Sunday, April 17, 2011

#12 Lessig and The Rip

1) After seeing the documentary film, rip, and reading Lawrence Lessig’s book, REMIX, one large connection that both of them discuss inability to build and innovate using the pasts artistic creations and originality. Lessig talks about this by using examples such as Harry Potter and Star Wars fans and how the original works they created were basically taken from them and labeled as legal property of the artist that created the first original piece.  The Film rip uses an example of a man who creates his comics using the Disney character, Mickey Mouse. The comics that he creates use the mouse in inappropriate scenario’s that Disney would never use. The Disney Corporation had been doing basically the same thing when it came to using the mouse and had created many ‘originals’ by getting ideas from other people, just like in Steamboat Willy.

2) Both Lessig and rip, explain how outdated copyright laws are creating an environment where no stability is held between the two sides, those sides being RO and RW. The copyright law was created to protect the not only the rights of the individual who created the original work, but also to protect the rights of those who would later use the work to create something else with their own creativity.  As time went on, we now have a copyright law that no longer protects those individuals creativity and original works. With this change came the term that both Lessig and rip mention which is the copyleft, opposed to copyright. The copyright law now protects the large corporate interest rather than a person’s creativity and innovation.

3) Lastly, Lessig and rip both thoroughly explain Creative Commons. Lessig talks about how Creative Commons is used to signal which kind of economy a creator is creating for (226). Different aspects help to identify with RIAA and Creative Commons. RIAA being for artists who want to distribute their art according to the rules of the commercial economy. Creative Commons for those artists who want to SHARE their works so that others can do basically whatever they want with them. The film rip uses artists such as Girl Talk that support Creative Commons and what it does for todays outdated copyright laws. It shows that more people are interested in a sharing or hybrid economy opposed to what we have now.  Both the film and the book make clear that our economy has to change and that Creative Commons is a big step in the right direction.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

#11 Commercial VS. Shared

     Throughout this chapter Lessig makes it very clear the differences between a commercial economy and a shared economy. Both are a large part of today's world and work very well for what they are meant for. A commercial economy is where a type of money, or appropriate currency, is exchanged for a good or a service. A simple example of this would be paying for groceries in a grocery store. A shared economy is where only goods and services are traded and no money is involved in the exchange. An example of this would be two farmers exchanging crops that the other does not grow, both help each other and benefit from the exchange in goods. A sharing economy is based around the idea that people in a community give/exchange goods/servies with others because of a kind of personal benefit that a person gets in helping out others. Money in a sharing economy is unneeded and unnecessary.  Lessig furthers this explanation of a sharing economy by giving two subcategories which are 'thin-sharing economies' and 'thick-sharing economies.'  The difference between the two is basically how much personal benefit will be gained during the contribution or exchange.
     Finally, Lessig argues that as our world is becoming technologically based that there will be a need for a hybrid of the two economies.  Lessig claims that RO and RW cultures will be a large part of our worlds future and will be ruled by the internet.  A good understanding of these two economies and the ability to grasp how they can be fused together will be what it takes for business/personal success in the future.

Monday, March 28, 2011

#10 I represent that CHANGE!!

This remix is called "Head of the State," and it is performed by the Obama impersonator Baracka Flocka Flame.  It is a remix of a song titled "hard in the Paint" by rapper Waka Flocka Flames.

The remix I chose clearly demonstrates what Lessig said on page 42, "If the twentieth century made culture generally accessible, the twenty-first will make it universally accessible." It mostly exemplifies this quote because of how I was able to obtain it. There are more and more social media sites that focus on video and sound that we are able to access everyday. Sites such as Youtube, Vimeo and others are making it possible for people to get past copyright laws because people are able to take any video and "remix" it to create whatever they want it to be like. Even if they dont use the original video at all people are able to create there own visions and put their remixed video on these social media sites that literally anyone with internet access can listen to. This is just the beginning for what these sites are becoming.  Sites like these take away a huge part of the RO culture that large companies attempt to create.

I know this may contradict a part what I just said I could not help but realize how true this remix makes Lessigs statement on page 49, "And the RO culture that digital technologies will support will provide lots of new ways for content producers to make money."  Video's like these help these content producers to make money because of what these sites are for them. In a way sites like Youtube are the new age MTV for a lot of people.  The ability to create channels on these sites gives these companies reason to still produce music videos.  Yes I do know that MTV does have other channels that directly focus on music but the original MTV has become something that many of us have come to call "reality TV," something I myself am not very fond of.  These sites have made it possible for content producers to make money from advertisements, massive view counts and keeping people coming back for more just because they know its there. Another reason that my video exemplifies this so much is because the artist from the real video actually contacted Baracka Flocka Flame and they have now worked together to create other videos.  The use this awesome character making people, including myself, watch it over and over again which is exactly what these content consumers want. Its an unclassified RW culture that they can still make money from.

