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ENG/IMS 224:Lessig, Owning Culture, and Mashing stuff up
Today1. Icebreaker2. Quickly: Remix3. Let me tell you ‘bout Larry Lessig4. More remix5. A little work time (time pending)
IcebreakerToday’s icebreaker:Say your name, and tell us the first piece of music you bought with your own moneyDr. Phill’s first musical purchase with his own money was: … on cassette.
Remix is Like…Remix is the act of taking one or more culturalartifacts-- visual, video, audio, and/oralphabetic texts- and deliberately mixingelements together to create something newthat often specifically mimics one or more ofthe sources. Many remixes are meant to besatirical or overtly political, though satire isnot essential.
The problem rises….If you look at my definition, you see theproblem really, really early on: “you take oneor more cultural artifacts”– stress on the“take.” On the next few slides are some remiximages I’ve made myself recently, just forkicks.Yeah, I’m a big ol’ remix for fun nerd.
Key issue: IP lawThe question here becomes “whose intellectualproperty are these things?”Are those mine? I “made” them, but I didn’tmake them from a blank slate. Am I allowed tojust borrow that stuff?Let’s ask a lawyer!
Lessig on IP law• Lessig declares that he has the following positions: – He is anti-piracy – He is anti-war (meaning law vs. creators here) – He is anti-lawyer and anti-lobbyist (he includes himself here, so he’s anti-Lessig, too)
Lessig video (if you’d like to watch later—slightly longer version of the one we watched for today)
Lessig is like,• “We need to hear less from lawyers and lobbyists and more from artists [about who owns culture].”• " This is a relationship between technology and ownership, which is translated to digital technology and copyright.”
Pirate Technologiesplayer piano – “pirated” sheet musicradio– “pirated” recordscable TV– “pirated” network TVbetamax– “pirated” TV and moviesBut as these were regulated, the lawalways waited to see “the potentialof the technology.”
We Didn’t Start the Fire…• “...this is not the first time radical new technologies have appeared and changed the way that culture gets made and distributed. This is a constant theme...”• But… The law favored the pirate in those old cases. It is now "fit the technology to the law" and not "fit the law to the technology."
"This architecture demands... the right to remix culture."Enter DJ Danger Mouse. He felt that the Beatles’White Album and Jay-Z’s black album went together.So he created“the Grey Album”which you can DL here.but don’t, because it’stotally illegal. *wink*Or is it?Or… should it be?
RemixRemix Remix is the act of taking one or more cultural artifacts-- visual, video, audio, and/orRemix is the act of taking one or more culturalartifacts-- in this caseand deliberately mixing alphabetic texts- visual, though video, elements together to create something newaudio, and alphabetic texts are regularlyremixed-- and specifically mimics elements that often deliberately mixing one or more oftogether to create something new that oftento be the sources. Many remixes are meantspecifically mimics onepolitical, of the sources.is satirical or overtly or more though satireMany remixes are meant to be satirical or not essential.overtly political, though satire is not essential tothe genre.
If you’re offended by profanity, plug your ears right about now Whose song is this? Whose song is this?
Another Example• The New Yorker ran a piece on Danger Mouse and the idea of mash-ups.• “Mashups find new uses for current digital technology, a new iteration of the cause-and- effect relationship behind almost every change in pop-music aesthetics: the gear changes, and then the music does.”• So… whose song is this?
A Stroke of Genius “In October of 2001, a d.j. named Roy Kerr, calling himself the Freelance Hellraiser, sent Temple- Morris [a mash-up show duo] a mashup called “A Stroke of Genius,” laying Christina Aguilera’s vocal from “Genie in a Bottle,” a lubricious pop song, over the music from the Strokes’ “Hard to Explain,” a brittle, honking guitar song. “
So what we have to consider…1) Who “owns” a particular piece of art2) What can we use and what can’t we use?3) What IS Fair Use?4) What is Creative Commons?5) How do we avoid having to try a justification like this?
Homewerkz Read for class: McCloskey “How to do rhetorical analysis and why” and Jones “Finding the good argument” (both on Niihka)In class we’ll start on our first major(ish) project and do some additional rhetorical analysis.