Thursday, March 24, 2011

Does Gregg Gillis do nothing but copy others' creative work?

Ophir Kutiel (born 1982), professionally known as Kutiman, is a musician, composer, producer and animator from Israel. He is best known for creating the online music video project ThruYOU, an online music video project mixed entirely from samples of YouTube videos which has received more than 10 million views. Time Magazine named it one of the 50 Best Inventions of 2009. Here is This is What it Became, one cut from ThruYOU:


Mike Masnick of techdirt, writes yesterday, in terms that a lawyer for Gregg Gillis would love:
[T]o hear some people talk about these things, none of this is "creative." It's all just "copying." In some cases it's outright "piracy." After all, Kutiman is using the works of others, and doing so entirely without permission. And yet, I have trouble seeing how anyone can legitimately claim that these songs are "piracy" in any real sense of the word. Kutiman is clearly a musician. That he uses a note played by someone else on a YouTube video, and then "plays" it himself, strikes me as no different than playing a keyboard that plays a recorded sounded, or even strumming a guitar. A musician is putting different sounds together to create music. Does it really make a huge difference if that music involves someone making a note from an instrument directly themselves... or by taking the note originally played by someone else and doing something creative and amazing with it?

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