Kutiman and The Mother of All Funk Chords
Kutiman took a bunch of public domain YouTube videos and remixed them into something pretty damn spectacular (an album practically).
Most of the chatter on the web about this has mostly been about whether this sort of remixing is the future of entertainment and what precisely record execs may do about it (and even if they have any relevance as an industry any longer), but in the meantime, you can watch and wonder...
The amazing thing is these people taking, what we all view as free-range, fair-game and public domain material, the background of our cultural self-reflection and self-indulgent detritus, and transforming it into something new, creative and fundamentally valuable. It definitely challenges existing ideas of copyright, authorship and models of how music has traditionally made money (let's face it, the record industry is dying anyways even if the music industry is going gangbusters). But more and more, it's the evolution of digital culture.
Great quote from the merlin Mann article cited above :
Unsolicited tip for media company c-levels: if your reaction to this crate of magic is “Hm. I wonder how we’d go about suing someone who ‘did this’ with our IP?” instead of, “Holy crap, clearly, this is the freaking future of entertainment,” it’s probably time to put some ramen on your Visa and start making stuff up for your LinkedIn page.
Because, this is what your new Elvis looks like, gang. And, eventually somebody will figure out (and publicly admit) that Kutiman, and any number of his peers on the “To-Sue” list, should be passed from Legal down to A&R.