In 2009, Andy Baio, of CreativeMornings, put together an 8-bit version of “Kind of Blue,” the classic Miles Davis album. Baio’s version was entitled “Kind of Bloop” and he had a friend create a pixel-art version of Jay Maisel’s photo for the iconic cover. The photography blog PetaPixel reported that “Baio meticulously licensed all the music he used to create the album,” but photographer Jay Maisel filed a lawsuit alleging copyright infringement because he “felt violated to find his image of Miles Davis, one of his most well-known and highly-regarded images, had been pixelated.”
While Maisel originally sought more than $100,000, Baio settled the case out of court for $32,500. In the talk called “The New Prohibition” in the video, Baio discusses the meaning of original ideas, the complexities of fair use copyright law and a culture of suing artists that forces many to settle out of court—even when cases are not particularly strong. As PetaPixel noted, this talk shows how Baio’s agreement was different from other settlements since it did not include a confidentiality agreement.
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