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May 21, 2010
Walking On Eggshells
Boingboing pointed me to this really excellent example of how the new generation feels about the remix culture it is bringing to live. The example comes in the form of a three-part video posted to YouTube (under a Creative Commons license of course).
This video, called "Walking On Eggshells: Borrowing Culture in the Remix Age" is a documentary produced as a final project for a Yale course titled "Intellectual Property in the Digital Age". In the documentary, the three student filmmakers interview a variety of creative types (artists, writers, and lawyers) and muse on the society and technology of the remix. In a way it's a paean to the art form, and it's also a plea to the forces of the Cartel please to leave this form be, to let it nurture and grow.
Everyone in the film seems quite aware that remixing is appropriation and appropriation is at best questioned and at worst punished. And yet, it's what they do. It's what's expected. It is, as I've said before, the culture of the next generation. It's the background assumption. The only question to be answered is how long will people like this have to walk on eggshells before the law and business learn to adapt to this mode of doing and treat it with cooperation rather than trying to exterminate it. The "mystique of authorship" is not just unnecessary, it's counterproductive.
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