September 25, 2002

John Cage Bubble Burst

Nods and props to Cos for first directing me to this little controversy. It seems the intriguing battle between the John Cage Trust and Mike Batt (the Wombles theme song composer) over whether or not Batt could record a version of Cage's 4'33" (it's totally silent) has been settled. Reuters reports that Batt has in fact settled with the Trust for an agreed, yet undisclosed, sum.

Everyone's being all matey-jokey-isn't this a very Cagean moment about it, but it does highlight some pretty sordid facts about not just the music industry, but intellectual property law. First thought 1: this is an elaborate stunt to top up the Trust's coffers. Batt agrees to release a piece which might appear to infringe Cage's copyright, the album sells big, Batt appears to settle to the Trust's satisfaction. First thought 2, not less conspiratorial, just differently conspiratorial: The Trust really did have a case and Batt decided to fold while he could.

posted on September 25, 2002 at 09:00 AM by darren.