Ethics Remixed: Emerging Attitudes about Art, Technology and Appropriation
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Ethics Remixed: Emerging Attitudes about Art, Technology and Appropriation

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Appropriation-based art forms, such as sampling, collage, remixing, modding and mashups, have become a mainstream phenomenon in recent years, due to the rapid proliferation of networked computers and ...

Appropriation-based art forms, such as sampling, collage, remixing, modding and mashups, have become a mainstream phenomenon in recent years, due to the rapid proliferation of networked computers and devices, and the transition of the cultural archive to digital formats. While many in the business and legal communities frame these emerging cultures as a form of “piracy” or “infringement,” the millions of practitioners have begun to develop a more nuanced ethical framework surrounding these practices. In his keynote, Aram Sinnreich will present new, survey-based research analyzing these emerging ethical codes, and explore their significance for law, industry and society at large.

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Ethics Remixed: Emerging Attitudes about Art, Technology and Appropriation Presentation Transcript

  • 1. Ethics Remixed: Emerging Attitudes about Art, Technology and Appropriation Aram Sinnreich, Ph.D. Assistant Professor Journalism & Media Studies DMY Berlin Festival Copy/Culture Symposium 4 June, 2011
  • 2. As Silicon Has Redefined Society…
  • 3. … Networks Have Permeated our Lives…
  • 4. … And Given Rise to “Configurable Culture”
  • 5. This Was the Subject of My Recent Book
  • 6.
    • In 2006 and 2010, I co-fielded two surveys, designed to capture the awareness, behaviors and attitudes regarding configurable culture.
    • The 2010 survey had over 3,000 adult respondents from around the world.
    But How Popular is This Stuff, Really?
  • 7. AWARENESS
  • 8. Source: Radar Research/Intellisurvey November, 2010; n = 3,046 (%) Awareness of Configurable Culture: Music Mash-ups Awareness: Youth Lead, But Elders Catching Up
  • 9. Source: Radar Research/Intellisurvey November, 2010; n = 3,046 (%) Awareness of Configurable Culture: Video Mash-ups Awareness: Youth Lead, But Elders Catching Up
  • 10. Source: Radar Research/Intellisurvey November, 2010; n = 3,046 (%) Awareness of Configurable Culture: Video Game Mods Awareness: Youth Lead, But Elders Catching Up
  • 11. ENGAGEMENT
  • 12. Source: Radar Research/Intellisurvey November, 2010; n = 3,046 (%) Engagement in Configurable Culture: Customized Music Play List Engagement: Significant Growth Over 5 Years
  • 13. Source: Radar Research/Intellisurvey November, 2010; n = 3,046 (%) Engagement in Configurable Culture: Created Video Mash-Up Engagement: Significant Growth Over 5 Years
  • 14. Source: Radar Research/Intellisurvey November, 2010; n = 3,046 (%) Engagement in Configurable Culture: Used Video Game “Cheat” Engagement: Significant Growth Over 5 Years
  • 15. (%) MUSIC VIDEO GAMES SOFTWARE Source: Radar Research/Intellisurvey November, 2010; n = 1,240 Consumption -Adjacent vs. Production -Adjacent Engagement in Configurable Culture (Global 18-34, 2010)
  • 16. OPINIONS
  • 17. “ To what extent do you consider mash-ups and remixes 'original'?” Source: Radar Research/Intellisurvey July, 2006; n = 1,765 Opinions About Configurable Culture (US 2006) New Generation, New Attitudes?
  • 18. Source: Radar Research/Intellisurvey November, 2010; n = 1,186 “ To what extent do you consider mash-ups and remixes 'original'?” Or is it Just Fear of the Unknown? Opinions About Configurable Culture (US 2010)
  • 19. “ To what extent do you consider mash-ups and remixes 'original'?” Yeah, It’s Just Fear of the Unknown Opinions About Configurable Culture (US 2010) Source: Radar Research/Intellisurvey November, 2010; n = 1,186
  • 20. WHAT DOES THIS MEAN FOR LAWS & ETHICS?
  • 21. Beyond Copyright and “Copyfight” PRIVATE PUBLIC The “Free Culture” Argument
  • 22. PRIVATE PUBLIC The Configurability Argument ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? Beyond Copyright and “Copyfight”
  • 23. UNETHICAL ETHICAL New Ethics Are Already Emerging 2006 2006 & 2010 For-profit Commercial Non-profit Unpermissioned Legal Permissioned Pretension Authenticity Referenced Unoriginal Innovation Original Easy Labor Hard work Bastardization Moral Homage Radical Continuity Evolution Waste of Time Use Value Fun/Helpful Exploitative Social Effects Fair/Harmless
  • 24. Unoriginal Original “ Occasionally, you’ll get [a remix] that’s better than the original , but that’s pretty rare.” - DJ Food “ Remixes and mash-ups are creative and fun at times but i still prefer the original music rather than remixes.” “ They give a complete breath of fresh air (if made successfully) in things we've already heard or seen.” “ I think mash-ups and remixes can never take place of original. In remixes and mash-ups the original concept and thought is lost and the result is never as good as original.” Ethical Standard: Innovation
  • 25. “ I think it’s important to give people credit . I think, in some ways, that’s even more important than the money.” - Si Begg Bastardization Homage “ I think some of the material that is remixed is good, but some also ruins the original piece.” “ I think generally, an artist should feel flattered when their work is part of a mash-up, because it is a tribute to them.” “ I think remixes are an insult to the original product. It's never half as good as the original.” Ethical Standard: Moral Rights
  • 26. “ You still borrow from things , whether you copy licks on a guitar or on a sampler. To me it’s still art. It’s a blank canvas, you’re taking pieces and adding them.” - Go Home Productions Rupture Evolution “ The remixes and mash ups are a good idea looking at the changing world. I love changes but not to forget or lose my origin.” “ Everything we do is a remix or mash up of pre-existing knowledge. No one can claim that what he say or do is his own property, since we all use knowledge that others created previously” “ I never liked remixes either for music or movies. I hate it. Original is original and always as everybody say old is Gold” Ethical Standard: Continuity
  • 27. “ In my opinion, what we were doing was beneficial for the game.” – DJ Drama Exploitative Fair/Harmless “ To a certain extent, some remixing and mash-ups should be allowed for more creative outlets for future technology advancement and enhancements.” “ The internet is a free form of media and if you can find it you should be able to use it” “ Ownership of 'art' in the modern age must have a shorter duration than the past.” “ All the technology available even to children takes away originality. The basics of songwriting, composition, and the origins and history of music are somehow lost when so many buttons are pushed and not enough thinking is involved.” Ethical Standard: Social Effects
  • 28. To Sum Things Up:
    • In a few short years, global networked communications have given rise to configurable culture
    • Younger people lead the way, but older adults are catching up
    • These new “grey area” cultural forms produce new ethics and values
    • Yet our laws are still mired in old-fashioned, black & white copyright
    • We need new laws and economies to capitalize on these new cultural forms, rather than artificially strengthening the old ones
  • 29. Thank you. Danke. Aram Sinnreich, Ph.D. [email_address]
    • With thanks to my co-authors:
    • Mark Latonero, USC Annenberg
    • Marissa Gluck, Radar Research
    • Nadia Riley, Rutgers SC&I