Last month, film directors testified to a House committee on film colorization. The arguments against colorization took the following form: It is immoral to alter a work of art without the consent of the artist. A film is a work of art and the director is its artist. Therefore, it is immoral to alter, by colorization, a film, without the consent of the film's director.
Accepting the above argument as valid, do we now view the use of a work of art for purposes other than that which it could reasonably have been intended as an immoral alteration?
Specifically, is the use of an orchestral piece written 50 years ago immoral if used as background music in a 1987 film about the war in Vietnam? Is director Oliver Stone responsible for an immoral act in using Samuel Barber's "Adagio for Strings" in the sound track of "Platoon"?
This is a question of appropriateness. Stone would say "Adagio" is appropriate for "Platoon." Would Barber say "Platoon" is appropriate for "Adagio"? The artist Stone has an unfair advantage over the artist Barber in deciding the appropriateness of the music's use. Barber died six years ago.