloud: „The upload referenced in the screenshot was not a track of silence and was taken down because it included Justin Bieber's What Do You Mean without the rightsholder's permission. The respective user uploaded the track under the title "4'33"," which is also the name of John Cage's famous piece of silence but it was not, in fact, silence.“

Und von den Detweilers: „'This is a performance,' one member said. 'We are making a remix of the original performance of John Cage. The only different thing is that we are making it on the internet in 2015, instead of doing it in a space like a theater, like John Cage did.' Another member chimed in, 'The whole environment around what we're doing is the performance because everybody's reacting. […] All the content that comes out from this is part of our remix.'“ Yawn.

Soundclouds Copyright-Detection hat einen „Remix“ von John Cages 4′33″ entdeckt und gesperrt (via PaP). Was im Fall dieser Nummer natürlich völlig absurd ist, denn das legendäre Stück ist still und enthält nichts, was man remixen könnte (was ja nun genau der Joke der ganzen Nummer war). Soundclouds Copyright-Algorithmus löscht Tracks anscheinend auch nach Titel-Angabe, was natürlich erklärt, wieso der hier zugeschlagen hat, dennoch ist es natürlich völlig absurd, John Cage ein Copyright auf Stille zuzuschreiben.


Und weil das Urheberrecht total geeignet ist für bizarrste GeistigesEigentum-Verknotungen, hat John Cages Musik-Verleger ein Copyright auf Stille:

there is a copyright on the score - or rather, the several versions of the score that Cage produced over the years - because, of course, silence is never absolute nor complete, and every period of silence has different qualities of background noise. Like music, a song or instrumental piece, each silence is played differently at each performance and these variations are hard to quantify. Like software, the sound of silence is better when subjected to version control, and John Cage, or rather his music publishers, Peters Edition, now own the copyright to silence - or, at least, four minutes and 33 seconds of silence.

None of this would have mattered, but in 2002 a group known as The Planets (consisting of eight musicians, though there were then said to be nine planets - Pluto has since fallen out of planetary orbit and is now an arbitrary rock floating in space), led by Mike Batt, whose claims to fame as a composer include the music of The Wombles, and the song Bright Eyes from the film Watership Down, topped the UK classical charts with an album called Classical Graffiti, which included a track called A One Minute Silence. The track, which is silent, is credited to Batt/Cage, which Mike Batt admitted was intended as a "tongue-in-cheek dig at the John Cage piece", although he later claimed that the credits referred to his previously unknown pseudonymous alter ego, Clint Cage.

This didn't escape the notice of Peters Edition who, acting on behalf of the Cage Estate, contacted Batt and claimed infringement of copyright. Peters Edition asked for a quarter of the royalties, presumably on the grounds that the duration of A One Minute Silence approximates to a quarter of four minutes and 33 seconds of silence.