Rip, mix, read only and read write culture

Works of art, culture, invention, and creation are informed and inspired by things that we experience in the world around us. Then the question arises of what is original, and does it really matter? Remix culture is defined as rearranging, editorialising or expanding on the original piece, modernising it, and adding your own artistic flair.

Read Only culture is the culture we consume more or less passively. The information or product is provided to us by a ‘professional’ source that possesses an authority on that particular product/information. Current copyright law heavily favors the read-only mode. It controls the right to make copies, but, in the digital world, any use of a work involves copying it. So every use requires permission.

Read-write culture is a participatory medium. It involves more people, but can also be economically larger than read only culture. Web 2.0 (web sites that use technology beyond the static pages of earlier web sites) is boosting our capacity to re-establish this participatory, people-driven culture. But we nevertheless face greater threats than ever to our creative flair, as major industry players team up with legal staff to find new ways to fasten down the media being created online and ensure the survival of the music industry.

There have been many cases or arguments of people stealing lyrics or chord progressions from others and many mash up videos made to illustrate this. One such case is that of bob Dylan who is very open about how he writes his music. He says he listens to old folk songs with no lyrics and writes his own to go over the top or gets inspirations from other peoples songs. “I’ll be playing Bob Nolan’s ‘Tumbling Tumbleweeds,’ for instance, in my head constantly — while I’m driving a car or talking to a person or sitting around or whatever. People will think they are talking to me and I’m talking back, but I’m not. I’m listening to the song in my head. At a certain point, some of the words will change and I’ll start writing a song.” – Bob Dylan

Mash up videos and songs are a large part of remix culture that started several years ago and was made popular and easily promoted through YouTube. These videos involve taking pieces from two or more songs to create a completely new one. Basically it is read/write culture. The hit tv show glee is frequently taking advantage of this culture. They have done mashups with song from renowned artists such as beyonce, Bon novo, the police, madonnas, jourmey, the Rolling Stones, and that’s just the first season

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