Remix culture is a society that allows and encourages derivative works by combining or editing existing materials to produce a new product. The concept of remix culture originally only applied to music in the mid to late 20th century, however it has now expanded across all media forms and has become easily accessible through the advancement of technology. Today, many of cultural and lifestyle arenas – music, fashion, design, art, web applications, user created media, food – are governed by remixes, fusions, collages or mash-ups.
As remix culture has developed, it has become a global issue because of all the advanced technologies that people have makes it easy to take anything that is out there and call it their own. The whole concept is a war of ideas and the internet is the battleground. Although, there is no definitive answer of just how much remix is acceptable in any one piece of work. Copyright infringement is at the core of this dispute on whether remixing can be accepted in our society. Essentially, copyright is an exclusive right to the author of a particular work…the right to copy and distribute the work, the right to be credited for the work, the right to determine who may publicly perform, adapt, or benefit financially from the work.
Copyright is out of control now that we are all producers and consumers; prosumers. The risk of more remixed content being produced online is higher with software programs available to the public, such as Photoshop and Audacity. Everyone is exposed to the idea of creating their own content. Although, it is extremely difficult to create something original. Influence plays a huge role in remixed content. Works of art, culture, invention, and creation are informed and inspired by things that we experience in the world around us. No amount of lawsuits or legal threats will change the fact that this behavior is considered normal. The 2009 film ‘RiP: A Remix Manifesto’ by Brett Gaylor encourages content creators to continue to sample for remixed content as sampling is an instrument. Though, there is a difference between influence and copying. The other older term commonly used across media is “quoting” but I see it as describing a very different logic than remixing. If remixing implies systematically rearranging the whole text, quoting refers inserting some fragments from old text(s) into the new one.
The idea of convergence is prominent when discussing the development of producing and consuming remixed content in all forms. Our cell phones are not simply telecommunications devices; they also allow us to play games, download information from the Internet, and take and send photographs or text messages. Convergence involves both a change in the way media is produced and a change in the way media is consumed. In society today, it is not uncommon to always be doing multiple things at once on technology so it is only natural for our creative content to represent sampling from various material. As with…recorded music, the internet represents just another technological shift that we have yet to fully reconcile with current regulation.