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The phrase remix denotes a wide array of creative activities embedded in aesthetic, social and cultural contexts (Whelan & Freund, 2013). Remix demonstrates the underlying relationship between the hands-on affordances of contemporary media and the fact that such media flows as recombinant. Simply put, remix revolves around the concepts of redistribution, reassembly, reconfiguration and ultimately circulation of already existing cultural and digital media material. The term remix therefore connotes to a multiplicity at the point of origin of contemporary digital media. In practice therefore the term remix culture is used to describe a wide scope of practices that revolve around originality, authorship and plagiarism.
Remix culture is further simplified to practice that involves ownership, permission and what is commonly referred to as “the commons.” The commons refers to the distinction of culture and to a large extent of contemporary digital media from commercial purposes and the cultural and social significance of such material and the most viable way of exploiting this material (Fitzgerald & O'Brien, 2005). This is especially as far as the significance of the contemporary digital media and the law with relations to the artistic reuses of the prosumer with respect to temporal characteristics. These temporal characteristics are specifically the concepts of history and time elapsed since the contemporary digital media in question was created and when it was reassembled, reconfigured and re-circulated.
A good example of remix culture in practice is when a group of DJs separately in Perth and San Francisco once reengineered Green Day’s American Idiot and repackaged it as American Edit which was more successful than the former (Fitzgerald, 2010). While American Idiot was released purely for commercial purpose, its engineered version American Edit which involved a fusion of songs from Green Day with those of Aerosmith and Eminem was posted on the cyberspace for free which led to the DJs getting a “cease and desist” order from Green Day’s record label. This action inflamed the fans of Green Day and over 400,000 of them signed an online petition condemning the move by the record label to illegalize American Edit which was only available on the cyberspace. These just points to the power of remix culture. This current supports the notion that remix culture has been a sustained critique to intellectual property and copyright laws.
For one to be able to understand the concept of remix culture it is important that they must comprehend why intellectual property and copyright owners protect their works of arts. Throughout history, remix culture has been fought the bases of access to and use of intellectual property (Barker, 2009). As such some of the motivations of authors of contemporary digital media who stringently enforce intellectual property and copyright laws allude to several motivations some of which include but are not limited to the avoidance of misuse, misrepresentation, improper description and wrongful identification of their contemporary media materials (Bledsoe, 2009). This factors are born out three significant professional concerns in the sphere of intellectual properties; accuracy in description of media, wrongful use of media and repository identity of media (Butler, 2010). As such culture has always been plagued with issues dealing with authorship and description of materials media included (Johnson, 2012). This is the case because the description of any item forms the core components of its representation. The description of contemporary media determines its value and the perceptions and attitudes the general public has towards it (Suzor, Harpur, & Thampapillai, 2008). In addition to this, it has also been ascertained that authenticity and credibility of contemporary digital media is of the utmost significance to some segments of the market and therefore has to be consequently preserved at all costs (Xiang & Montgomery, 2012).
There are also numerous prerequisites that placed legally by the intellectual property and copyright laws specifically for people who intent to remix contemporary digital media (Suzor, 2013). These many obligations have been termed as being the major hindrance to remix culture artists to officially seek permission from authors and publishers before reusing, reconfiguring and redistributing contemporary digital media (Olwan, 2013). This is because the owner requirements for reuse effectively render the reuse of contemporary digital media. For instance it is common practice for most authors and publishers to obligate remix culture artists to limit the reuse to themselves and bar any third party re-usage which is virtually impossible on the cyberspace. Such legal obligations make difficult for remix culture to bridge the gap between access and demand of contemporary digital media (Lean, 2002). This therefore points to revision of intellectual property and copyright laws so as to accommodate the remix culture phenomenon.
