It's his thing
Once aiming for a career as a biomedical engineer, Gillis has become even better versed in the law, especially the ins and outs of "fair use."
"It's not about the length of the sample anymore, it's about using a copyrighted work in creative, transformative ways that don't take away sales from the original, that actually send your listeners in search of the original," he said.
"While people had some, um, concerns early on, talent managers now often send me their artists' tracks saying, 'Please, use this.' "It's part of the new way of thinking about music promotion, getting your signal heard over the noise in this media-saturated world - just the way breaking songs in commercials, TV shows and movies is now considered good form."
Clearly the poster boy for sonic smorgasbords like M.I.A., Gillis suggests the age of musical segregation - fans rabidly supporting one genre and dissing most others - has now finally passed.
"I've thought a lot about this. In the '90s, when radio and MTV still had a stranglehold on the music industry, it was a big statement to be anti-corporate rock, because everything else was being shut out, difficult to hear. But today, everything is accessible, just a click away on the Internet. There are no walls. And lots of the music is free. So it's easier and perfectly acceptable to just find and like what you want for what it is - mainstream artists as well as fringe."
For his part, Gillis/Girl Talk "used to charge for downloads, trying the concept 'pay what you want.' "That confused people. Now I just give it away. And support myself touring."
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