Current copyright laws are too stringent and inhibit the creativity of the public. Although artists and authors do deserve credit for their work, people should have the freedom to remix those works into new creations. The work of Girl Talk is an excellent example of the new works that can come out of a remix of other works. Girl Talk utilizes other songs and by remixing different parts of those songs, creates something new. According to Gasser and Ernst in “From Shakespeare to DJ Danger Mouse…”, “under current copyright laws, author’s have exclusive rights to create derivative works and to control the creation of derivative works for as long as the original work retains copyright protection.” With this definition, Girl Talk’s work would be copy infringement, but he uses the smallest portion of the original work that keeps it in the fair use principle.
After viewing the video clip of Girl Talk working on a song, it is obvious that he puts an enormous amount of work into his creations. He is not merely “copying and pasting” pieces of other works, he is using small parts of other songs to create something completely new. Girl Talk is a new kind of artist, one who has found success in this new digital age. Girl Talk’s work should be judged under the transformative uses section of fair use. His creations do not simply replace the original work; they add new and creative elements to the songs. Girl Talk’s work is not parody, but the fact that he is not doing this for commercial gains, but for artistic purposes could cause a judge to rule in his favor if he was taken court for copyright infringement. Girl Talk is looking to expand his career, and when he begins to find commercial success, he could have a lawsuit on his hands for copyright infringement.
This article discusses the issue of Girl Talk in a neutral manner, and it calls attention to the fact that Girl Talk is a controversial artist. His creativity and skills are undeniable, so it would be a shame for copyright laws to impede on his innovative work. As of now, Girl Talk has never been threatened with a lawsuit and hopefully it stays this way. The digital age has changed the way society functions, so it is ludicrous that copyright laws have not adapted to the changing times. Copyright laws need to be revised to make room for new artists and new ways of making music.
This video featuring Girl Talk himself explains why he believes his work falls under fair use. The bottom line is Girl Talk is an incredible artist and although his work is not conventional, it should not be illegal because of stringent copyright laws.
Do you feel that Girl Talk’s work falls under fair use? Also, should copyright laws be updated for the new digital age?