“Remixing is the adoption, alteration, and recombination of pre-existing cultural texts (songs, literature, paintings, etc.) to create something new.” (from Wikipedia)
Remixing generally consists of taking content from multiple sources to make something cool and transformative. Remixed user-generated content (“UGC”) – from Youtube creations, to modded games, to Pride & Prejudice & Zombies – has become pretty ubiquitous on the Internet. Sites develop around providing users a platform to upload their creations.
There’s a Renaissance of innovation and creativity blossoming around the edges of digital technologies, and technology is making so many things accessible to people who wouldn’t have access to traditional production-power structures / licensing.
Copyright law “is intended to motivate the creative activity of authors . . . by the provision of a special reward, and to allow the public access to the products of their genius after the limited period of exclusive control has expired.” While the law has a legitimate interest in regulating new technologies, uncertainty often leads to overly broad restrictions on legitimate uses when courts attempt to apply existing rules to new practices. The vulnerable position of remixers exemplifies the chilling effect the antiquated intellectual property framework has on the new remix culture.
Maybe we should re-examine what kind of awesome we’re really encouraging, and act accordingly.
- Sony Corp. of Am. V. Universal City Studios, Inc., 464 U.S. 417, 429 (1984).↵