/ William Carleton / 10 am Thu, Oct 30 2014
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  • *Copyright Redux*

    *Copyright Redux*

    A sestina for free culture by William Carleton, who writes that "the form itself, where the same six words are repeated in each stanza, lends itself to the subject of copying and transformative use."

    The song had to be remixed.
    Something to do with the way that soundboards
    Differ today than when the first copy
    Was captured back in the 1960s.
    An engineer our executives trust
    Always says, "grab it in the studio

    The first time - the studio
    Sessions are trouble enough to remix."
    He'll understand the conundrum, I trust.
    We weren't the ones who fucked with the soundboards.
    Hippies, not from the 1960s,
    Find their millennial ways to copy

    As quick as chips can copy
    Bits to build to bytes in a studio.
    Oh, so remote seem the 1960s.
    Every auteur since waits to be remixed,
    Remastered and re-released. You sound bored
    By the bookkeeping but money's in trust

    Because of it. Antitrust
    Might have rescued these pirates who copy,
    Covered them safely like rugs on sound boards.
    Thankfully there's only one studio
    Left, laws of all nations have been remixed,
    And sold are the anthems of the 1960s.

    Forget the 1960s.
    Don't we again have musicians we trust?
    Hollywood goons nabbed one for her remix,
    Served the suit and charged her for her copy.
    House foreclosed, she's rented a studio.
    We're pulling data now from her soundboards.

    Yes, she's messing with soundboards,
    Let it be; this ain't the 1960s:
    Carry laptop, the world's anyone's studio.
    Though government's the lone partner to trust
    With the codes for decrypting the copy.
    Soon, all will turn. Be ready to remix.

    We should license the soundboards, lest we be remixed
    And shown the door to the studio. The content's in trust
    - From the 1960s. I'll lend you my copy.

    Photo courtesy of Shutterstock

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