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  • 1. ENG/IMS 224: Lessig, Owning Culture, and Mashing stuff up
  • 2. Remix is Like… Remix is the act of taking one or more cultural artifacts-- visual, video, audio, and/or alphabetic texts- and deliberately mixing elements together to create something new that often specifically mimics one or more of the sources. Many remixes are meant to be satirical or overtly political, though satire is not essential.
  • 3. The problem rises…. If you look at my definition, you see the problem really, really early on: “you take one or more cultural artifacts”– stress on the “take.” On the next few slides are some remix images I’ve made myself recently, just for kicks. Yeah, I’m a big ol’ remix for fun nerd.
  • 4. Key issue: IP law The question here becomes “whose intellectual property are these things?” Are those mine? I “made” them, but I didn’t make them from a blank slate. Am I allowed to just borrow that stuff? Let’s ask a lawyer!
  • 5. 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)
  • 6. 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.”
  • 7. Pirate Technologies player piano – “pirated” sheet music radio– “pirated” records cable TV– “pirated” network TV betamax– “pirated” TV and movies But as these were regulated, the law always waited to see “the potential of the technology.”
  • 8. 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."
  • 9. "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 Google And download. but don’t, because it’s totally illegal. *wink* Or is it?
  • 10. Remix Remix Remix is the act of taking one or more cultural artifacts-- in this case visual, though video, audio, and alphabetic texts are regularly remixed-- and deliberately mixing elements together to create something new that often specifically mimics one or more of the sources. Many remixes are meant to be satirical or overtly political, though satire is not essential to the genre. Remix is the act of taking one or more cultural artifacts-- visual, video, audio, and/or alphabetic texts- and deliberately mixing elements together to create something new that often specifically mimics one or more of the sources. Many remixes are meant to be satirical or overtly political, though satire is not essential.
  • 11. Remix: from The Daily Show + =
  • 12. Remix: from Marvel Comics + =
  • 13. Remix: from random net site + =
  • 14. 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?
  • 15. 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. “
  • 16. So what we have to consider… 1) Who “owns” a particular piece of art 2) 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?