“Remember Kind of Bloop, the chiptune tribute to Miles Davis’ Kind of Blue that I produced? I went out of my way to make sure the entire project was above board, licensing all the cover songs from Miles Davis’s publisher and giving the total profits from the Kickstarter fundraiser to the five musicians that participated.
But there was one thing I never thought would be an issue: the cover art.”
Copyright law, and to a greater extent Intellectual Property law as a whole, is a bag of hurt (to borrow a line from Steve Jobs). Unfortunately it is a necessary bag of hurt. It’s necessary because some people out there are dicks and will pilfer the blood, sweat and tears of others for their own gain. There are also some other dicks out there that will wield the law as a weapon even though it was intended to be a shield. This leaves the vast majority of us, whom aren’t dicks, stuck in the middle having to navigate an unpredictable river influenced by forces beyond our control. It would be awesome if we all agreed not to be dicks to each other and then necessary evils like IP law wouldn’t have to exist. I don’t think that’s going to happen anytime soon though.
P.S. Just to be clear, I’m not calling anyone involved in the linked to situation a dick.