Explanations for Plagiarism

Sure, we can condemn plagiarism and appraise remix-appropriation-whatever. But really – how do you come up with the idea of releasing full songs that you had nothing to do with, like Laromlab did? Why would you want to perform live with recordings of other people’s tracks? Would you think that you could get away with it? If not, what kind of motivational drives are stronger than (un)consciously knowing that you will be labeled as a faker?

I sent an e-mail to TV Death Squad with similar thoughts: “I am honestly interested in your motivations behind this. I think it’s too late to say that you’re a VJ and that everybody knew that you didn’t do the music. The bookers did not know. The credits were not on the Myspace. I am more interested in *why* you did it like this. Why did you use chiptunes instead of other music? Why did you upload other people’s music to your myspace, and rename it? Why did you perform with it? Why do you think this is ok?” Here’s what he said:

“i am really sorry about everything. i never meant to piss off everyone i looked up to. i want to tell you exactly how this mess happened so maybe you can forgive me or at least understand. i am a dj/ vj or whatever you want to call it.  i started off wanting to be able to mix chiptunes over vinyl, and ended up running a ds lite w/ mp3s into a korg esx and using it for filtering… than i saw how you guys were doing these cool visuals over 8bit, and i started taking more of an interest in that.. so i invested in a korg entrancer so i could merge it w/ a microkorg and use it to sample visuals over my fav. chip.

I gave up on doing chiptunes and just vjayed and dj’d 8bit with what i had access to on the visual end..   the cool thing about that was that you could process both audio and video at the same time w/ the keytar.  i started introducing everyone in oklahoma city to a bunch of my favorite artists i would find on 8bitpeoples.. i sincerely didnt mean to cause any trouble or diss anyone. i hope you understand that i wasnt trying to jip anyone.

furthermore, to the best of my ability (and it can be difficult with electronic music) i tried to label the right names on the player… i thought i had random, mesu, and combat dave all with the right names on the playlist but as far as goto80 i honestly couldnt remember where i found that song..  it really hurt my feelings that i offended you guys on this level, but after thinking about it from your point of view i understand. i hope you accept my forgiveness, i really just wanted to be a chiptune vj. i did take down all the videos, and erased the myspace today. i also had two vj shows that i cancelled. again, im really sorry about this whole thing.”

This explanation leaves out aspects like why the bookers thought he was a composer/performer and not a dj, and why he renamed the songs when uploading it to Myspace. The answers for those questions might be too personal for him to  answer  himself.

If he just would have called himself a DJ and acted like one (not uploading songs, not dance around with a gear-strap-on, and beat mixing), there would be no drama at all, right? So, if you are doubting if what you are doing is morally/legally okay, just call yourself a DJ and you’ll be fine. (lame disclaimer: of course some DJs are a lot more performative than some live-performers)

12 Responses to “Explanations for Plagiarism”

  1. Random Says:

    He sent exactly the same e-mail to Bit Shifter, which got forwarded to me. It certainly does leave a lot of questions unanswered, like how he’s listed as a live band on the Game Core website, and how someone from Game Core commented on my website “If we knew we would not have let him play that is BS”.
    The myspace player being another issue – why would a DJ/VJ upload individual tracks to his myspace player? Not visuals, not mixes, but individual tracks, and on top of all renaming at least two of them (“the aftermath” being “Ter4” by you, and “Random strange places” being Sitges Savepoint by me).
    Further more, why would he have a Game Boy on stage? Doesn’t that imply he’s pretending to play it live? And why was no information about the original artist found on neither his myspace nor in any of the videos on youtube and vimeo?

  2. chipflip Says:

    random: yeah, i guess we will never know.

    btw, cached stuff that aleksi found:

  3. Random Says:

    Linde found a comment exchange he had with a user called HEARTLESS on myspace: http://8bitcollective.com/forums/viewtopic.php?pid=241657#p241657 It’s not exactly in his favour either…

    Also, he just messages me on Myspace saying: “im going to post the most amazing chiptunes bundle the world has ever seen on ebay :)”… I’m slightly confused what he means by this (he’s obviously not that good with words). Is he going to sell his gear (which isn’t chiptune gear, but VJ gear) or is he going to sell CD-Rs, trying to make money with OUR music? I’ve asked him, let’s wait at see what he means.

  4. 10k Says:

    I feel for the dude now! Why did you let me read that?!

  5. Philip Cunningham Says:

    “I hope you accept my forgiveness”, this made me lol.

  6. Akira // 8GB Says:

    TV Death star is the kind of artist that mirrors every “value” generated in the “scene” generated around 8bitcollective and contemporary “cheaptoon”

  7. Akira // 8GB Says:

    I am questioning all that means “chiptune” nowadays.

    For more than one reason I have distanced myself from most of what today is “chiptune”, not the 4 channel MODs of 4-mat, neither the misconception of calling chipmusic like that, but rather the retarded, pose based, image centric, music neglecting travesty that most “chiptune” is today, which I took the liberty to rename “cheaptoon”.

    Nowadays you only need to “sound like mario”, wave a game boy around and jump a lot on stage, mostly whie pretending you are actually making music live, for people to big you up.

    I wonder, where has the importance of music gone in a “scene” where most everything sounds the same, where the quality to quantity ratio has increased in favour of the side of quantity, not quality? I find myself listening to the same people over and over, and its the people that have been around for a while. They maintain the spirit, the goals, the pilars of what created it, the quality.

    This is not the first time an imposter like this appears, it’s just that this guy has overdone himself in becoming the next big idiot after Laromlab what makes him so noticeable. Has anyone questioned why lots of kids upload someone else’s chipmusic as their own and that sort of stuff? Can you truly say “because chiptune fucking rocks” is the reason?

  8. Akira // 8GB Says:

    And also, what is the common demnominator that signifies people who do this? Can you coin it? I think I can narrow it down pretty well.

  9. chipflip Says:

    Akira, what is the common denominator? Give it to us! :)

    Also, I thought that the whole videogame-reference had faded out a bit. You can often see that it’s more about hardware than videogame references. It seems like a dominant discourse within in the scene, that also rubs of on articles about chipmusic. If you wanna be one of the cool chipmusic people, don’t refer to videogames. (though, I don’t really know what kind of music is released at 8bitcollective)

  10. Akira // 8GB Says:

    I should rephrase that, I know what it is FOR ME. I will not force-feed a definition onto anyone else.

    What I can say is that, whatever it is, it’s not about the music.

  11. Arnold66 Says:

    Non-believers do have valid questions. ,

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