Finally, remix culture should be viewed upon as a digital argument. This is because it is a binary of amateur/professional creativity and lumps it all as work of art (Harpur & Suzor, 2013). It must be mentioned that remix culture distinguished its various byproducts mainly by the use of underlying themes. It is easy to distinguish a fan remix video from a political remix video for instance (Cradduck, 2013). Due to its binary aspect, it can be stated that remix culture advances for contemporary media literacy which points to one of its many significances (McBratney & Tarr, 2010). This predominantly attributed to tendency to go against the grain and subvert the dominant theme of original contemporary digital media. Remix culture lays bare the underlying themes behind originality and therefore subsequently blurs the line between fact and fiction as far as contemporary digital media is concerned (Tsui, 2011).
Discussion and Analysis
Remix culture has been sustained critique of intellectual property and copyright laws. This is the case because of the following reasons. To begin with, copyright and intellectual property laws dictate that one has to get official permission from the author of contemporary digital media before reusing it either in terms of blogging, non-profit scholarly publishing, educational or even artistic purposes for both commercial and non-commercial uses (Cradduck, 2013). This however is retrogressive practice whose main objective is to stunt the growth of the contemporary digital media especially those in the public domain. This further stunts the sphere of public authorship which is key prerequisite to the freedom of expression. Based on this premise it is therefore necessary for there to be open access to contemporary digital media either not covered by copyright or covered by copyright and intellectual property laws but within the public domain.
Secondly, commercial companies such as YouTube are purely based on the concept of remix culture (Whelan & Freund, 2013). YouTube allows users to create their own digital content and upload it on the video streaming website for free. Most of the content uploaded on YouTube is either remixed content or content under copyright uploaded by prosumer who does not own the rights to do so. This innocent gesture by users of YouTube does not however imply that they are ill bent on ensuring that intellectual property and copyright owners are denied of their hard earned income. Remix culture contrary to popular opinion is based on spontaneity and pure entertainment rather than on commercial precepts. There’s a misconceived notion that the now booming internet culture is against profit. Therefore we are living in an age where the sole intention of profit is to destroy the internet culture from which it is profiteering.
Third, these over eager copyright and intellectual property laws are killing creativity on the digital space (Olwan, 2013). This should not be the case and frankly implementing some of these intellectual property and copyright laws for the sole purpose of killing the remix culture is absolute waste of resources. This is because writers and journalist have always had the right to quote other sources from time memorial. It beats logical sense to require authors of reconfigured and reassembled contemporary media to formally request for permission before publishing their content especially if the same content is for non-commercial purposes. As a matter of fact this not only kills creativity on the cyberspace but also goes a notch higher to curtail the rights and freedom of the ordinary folks of expression. This is essentially because the remix culture introduced a new perspective towards self-expression which the copyright and intellectual property has long been fighting to stifle.
Fourth, copyright and intellectual property laws devalue the work of remix artists (Suzor, 2013). The reason the work of most remix culture is undervalued is because most of them are dismissed as being amateurs and opportunistic. Copyright and intellectual property owners though are justified to some extent; on another level there however they come across as capitalists whose main ambition is to protect the status quo. Imposing intellectual property and copyright laws on remix culture is similar to having a phobia about technology. Websites such as Wikipedia, YouTube, and MySpace among others just demonstrate the value of remix culture to the entirety of the human race across the globe. It points to a form of creativity that has inspired and born of the creativity of intellectual property and copyright owners and gone the extra mile of revolutionizing many spheres of life it is known today in addition to contemporary digital media. The whole point of having and being artistic is to provoke inspiration and not stifle it in the copyright and intellectual property laws.
In addition to this, the steady onslaught by copyright and intellectual property laws against the remix culture is misplaced. This is especially the case given the values of remix culture more so to the creators (Johnson, 2012). This is because remix culture is viewed based on the narrow and simplified approach that it simply put the infringement of intellectual property copyright rights of digital media authors. Remix culture is however much more it is construed than its opponents. In fact, remix culture presents a unique opportunity for information sharing as demonstrated by Wikipedia and YouTube to many over a short duration of time and while spending the bare minimum of resources. This is presents a unique opportunity for the y and z generations to learn something tangible. This is based on the fact that the remix culture artists belong to a generation that does not have time to read books but alternatively spend tons and tons of hours on the cyberspace listening to, watching or even “creating” contemporary media.
