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February 28, 2004
A History Palette for Music
Scot Hacker has some thoughts on the Grey Album on his Birdhouse Blog (Thoughts on The Grey Album). Scot doesn't think my idea of distributing remix "recipes" to avoid copyright problems is viable:
At Corante, Ernie Miller wonders whether some kind of remix formula or recipe could be created to allow consumers to recreate the Dangermouse mix from the two original sources, thus sidestepping copyright issues. I respond that the suggestion is similar to the technique used to distribute the lame MP3 encoder, thus bypassing Fraunhofer's patent. But music is not a computer program, and I am highly doubtful that sufficient notation could be devised, or that anyone could enter in the data in sufficient detail to recreate the artwork.
I disagree. If one is using a computer to mix music (and most people are nowadays), then it wouldn't be too difficult for the editing program being used to save how the particular mix was made. This capability would be very similar to the "undo" function most editing programs come up with. Photoshop, for example, saves every move you make with program so you can "undo" any change made since your initial edits, they call it the "history palette." Now, I see no reason why it wouldn't be possible for photoshop to save this history palette as a separate file. Imagine if someone edits a photo and sends me the history palette but not the original photo (for copyright reasons). If I already have the original photo the editor worked with, I could recreate the new version from the history palette.
I don't know why the same can't be done for music, all of it performed automatically and transparently as far as the mix artist is concerned.
Of course, to be effective, you would have to have the exact same versions of the originals that the mix artist used. Hmmmm ... seems like a way that recording companies can encourage people to get legitimate copies ...
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