The 21st Century War of Attrition is about the Capitol v Thomas Court battle that began in 2006 when Jammie Thomas, a single mother of four, was sued by several major record labels for copyright infringement by unauthorized downloading and sharing of 24 songs using the peer-to-peer software Kazaa. In 2007, Thomas was found liable for the copyright infringement and was ordered to pay $222,000 in statutory damages ($9,250/song). Since then the case has gone through several retrials and appeals and only recently ended at the original $222,000 decision in September of 2012.
The 21st Century War of Attrition consists of three parts. The first is 24 vinyl record replicas (created using molds of four different Capitol Records 7” vinyl singles), each representing one of the songs Jammie Thomas was found liable for downloading. The second part is an audio composition featuring the argument in the 8th Circuit Court of Appeals in June of 2012 mixed with the soundtrack from the film The Good, The Bad and The Ugly (soundtrack published by Capitol Records). The third piece is the three scrolls of text that are the official final opinion given by the 8th Circuit Court of Appeals.
What was once a pragmatic solution to an economic issue in creative commerce has now become a seemingly unstoppable behemoth: copyright law. Throughout history, the sharing of ideas has played an essential role in the creation of culture and contemporary thought. However, the act of creative reuse and the sharing of works has now become an offense in the eyes of the law.
My work examines the attempts made by copyright holders to stop the spread of copyrighted works. Using source material of various authors, I aim to critique and challenge these attempts and there attempt to “send a message”. Influenced by the culture jamming movement, my projects manifest as commercial critique with a sense of humor.