« The Weekend Memo - 9/2/06 | Main | The Daily Memo - 9/5/06 »

This is a great story for two reasons

paris.jpgThere’s this fantastic artist over in England known as Banksy who started off as a street artist, doing some amazing tags. Nowadays, he’s moved on to bigger subversion projects. For example, last year, he took his own pieces of art and quietly installed them in several New York museums, including MoMA and the Met.

So Banksy’s most recent project was to replace several hundred copies of Paris Hilton’s new CD, in almost 50 different UK shops, with his own redone version. The Banksy version of the CD claims to feature such hits as “Why am I famous?” and “What have I done?” It also teaches you, in the liner notes, things like the fact that “90% of success is just showing up” (you can see all the images here). This is one reason I love this story, just for what Banksy did.

But the other reason I love this story, and where the law connection comes from, is because of the reaction of HMV and Virgin, two of the big chains who had their products tampered with. An HMV representative noted:

It’s not the type of behaviour you’d want to see happening very often….I guess you can give an individual such as Banksy a little bit of leeway for his own particular brand of artistic engagement. Often people might have a view on something but feel they can’t always express it, but it’s down to the likes of Banksy to say often what people think about things. And it might be that there wil be some people who agree with his views on the Paris Hilton album.

A Virgin representative was similarly complementary, noting that “it’s a very good stunt.” Rather then threaten legal action or just filing lawsuits seeking injunctions and money damages, these big companies are taking this all in stride. That’s just as fantastic, and refreshing, as Banksy’s project itself. HMV and Virgin’s American brethren could learn a thing or two here about knowing when not to be quite so litigation happy.

| Comments (5)


They're right to be easy going. There's a good chance this could actually boost her album sales. You know... banksy collectors.

Good for him. They should also add the songs, "My sister is ugly" and "Matt Leinhart is not a good QB, or shag."

Good for him. They should also add the songs, "My sister is ugly" and "Matt Leinhart is not a good QB, or shag."

The internet tells me they're going on Ebay for 400$ a pop.

the only reason they aren't seeking litigation is because the cd isn't selling and they're not willing to damage their reputations to defend it.