Unless you have been hiding under a rock for the last few years you wouldn’t of been able NOT to notice the dramatic rise of so called ‘artists’ taking up the DJ’ing profession. Yes, I am a fan of a late night boogie or two, but why the sudden interest? The remix culture is not a new phenomenon, it has been present for as long as new inventions, gizmos and gadgets have been created. As referenced in our lecture the ability to remix has seen the evolution of world changing inventions such as the printing press and the light bulb. But how?
Creativity is not magic, it cannot be generated from thing air. It requires inspiration from a variety of sources. Copying is how we learn. By observing the work of others we are building a foundation of knowledge and understanding in which we can generate our own interpretations and transform existing products, with the intentions of improving the original copy.
The concept of ‘remix’ within the music industry can be dated back to at least the 1950’s with Bill Buchanan and Dickie Goodman remixed Orson Welle’s War of the Worlds with various musical snippets. However, the rise of remix culture within the 21st Century is a result of the tools of production becoming democratized and open to all members of the public due to the availability of symmetrical media technologies. What was once an artform restricted to professionals who owned and operated expensive equipment is now affordable and accessible across the western world. This has encouraged the rise of the ‘DJ’ culture with individuals who have access to a computer and internet able to “produce and distribute their work for costs close to zero” (Gallagher, 2008).
However, the power to mash up and transform ‘original’ pieces of work has caught many individuals out by infringing copyright laws. The remix culture is currently dominated by amatures who are demanding the right to “mashup and remix material – to take on the role of producers – to cut, paste, sample of jam with content, in order to produce something which is distinctive of their own social and creative innovation” (Australian lawyers from the Queensland University of Technology). This raises the questions whether or not people SHOULD be able to access the work of others and if so what are the original owners RIGHTS?
Both of these question’s raise the notion that copyright laws are unable to keep up with the digital era. With the rise of the DJ its about time this issue should be addressed so the growth of creation wont be hindered.
Bruns, A 2010, Distributed Creativity: Filesharing and Produsage, p.1
Jenkins, H 2008, “What Is Remix Culture?”: An Interview with Total Recut’s Owen Gallagher (Part Two), Confessions of an ACA Fan, June 4 2008, Viewed 15/5/2014, http://henryjenkins.org/2008/06/interview_with_total_recuts_ow.html#sthash.dFvEL3bq.dpuf
Martin, R 2014, Remix Culture: A Rights Nightmare, ABC, viewed 15/5/2014, http://www.abc.net.au/catapult/indepth/s1645533.htm