Finally, if harnessed and well regulated the remix culture presents an economic opportunity to the society (Fitzgerald, Access to public sector information : law, technology and policy, 2010). It must however be mentioned that for this phenomenon of economic growth to be experienced then remix culture must not only be encouraged, fostered and nurtured but also properly balanced. These two aspects must be applied simultaneously if there is any hope for the economic significances of remix culture being realized. This is the case because the concept of remix culture is founded on the principles of free markets. The strongest of world economies have embraced the concept of free and liberalized markets. Even traditional communist countries such as China and Russia have been forced to adapt to the principles of free markets and consequently adopt them. In addition to this, remix culture also counters the downsides of both capitalism and communism where there are few creators for as many consumers. Remix culture allows for there to be as many creators as possible to meet the demand of as many consumers therefore sparking economic growth.
Remix culture simply refers to the reassembly, reconfiguration and the ultimate redistribution of the already existing cultural and contemporary digital media. The concept of remix culture has been in existence for the entirety of the 20th century can be traced back to the days of Plato. Remix culture therefore traverses scopes of life and culture ranging from music to literary works and cinematography. Generally, remix culture has been and will continue being a sustained critique of intellectual property and copyright laws. Based on this premise it thus emerges it is therefore the role of intellectual property and copyright laws to accommodate remix culture. This assertion however does not negate the fact that there needs to a balanced and regulated approach towards the remix culture sensation.
The existence of intellectual property and copyright laws is based on the fundamental principle that there needs to be limited access to intellectual materials. As such the owners and publishers of such of these materials reserve the right to grant access to the same property to whomever they deem fit. The main motivation behind these laws is therefore to avoid misrepresentation, misuse, improper description and wrongful ownership among many other reasons. This is because the value and the identity of contemporary digital media is judged on the original characteristics preserved over the course of time. Remix culture on the other hand is somehow a binary consisting of the amateur/professional that traverses the set boundaries of reality into a blurry line of fact and fiction.
This paper is of the conclusion that remix culture is a sustained critique of intellectual property and copyright laws. However the two variables must interact in very balanced and properly regulated manner for the benefits of remix culture to counteract the detrimental attributes of intellectual property and copyright laws. A balanced approach will lead to economic growth, media literacy, creativity, freedom of expression and the preservation of basic human ethos and principles to mention but a few.
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Bledsoe, E. (2009). Creative Commons : fair to share? Artlink, 29(4), 37-39.
Butler, D. A. (2010). The borders that law sets on entertainment. Continuum : Journal of Media and Cultural Studies, 24(6), 869-877.
Cradduck, L. (2013). e-Technology v t-Engagement : a snapshot of Australia's digital economy readiness. Journal of Applied Computing and Information Technology, 17(1).
Fitzgerald, B. F. (2010). Access to public sector information : law, technology and policy. Sydney, Australia: Sydney University Press.
Fitzgerald, B. F., & O'Brien, D. S. (2005). Digital sampling and culture jamming in a remix world: what does the law allow? Media and Arts Law Review, 10(4), 279-298.
Harpur, P. D., & Suzor, N. P. (2013). Copyright protections and disability rights : turning the page to a new international paradigm. University of New South Wales Law Journal, 36(3), In Press.
Johnson, T. (2012). Battling in a virtual world: a proposal for increased copyright protection of multimedia products in Australia. Journal of Intellectual Property Law and Practice, 7(7), 515-524.
Lean, M. &. (2002). From faith to certainty: The changing face of managing copyright compliance in an Australian university. Australian Academic and Research Libraries, 33(4), 258-268.
McBratney, A., & Tarr, J.-A. (2010). Faculty and employee ownership of inventions in Australia. Nature Biotechnology, 28(10), 1019-1022.
Olwan, R. (2013). A pragmatic approach to intellectual property and development : a case study of the Jordanian copyright law in the internet age. Loyola of Los Angeles International and Comparative Law Review, 101-166.
Suzor, N. P. (2013). Access, progress, and fairness : rethinking exclusivity in copyright. Vanderbilt Journal of Entertainment and Technology Law, 15(2), 297-342.
