WRA 150: Lessig, Owning
Culture, and Mashing stuff up
by Phill “DJ FunkyPowerPointz” Alexander
A quick lead-in: Lessig on IP law
• Lessig declares that he has the following
position:
–He is anti-piracy
–He is anti-war...
Lessig video here (if you’d like to watch
later)
Lessig is like,
• “We need to hear less from lawyers and
lobbyists and more from artists [about who
owns culture].”
• " Th...
Pirate Technologies
player piano – “pirated” sheet music
radio– “pirated” records
cable TV– “pirated” network TV
betamax– ...
We Didn’t Start the Fire…
• “...this is not the first time radical new
technologies have appeared and changed the
way that...
"This architecture demands... the right to
remix culture."
Enter DJ Danger Mouse. He felt that the Beatles’
White Album an...
Remix
Remix
Remix is the act of taking one or more cultural
artifacts-- in this case visual, though video,
audio, and alph...
Remix
+ =
Remix
+
=
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. You might recognize
it. 
• “Mashup...
A Stroke of Genius
“In October of 2001, a d.j. named
Roy Kerr, calling himself the
Freelance Hellraiser, sent Temple-
Morr...
back to the visual while still looking at
music…
• Is it “okay” for Nas to do this?
• Is it okay for FOX to depict Nas in ...
WRA 150 Week 10 Remix and IP Law
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WRA 150 Week 10 Remix and IP Law

  1. 1. WRA 150: Lessig, Owning Culture, and Mashing stuff up by Phill “DJ FunkyPowerPointz” Alexander
  2. 2. A quick lead-in: Lessig on IP law • Lessig declares that he has the following position: –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)
  3. 3. Lessig video here (if you’d like to watch later)
  4. 4. 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.”
  5. 5. 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.”
  6. 6. 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."
  7. 7. "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: http://www.illegal-art. org/audio/grey.html but don’t, because it’s totally illegal. *wink* Or is it? Or… should it be?
  8. 8. 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.
  9. 9. Remix + =
  10. 10. Remix + =
  11. 11. If you’re offended by profanity, plug your ears right about now Whose song is this? Whose song is this?
  12. 12. Another Example • The New Yorker ran a piece on Danger Mouse and the idea of mash-ups. You might recognize it.  • “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?
  13. 13. 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. “
  14. 14. back to the visual while still looking at music… • Is it “okay” for Nas to do this? • Is it okay for FOX to depict Nas in the ways that they have?
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