Remix Culture: Pros and Cons
Remix culture is becoming increasingly popular with YouTube being the main ground for remixers to show off their work and become ‘famous’. Remixing has been explained as reconstructing, editing and combing original pieces of work to make something which is completely new as well as finding new ways of expression (Jessell, 2013). This can include items such as mash-ups, spoofs and fan fiction which can be created by anyone who has a personal computer and internet access (Gasser & Ernst, 2006). Making this new content available online has many advantages and disadvantages which this blog will discuss with mention to the ethical issues of this up and coming remix culture.
Making your remixes available online can be beneficial as it can help in showcasing specific people or items, such as a band or a musician, and can make them known to a wider audience. An example of this would be a remix artist taking a well – known song and changing it up which, in turn, has benefits for both the remixer and the original artist (Woodring, 2011). If the remix artist makes his work freely available online for others to see then it gives him visibility as they are being able to exhibit their work while also giving the original artist more exposure. In relation to this idea, when I was listening to the radio a few months ago I heard a remix of a song which I used to really like. This remix reminded me of how good the original song was and also made me aware of this new artist which highlights the benefits mentioned above. The song, which I will link below, was ‘Rhythm of the night’ originally by Corona, released in 1994 and remixed by Bastille in 2014.
Bastille: Of the night – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZCTDKLjdok4
There are, however, some disadvantages of allowing others to freely view your remixed content online. If you make your work widely available online there is a chance of being accused of copyright if you do not have permission from the original artist to use their work. Copyright law is a major ethical issue when it comes to remixing content and legal action can be taken in some of these circumstances. One example of remixing which can face legal action is mash – ups. A mash – up is usually in reference to a video or a website which uses various different sources to create something new and unique. This type of remix faces the risk of being illegal if the remix artist uses large parts of the original work without gaining permission from either the original artist or from a license such as Creative Commons (O’Brien & Fitzgerald, 2006). Under the copyright law, the court have to take into consideration what a ‘large part’ of the original work is based on its importance to the overall content. Therefore, if you are making your content freely available online, you must ensure you have certain permission to be using the authentic work or there could be serious consequences.
When searching for mash-ups online for my blog, I realised there were thousands of different remixes, which highlighted to me just how vast this remix culture is. One example of a movie mash-up which I found on YouTube can be seen here, 2013 Movie Trailer Mashup: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YU8CvjIwAlY
In conclusion, there are many advantages and disadvantages of making your content freely available online and this blog post just touches on these. Showcasing your remixes online is a good way to enhance creativity and make your work known while still heightening publicity for the original artist. However, you must be aware of the copyright standards when using other people’s work and ensure permission is gained before remixing. You don’t want your hard work going to waste.
BastilleVEVO. (2013). Bastille – Of the night. Retrieved from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZCTDKLjdok4
Gasser, U., & Ernst, S. (2006). From Shakespeare to DJ Danger Mouse: A Quick Look at Copyright and User Creativity in the Digital Age. Berkman Center Research Publication No. 2006-05. Retrieved from http://ssrn.com/paper=909223
Jessell, M. (2013). Remix Culture: Rethinking what we call original content. Retrieved from http://marketingland.com/remix-culture-rethinking-what-we-call-original-content-41791
O’Brien, D., & Fitzgerald, B. (2006). Mashups, remixes and copyright law. Retrieved from http://eprints.qut.edu.au/4239/1/4239.pdf
The Sleepy Skunk. (2013). 2013 Movie Trailer Mashup. Retrieved from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YU8CvjIwAlY
Wermenbol, L. (2014). Online-videomarketing. Retrieved from http://www.marketingfacts.nl/berichten/online-videomarketing-er-is-meer-dan-het-aantal-youtube-views
Woodring, T. (2011). Remixes are good for you. Retrieved from http://songwritingbusiness.blogspot.co.uk/2011/02/remixes-are-good-for-you.html