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Thursday, September 14, 2006

Bob Dylan: Thiefy McThieferson?

Posted by on September 14 at 10:01 AM

Or just a folkie doing the folk thing?



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Scott Warmuth says "It’s part of the folk process", but copyrighting your songs is much less of that tradition. The traditional method is to have some fat slob of a record producer copyright them without your knowledge. It's clever thieving, all right.

Dylan has offered cover versions and "borrowed" lyrics all along. From the famous story of him stealing "House of the Rising Sun" from Dave Van Ronk to the bottomless well of allusions in "Desolation Row." He's brilliant, the songs are great, and he has great respect for what came before. I hope this doesn't become a big dumb controversy.

I think Microsoft said it best in it's patent application: "All strife with flowers is belong to us."

I swear the only reason that the word "strife" is still in common usage among songwriters is because it rhymes with so many things. Well, "life," ususally.


To paraphrase
William S. Burroughs: mediocrity plagiarizes, genius steals.

Dylan: thief, genius.

The trouble and strife agrees.

In related news, both the Beatles and Led Zeppelin were sued for theft of songs by American sharecroppers.

Isn't it time for Bob Dylans to take a nap?

Timrod has a better moustache... and now we know who he is - so I say, it's even.

Dylan has been doing this all along and has repeatedly acknowledged The Carter Family as main inspiration.

A.P. Carter's name is on dozens of songs that he basically collected from hill people that carried them from overseas. A.P. barely played an instrument and sang, but knew a good thing when he saw it, copyrighted the songs, had a great guitar palyer for a sister-in-law, and married to a great voice... and the rest is history.

Dylan's gettin' a little old, cut him some slack...

It is just the way of the folksinger to borrow and rework lyrics, melodies, ideas, poems, songs, etc. Dylan is far from the first or last to use other people's shit for his own work. This whole folk thing is about sharing and passing on, and Dylan has done a fabulous job of paying homage to the people and works he's borrowed from (as did his hero Woody Guthrie ... and everyone else in folk music).

I bought Modern Times last night, and I've got it playing at the moment. This is a great record. Anyone who suggests that Dylan is ready to step down or 'take a nap' simply isn't paying attention. It's amazing how much life he's got in him.

@Fnarf: I believe copyrights are automatically created once you create something. Unless you sold your rights to the fat slob to get a paycheck...

There is no such thing as a copyright.


copyright a fart

He also stole the lyrics from his last album from some Japanese book.,6115,463623_4%7C6589%7C%7C0_0_,00.html

But I guess if everyone says he's a genius he must be one.

The album title "Love and Theft" was taken from a book on minstrels & blackface performers...

Bill, I'm pretty sure Burroughs stole that from T.S. Eliot. Stole it! Genius.

Genius is a word that is thrown around so much anymore.

Mediocrity steals, genius sleeps in doorways.


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