Richie Hawtin: Every Track Is Version 1.0 Today

Beatportal talked to Richie Hawtin recently, and and he had some interesting thoughts on music copyright law.

Hawtin suggests that digital technology makes current copyright laws obsolete:

“Every track these days should be considered a work in progress,” says Hawtin. “Everything is version 1.0, and anybody should be allowed to take your ideas and add their own ideas to it. We need to be more open about music, ideas and ownership.”

“Artists and labels should still be able to make money from their music when it gets sampled, but there should be a way of tracking how far down your samples go,” he says. “We should be able to scan a track and say 50% of this is original, 20% is from this record, and 30% is from this record.

“Or maybe a sample is only allowed to be regurgitated five times before you lose ownership of that sample or groove,” adds Hawtin. “For electronic music to progress we need to be more open-minded.

“I believe a producer should be allowed to reuse and resample anything they want, in a reasonable manner.”

Hawtin also may soon be putting his money where his mouth is:

“We’re thinking about opening the Minus catalogue up to the public so that anyone who buys a release can have more creative options to manipulate and transform it.”

Hawtin’s views seem reasonable to me – but a lot of artists want to retain control over how their music is used, an who reworks it.

Leave a Reply