The word Plunderphonic -- denoting the idea of sound piracy -- was coined by artist John Oswald and used as the title of his now-legendary recording from 1989. Plunderphonic consists of twenty-four tracks, each a sound collage of a specific pop cultural icon: Michael Jackson, the Beatles, James Brown, Metallica, and so on. The recording was not distributed for profit, yet was suppressed by Michael Jackson's attorneys -- not on the basis of the recording itself, but because the collage cover art depicted Jackson's head on a naked woman's body.
Another landmark moment in the history of Plunderphonic music was the infamous 1991 lawsuit against Negativland's recording U2 -- a sound collage of original music and text mixed with samples from U2's "I Still Haven't Found What I'm Looking For" and Casey Kasem's television show "American Top-40." Negativland was sued by Island Records and their publishers Warner-Chappell music, again for the cover art, which they claimed looked falsely like a new U2 recording.
At the center of the Plunderphonic genre is a considerable amount of irreverent, humorous play, as well as political motivation. Questioning the ownership of cultural property and pushing the boundaries of fair use laws make these media artists activists as much as they are musicians.