Our Tech Task #9 was watching RiP! A Remix Manifesto by Brett Gaylor and responding.
Taken from the Synopsis, Join filmmaker Brett Gaylor and mashup artist Girl Talk as they explore copyright and content creation in the digital age. In the process they dissect the media landscape of the 21st century and shatter the wall between users and producers. Creative Commonsfounder, Lawrence Lessig, Brazil’s Minister of Culture, Gilberto Gil, and pop culture critic Cory Doctorow also come along for the ride.
Before watching this video I really had no idea about copyright and I hadn’t even really began to think about how music and new songs are created. Throughout the video I began learning more and more about this and it gave me better insight as to what is currently happening in this area. This video was fantastic! It was engaging and brought in analogies that made sense to me. I am going to discuss two questions that are of interest to me, the first one being:
When you write an essay or paper you may quote other authors and cite those references.
Do you believe we should be allowed to do the same with music and video?
As I thought about how we do that in papers I wondered why wouldn’t that make just as much sense to do the same when it came to music. I hadn’t ever thought of that before partly because I had always just thought songs shouldn’t be “taken” from others. The reason I believed that was because how that is seen in the media, I’ve heard many issues on the radio such as artists being sued for creating a song that is just too similar to one that has already been created. After watching this video I realized it’s not about songs being “taken” it’s about new songs being created. Personally I think it is an awesome idea that you can “create something new from something old”. If I was an artist I would be proud of myself that someone out there had enough interest in my song that they wanted to remix it. I would take it as a huge compliment. But back to question, I definitely believe that music is equally creative as writing a book or anything that we are allowed to cite. It makes sense to me that we should be able to cite those references.
“Brazil defied U.S. IP laws by breaking multiple international patents on HIV medication,
producing their own copies of the drug for a fraction of the price.” did this to make the drug
affordable to those who would die without it. Is this fair to the corporation that researched and developed that drug?
Through this I had a major “ah-ha” moment, probably my biggest “ah-ha” moment throughout my ECMP 355 class. Alright this is a pretty complex topic. In a way, I do not think it is “fair” to the company that researched and developed the drug. But on the other hand I don’t think it would be “fair” to withhold the drug from being used to treat people. Nor do I think it is “fair” to create a drug on a basis of making money. By producing the drug and selling it for a fraction of the price it is helping others. When I bridged this to music I thought is it fair that artists are using/remixing songs that initially belonged to someone else, my answer? Again it is complicated! I don’t believe they are simply stealing music but I believe they are doing what they are passionate about and they are remixing songs because they are interested in making music.
As a whole, this is clearly a pretty controversial topic. I would love to hear your thoughts!