How Girl Talk gets away with it

Categories: Music
girltalk.jpg
The cease and desists are already rolling in for our mash-up thread, most of them coming from that persnickety old coot Lou Reed. It gives rise to the inevitable question-- how does Girl Talk operate without getting sued? The mythology surrounding his evasion of intellectual property law is extensive, and a listen to his releases, which are, prior to Night Ripper, still easy to find in a Cheapo Discs, leaves one wondering. Certainly, fewer artists have so boldly, and so assertively, appropriated the material of other artists. It’s often been offered that he operates under the protections of his label, Illegal Art, which, thanks to being run in almost complete anonymity, can’t be served with summonses by rabid prosecutors.


Well, enough speculation. Here’s Girl Talk on Girl Talk in a September article in Spin magazine, discussing his own seeming untouchability and the occasional favor his piracy has curried even among the artists he‘s borrowed from.

The ramifications here are certainly hard to comprehend, and do much to point out the hypocrisy and impotence of the music industry’s failed crusade on piracy. While Jammie Thomas, the Duluth woman sued by the RIAA (Recording Industry Association of America) earlier this year, goes bankrupt for her personal downloading on Kazaa (a practice which generated no personal profit), Gregg Gillis sells out major rock venues on both sides of the Pacific, moves his mix albums by the thousands, and emerges from it the most vaunted hipster DJ since Keoki.

What a country.


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