homage (as a way of honoring and being respectful of the original) even through direct copying?
transformative (in the traditional copyright sense) as building upon the original to create new meaning?
or copying as a means of economically exploiting copyrighted works?
This first post in a series about the difficulties in making this distinction focuses on three different examples of how difficult it is to carefully draw these lines, focusing on Japanese pop star Namie Amuro’s Copy That (official Vidal Sassoon music video-ish commercial above), and later posts will focus on Glee’s Madonna and Lady Gaga episodes, and Christina Aguilera’s Not Myself Tonight video (and dance responses), and other similar situations.
If you don’t know the artists (Faith No More & Kylie Minogue) and musical genres (J-pop & hallyu) mentioned in the title of this post, that doesn’t make you odd. You just aren’t aware of these music more popular outside of the U.S. (and the “hallyu wave” is not limited to music).
But that doesn’t mean that they don’t have fans — they have many! The U.S. music audience often doesn’t get to hear the music popular elsewhere, yet American music is popular worldwide.
America has known few foreign artists outside of Latin America or Britain. Indeed, America has proven itself to be quite resistant to foreign singers, and especially to non-English artists. A few exceptions include Icelandic Bjork and German Rammstein …. However, both of these artists demonstrate a specialized style, known to but not followed by “mainstream” Americans.
So where does subgenre begin when it includes an international superstar like Kylie Minogue?