Suzor, N. P., Harpur, P. D., & Thampapillai, D. (2008). Digital copyright and disability discrimination: From braille books to bookshare. Media & Arts Law Review, 13(1), 1.
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Xiang, R., & Montgomery, L. (2012). Chinese online literature : creative consumers and evolving business models. Arts Marketing : an international journal, 2(2), 118-130.
The popularity as well as the worldwide scope of rock music can be said to have resulted in a powerful impact on the society. Rock and Heavy metal music can be argued to have influenced the daily life, attitudes, fashion as well as language in a way that other social developments cannot be able to equal. Hard rock and heavy metal music has caused controversy since it was first invented and in fact many people often believe that the music has a negative effect on young people.
The music often features distorted guitars, drums and loud screaming vocals. Parents are often concerned when their children start to listen to hard rock mainly because of the aggressive sound and explicit lyrics (Leeds, 2010). This paper is going to describe some of the negative effects of rock music and go ahead and look at some of the positive effects that come with rock music and heavy metal.
Rock music has always had problems in the social scene. Some of the problems include fights that occur among members and various music groups, endless administrative problems. It can be said that several people understand the powerful influence that music has on the brain and the behaviors of the person. Depending on the type of music, it can either have an influence on the brain detrimentally or in a beneficial way.
Rock music legends the Beatles broke up in a violent way with a crazy fan shooting one of the members (Leeds, 2010). The history of the King and Rock n Roll Elvis Presley dying of drug overdose goes to show how rock music and drugs is highly intricate.
One of the controversial points about hard rock music and heavy metal has been the supposed ‘satanic influence’. Many religious persons have come to believe that rock music embodies a spirit of rebellion against God, Marilyn Manson one of the most controversial rock artists once argued that when people listened to his album that was title the Anti-Christ superstar, God might be destroyed in their heads.
This therefore, has made many people to believe that indeed the message of rock music is that of anti-religion. However, it has been argued that just as Christians have the right to express their love for God, anti-Christians also have the right to express their distaste with religion. This may be construed as a negative effect in regards to rock music, but all rock music can do is be able to expose persons to a conflicting idea, however, ultimately they choose what to believe.
The rock and roll lifestyle has popularly been associated with sex and drugs, and most rock and roll early starts were known as hard-drinking as well as hard-living characters (Scheurer, 1989). The rock musicians have been able to attract attention of groupies who followed the rock and roll musicians and spent time with and often did sexual favors for the band members. It is important to note that the lifestyle of the rock and roll musicians and their lyrics also promote the perception of acceptability of casual sex (Leeds, 2010). It is also of the essence to note that the popularity as well as the promotion of recreation drug use by musicians has also influenced drug abuse among youth. For example, whatever the Beatles did, it was acceptable and especially for the young people. They started publicly acknowledging that they were using LSD and many of their fans followed suit.
Research from the University of Missouri has shown that indeed there is a correlation into the effects of rock music on reckless behavior. The study found out that adolescents that listened to rock music and heavy metal showed a higher level of reckless behavior, unprotected sex, drunk driving and even vandalism. Further, girls that constantly listened to rock music were also found to have low self-esteem (Reddington, 2009). Many researchers have argued that the sensation seeking behavior is to blame for these acts as it is a common theme in rock music.
Suicide is another theme that has been associated with rock music, in fact, there are several cases where there has been a link between rock music and suicide. The case of the band Judas Priest can be described as one of the best examples (Leeds, 2010). It was alleged by many that their album that was titled the stained class contained what was referred to as backward subliminal messages. There was repetition of words such as do it, do it which were said to be heard in certain section. In the year 1986, James Vance shot himself and the family made an allegation that it was Judas Priest fault for the inclusion of the messages in their songs (Reddington, 2009).
However, it is not all bad with rock music, rock and heavy metal music has been able to bring out a sense of fashion. Rock musicians have been able to adopt what is referred to as the Hippie fashion and has popularized styles such as long hair as well as leather Jackets. Rock music genres has made the artists to be able to set international trends depending on what they wear. Heavy metal bands have been able to favor a strong visual image, and in fact for some bands, this often consists of leather and denim jackets with pants (Poland, 1989). The visual image has been argued to be a very strong component of the glam metal movement. The rock musicians therefore, have been able to be fashion icons and they continue to influence different styles and fashion over fifty years later (Wickie, 1990).
