Sunday, January 25, 2004

From the Jerusalem Post’s Letters to the Editor:

Sir, - I am CEO of Scandinavia's largest Classical Music Record Company, BIS Records. I visited Dror Feiler's "Snow White" installation and was deeply disgusted with it.

An integral part was the use of an aria from Bach's Cantata No. 199, Mein Herze schwimmt im Blut (My Heart Swims in Blood), which had been "arranged" (read: "distorted") by Feiler and went on and on in a loop at the site.

Since I thought I recognized my recording (BIS 801) through the mess, I called Feiler up to ask whence he got the music he was using. The answer was that he had no idea since he had tanked down the music from the Internet. I asked him to try to check up on it and get back to me. He refused.

The Swedish Copyright Act clearly states that the rightholders - in this case the record company and performing artist, since Bach is in the public domain - have the exclusive right to decide about the work recorded. No one else has the right to copy, arrange and/or make publicly available such a work without the rightholders' prior consent. Not only did Feiler not seek any such permission, he didn't even care enough to know whose recording, with what artists, he had stolen, mutilated and unlawfully exhibited; odd behavior from someone who so vehemently defends his own "art."

I therefore went to the Swedish police and brought charges against Feiler for his theft, and against the Museum of National Antiquities for playing unauthorized music on its premises. The museum, after consultation with its lawyers, had to give in and closed down the music part of the installation as of January 22. Rumours are Feiler is now searching high and low for a recording older than 50 years, so he can stamp on the artists' droit moral with impunity.
BIS Records