Monday, March 12, 2007

Girl Talk Goes to Washington

Gregg Gillis, aka. Girl Talk, received some positive Congressional attention this week. Pitchfork reports
Gillis was the talk of the U.S. Congress for about 20 seconds just this past Wednesday, March 7. Usually when U.S. Congresspersons make mention of a musician it's to point out how horrible and depraved he/she is, and by extension how doomed and good-fer-nuthin the youth of America are. Usually.

This time, however, U.S. Rep Mike Doyle-- of Gillis' own 14th Congressional District of Pennsylvania-- actually made a positive example of Girl Talk's mash-up work, likening it to Paul McCartney jacking a bassline from a Chuck Berry song, and raising the question of whether art is simply evolving beyond traditional notions of copyright. He also asks why Gillis is flying high while DJ Drama's taking so much crap, which is a pretty good question.

This all happened at Wednesday's second Congressional oversight hearing on the "digital future of the United States", which addressed copyright and intellectual property issues in the age of digital media, specifically radio.

Best of all, you can watch all three-and-a-half captivating hours of the hearing-- held by the U.S. House of Representative's Subcommittee on Telecommunications and the Internet (of which Doyle is vice president)-- on the world wide web! Or just jump to around the 21-minute mark to catch Doyle's brief statement (we wonder if that savvy looking chap behind him actually wrote it). Stick around to hear John Shimkus (R-IL) admit to being "clueless" and Jane Harman (D-CA) call Doyle "so hip."

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