The 21t Century War of Attrition – YOU’RE WELCOME


             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.

Documentation Photos

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Untitled 3

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YW_217 copy 2

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             Artist Statement

         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.


The Real OG by Karl Turner


In 1991, one of the most influential court cases in the history of Hip Hop took place when singer/songwriter Gilbert O’Sullivan sued rapper Biz Markie over the use of a sample taken from O’Sullivan’s song “Alone Again (Naturally).”

At this time, sampling was used heavily in Hip Hop and was featured in the songs of a large majority of artists in the genre. Groups like The Beastie Boys, Public Enemy, and De La Soul all had numerous songs with samples that were not always cleared with the original creators of the work being sampled. Up until Biz Markie’s case, most claims of unauthorized sampling were settled out of court.

As a result of Biz Markie losing this case, every single sample had to be cleared with the original artist and any other right’s holders. This limited the freedom of Hip Hop artists immensely and many records, including Biz Markie’s, were forcibly pulled from record stores and either rereleased with only cleared samples or scrapped because of the cost of clearing the samples.

My installation is meant to be a critique/protest of Gilbert O’Sullivan and the  ridiculousness of United States copyright laws.


Full Installation
Full Installation
Gilbert O’Sullivan Print
5′ x 10′

This five foot by ten foot print of O’Sullivan is meant to be an overwhelming and ominous artifact

of the man who forever changed sample based music.

Top Left – Gilbert O’Sullivan “Alone Again (Naturally)” 7″ Vinyl Single
Top Right – Casting Resin copy of the O’Sullivan Single
Center – Silicone Rubber mold of O’Sullivan Single

These pieces show the process I have taken in order to pirate the original O’Sullivan vinyl single.

The materiality of the resin and the imperfectness of my hand mean that the pirated record

will never sound the same as the original, therefore making it a unique record in it’s own right.

Audio Feature

In this 44 second sound loop the original 11 second sample, in question during the above mentioned court case, is juxtaposed

next to two different interpolations I have created. The first is a midi sound file I created using the tabulation software Guitar Pro 6.

The second is a recording of myself playing an electric piano and an electronic drum kit.

Both of the interpolations I tabulated and recorded are linked below and are FREE to download and use as you please.

Audio Sample Download Links:

Guitar Pro 6 Tab Version

Self Recorded Version