Peace and Love have been common themes in rock music and most musicians are trying to address social issues in their songs. For example, it is imperative to understand that during the Vietnam War, the first rock protest songs were released and they involved a message of peace and anti-war sentiments. They were musicians such as Yoko Ono as well John Lennon that were extremely local with their different anti-war sentiment in their music coupled with their public statements. Rock and roll has been extremely instrument in social activism and it reached a milestone in the Live Aid Concerts which until today is the largest musical concert in history.
The performers who were mainly rock and roll musicians were on two main stages, one in Philadelphia in the United States and the other in London in England. There were also other rock musicians that were performing in several other countries. The concert is estimated to have lasted for more than 16 hours and it feature almost everybody that was in the forerunning in the rock and pop in the year 1985 (Poland, 1989). The Charity was able to raise millions of dollars for famine relief in Africa. It is of the essence to note that the Live Aid concert has been used as a model for many other fund-raising as well as conscious-raising efforts and this includes farm aid concerts that involves family farmers in North America.
It is also of the essence to understand that rock music was instrumental in the racial relations between whites and blacks in the United States. Rock and roll appeared at a time in the United States where there were racial tensions and the beginning of the civil rights movement that advocated for desegregation (Wickie, 1990). The coming together of the white youth audiences and black music that existed in rock and roll, provoked a strong white racist reaction in the states, however, many observers have argued that rock and roll music was instrumental when it came to desegregation and it created a new form of music that encouraged racial co-operation as well as shared experience (Poland, 1989). Most authors have therefore, stated that indeed rock and roll music was extremely instrumental in the way they made the black as well as white teenagers identify themselves.
In conclusion, rock music and heavy metal music is often associated with several negative effects such as suicide, reckless behavior, casual sex, Satanism and use of drugs. However, it is of the essence to understand that there also lies several positive attributes and effects that come with rock music. For example, rock music has been instrumental in making trends in regards to fashion, it has also played a very big role when it comes to social activism. Rock and heavy metal music artists have also been known to promote charity.
Poland, S. (1989). Suicide intervention in the schools. New York: Guilford Press.
This book talks about how rock music has had an impact in suicide in schools and how suicide in schools can be mitigated. It gives a complete step by step process of how intervention can work in order to effectively reduce suicide in schools. It also gives a perspective on how persons can be able to understand a suicidal child.
Leeds, J. (2010). The power of sound: How to be healthy and productive using music and sound.
This book gives a perspective about music its positive effects as well as negative effects. It explains the concept of healthy music as well as that of unhealthy music. It gives different examples regarding healthy music and how it can help someone in terms of productivity and how negative music can be detrimental to a person.
Wicke, P. (1990). Rock music: Culture, aesthetics, and sociology. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
This book discusses rock music in great detail tying it with culture, sociology and aesthetics. The book gives different reasons as to why rock music has become so powerful over the years and why many people have followed it with an unquestioning mind. It gives the cultural effect of rock music to its listeners and it spirals from the day of Elvis Presley to modern day rock music.
Reddington, H. (2009). The lost women of rock music: Female musicians of the punk era. Aldershot [u.a.: Ashgate.
This book gives a perspective of the lost women of rock music in a literal sense. It explains the lives of several promising female rock musicians and how their lives was rocked with drug abuse and recklessness that eventually they died out of overdose or their careers went on a down spiral.
Scheurer, T. E. (1989). American popular music: Readings from the Popular Press. Bowling Green, OH: Bowling Green University Popular Press.
This book discusses rock music in detail as one of the America’s popular music, it gives a sense of history in regards to rock music, some of the notable bands that have existed over the years, their defects as well as their eventual death. It gives a complete guide to guide about American popular music and why some of the music such as rock music is referred to as the society as either being positive or negative.
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