I briefly touched upon in my first posting how I may consume and produce online: I think I consume more online than I produce however, now with more experience and my blog postings – I am consecutively producing material for the public to view and comment on. Even though I was taught how to [always] cite my resources throughout my assignments, I cannot help but think that some ideas (I know from a previous experience or assignment) most likely have been thought of or said before… Have they been published and I cannot seem to remember where I read/heard the information from? Am I then going to be sued for writing/posting them when I was so innocent and arrogant to not know where it came from?
Sound silly? .. Well, not really!
With the divergence of the internet’s creative ability, there has been a huge shift in the online comminutes whom are consuming all sorts of material; from educational tools to entertainment purposes, without any means of attributing the ideas/work to the original author. As Henry Jenkins (2004) stated in his article, The Cultural Logic of Media Convergence, “no one knows everything, everyone knows something, all knowledge resides in humanity” (Pg. 4). In other words, the compilation of different people’s ideas is what makes the world progress so rapidly. Social media, for example, shares and edits other people’s ideas (such as quotes, video clips, pictures etc.) every minute. The internet allows production of documentation with or without permissions, which only further complicates intellectual property and copyright laws. Consequently, with the contradictory nature of new media, I am going to stand up for the individuals whom want to share and collect ideas, as well as building on old ideas to form more advanced thoughts. Do not get me wrong, I completely understand wanting credit for what is being created; however, if we look into our history of sharing stories, images, and sounds as a fundamental bonding experience, we can appreciate the unnecessary need to claim rights. For example, Mozart and Shakespeare have had various critiques proclaiming they ‘stole’ or ‘used’ other ideas and built from previous works. To be frank, who really cares? These artists as well as their families are long gone yet the need to argue still continues; perhaps an increase of capitalistic societies struggling for power. We as consumers should be more interested in maximizing the creativity from the artists and less focused on workers who are seeking to maximize their profits (Miller, 2004). Why can’t we just appreciate the productions and perform the tunes whichever way we prefer – I mean, do we need to pay someone every time we sing, perform, record, or post the song ‘Happy Birthday’. All in all, everything was built from somewhere or something else. This brings me to some more important matters: Is there even such a thing as an original author (if everything is just built upon someone else’s ideas, at some point)? Does this mean nothing will ever be considered ‘original’ again?
When is enough.. Enough?
Only since the 1990s, have copyright issues become more apparent (Jenkins, 2004) considering that now the consumers are becoming the creators and people are using media and technology to transform other artist’s work. Coming from a (soon-to-be) educator’s standpoint, I have major concern for our youth and how such rules and regulations could hurt our immature and undereducated children; for example I recall hearing stories about teenagers being sued for downloading songs (yet they did not know the repercussions of their actions). This makes me feel that children need to be more educated on digital media topics and appropriate online behavior. Not only are educators a huge influence on media control but also the participating parents who are also “consumers [that] are expected to play a more active role in determining what content is appropriate for their families” (Jenkins, 2004. P. 7).
In my opinion, I do not necessarily believe that downloading and listening to a song on the internet is hurting anyone; I think the main problem is re-distribution of products. Henry Jenkins (2004), however, believes the opposite: he states that the problem is convergence – being the altering of a relationship between existing technologies, industries, markets, genres and audiences. Nevertheless, new technologies challenge notions of reality by altering perceptions of time and space in order to produce new views on the world (Jenkins, 2004). Along with new visions and motivation, the videos spark attention and provoke responses by allowing public comments; “a particular video can provoke a whole network of responses in a way that the attraction starts to take on an interactive dimension” (Rizzo). The chain reaction of change is what our generation is bound to constantly face, considering today’s society is the more progressive and diverse than ever before.
I saw a movie in a music class last year called RIP! A Remix Manifesto that discussed very similar topics regarding this issue. The Manefesto consisted of 4 motives:
1) Culture always builds on the past
2) The past always tries to control the future
3) Our future is becoming less free
4) To build free societies you must limit the control of the past
For more information on this subject please visit:
or watch RIP! A Remix Manifesto on Youtube or at
What about Memes (familiar/popular pictures that people edit with different sayings or quotes on them) – are these needed to be copyrighted? Would this just be silly? Too much?
Jenkins, H. (2004) The Cultural Logic of Media Convergence International Journal of Cultural Studies March 2004 7: 33-43
Miller, T. (2004) A view from a fossil. International Journal Of Cultural Studies, 7(1), 55-65.
RIP! A Remix Manefesto. Brett Gaylor. 2008. Film
Rizzo, T. YouTube: the New Cinema of Attractions SCAN | journal of media arts culture. Vol 5, No. 1, Online journal.