The last idea that I see in my video that Lessig points out is when he is talking about the Bush and Blair video. The quote in particular is on page 74, "And no one can escape its mimetic effect. This video is a virus; once it enters your brain you can't think about Bush and Blair in the same way again."  I think my remix video does the same thing to Obama's social image. Yes, everyone knows this video is not really Obama.  But Young Americans who dont know much about Obama moat likely see Obama in a different light after watching this video of a man impersonating him. The fact that it is a entertaining remix strengthens the possibility that a lot of people are going to see it, Just under 5 million people plus the amount of people who have watched the copies of it that are on Youtube as well. The Youtube RW culture as we know it has a new market for videos like these and there is no telling the impact that they could have on some people and their view on the real people that they depict.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

#9 Copyright Catastrophe

     In the introduction to Lawrence Lessig’s book, Remix, he points how incredibly absurd and “out of date” copyright laws are and how companies today are able to take credit for what they had a hand in creating. Lessig shows this in a very real way and goes into an example of how that type of authority presses charges in the places that sell Girl Talk music but not pursue Girl Talk himself. If Girl Talk was prosecuted by the vast amount of artists whose work he has used it would be taking away from the creativity of what he made those songs into the art that he creates. Doc Adam touched on this by saying that no song is original in its self.  Lessig gives one last example of how one of those ‘groups’ went after a mother that created a homemade video and posted it to the internet which was obviously made for her child. The prosecution ended up costing the ‘group’ more than what it was worth to prosecute the women. Another example of how things are getting out of hand with copyright laws and how companies are dealing with them in a ridiculous way.

RW (Read/Write) - ordinary citizens “read” their culture by listening to it or by reading representations of it...add to the culture they read by creating and re-creating the culture around them. They do this by using the same tools the professional uses...” (28).

RO (Read/Only) - “a culture less practiced in performance, or amateur creativity, and more comfortable (think: couch) with simple consumption” (28).

     The simple difference between these two is that one (RO) is just for experiencing and not changing or expanding on what that thing may be. The other (RW) is out there for people to experience and have the ability to put their own twist and creativity into to make something new and original. The reason Lessig brings this up is because it is basically the bulk of what he is talking about. They are two underlying labels that are put onto songs, etc. that say just listen to it, or listen to it and play around with it and see what best works for your, the viewers, personal taste and creativity.

     Lessig uses Sousa because of Sousa’s own battle against copying music back in 1906.  Sousa was a critic of copyright law in America and we was also a proclaimed composer who made a good chunk of change being a composer with copyrights on his work.  He had an insight that the voice of machines would be the downfall to music as we know it. His point was that people would eventually live in a RO culture, people would be able to listen, but not expand on the subject and participate in its entirety. Sousa is a good person for Lessig to bring up because of what he had to say about the copyright problems and what he has done for them.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Rhythmic Cinema - "If you play, you get something out of the experience" (85).  I really like this quote a lot and know how true these words really are. In the world of art, when learning to use new mediums and objects the best way to get familiar with them is to play with them and see what happens when different things are done to them. With hip hop this is relevant because a lot of great artists 'play' around with different beats and mixes to come up with what they are looking for. Sometimes the best art comes from things just being 'played' around with.

Rhythmic Space - "Speaking in code, we live in a world so utterly infused with digitality that it makes even the slightest action ripple across the collection of data bases we call the web" (89).  DJ Spooky is saying that we live in a world that is almost totally engulfed in in the digital world.  Communication barriers are broken so that information is so easily widespread that even the information that we do not want has the possibility of reaching us because of how connected we all are in digital media.  He also notes on the end how each of those programs (facebook, blogs, twitter, etc.) are interlinked and each program has a part that can be linked to others. An example of this would be the # like we use on twitter (#dtc356).

Errata Erratum - "Rhythm becomes the context for the performance and the artist becomes part of the sonic palette he describes" (97).  I think this comes across as a very smart quote. It is saying that the underlying rhythm is the first thing that is noticed by the viewer. Also that after the song is made and heard by other people. It leaves a lasting impression on them that directly relates to the artist. In short, the artist becomes the song during and after the song is heard.

The Future is Here - "It's almost exactly a social approximation of the way web culture collapses distinctions between geography and expression, and it's almost as if the main issues of the day are all about how people are adjusting to the peculiarity of being in a simultaneous yet unevenly distributed world" (105).  The first part of this quote explains how, like in the first quote that I chose, geographical barriers are broken down in the digital world.  A persons can express whatever they like and have someone half way around the world understand them and possibly even react to what their words are saying. The second half talks about how people are able to so many different lives (facebook, twitter, blogs, etc.) and still be able to maintain each of them individually.

The Prostitute - "You can never play a record the same way for the same crowd. That's why remixes happen" (113).  This quote basically speaks for itself. If an artist performs the same song twice during a concert the crowd would not react in the same way. They would probably even act the exact opposite way and things would come out badly for the artist.  I think that the same thing goes for digital media. Too much of the same thing and people start to become uninterested and bored with the product.  It it is the same thing but slightly altered to make it different and better there will be a positive reaction. Much like how Facebook took over the world that myspace created. I think that Coldplay is a good example for this because almost all of their music basically sounds the same but each song is slightly altered so that it is different from the rest but it still sounds good. (Dont get me wrong, I do enjoy Coldplay from time to time but you have to admit almost all of their songs sound very similar.)

On the website,, I searched for Wiz Khalifa.  Seeing how he is a fairly new artist I did not expect to find much on him from the description of what the website does.  After searching for him I found that he has 62 samples, 2 remixes and 5 covers.  I went looking through the website a little bit and found some really cool stuff about who has sampled his songs and found a couple of really cool covers to his latest hit, "Black and Yellow," one of which was a rock cover.  All of the different parts of the website including samples, covers,and remixes reminded me of my last quote from miller the 'The Prostitute' chapter about how people want something different after they have already heard the origional. People are always expecting new and improved songs to come out whether that be just including samples from other songs or an epic dubstep, techno, crazy remix.  It does make me wonder how much of a sample/remix is too much of the original to where copyrights come into play. This is a very cool site though!

Monday, February 14, 2011

#6 Henryyyyyyy JJJJJJenkins!!

      The main thing that Henry Jenkins talk s about is media convergence.  He starts by telling a story about a high school kid making photo's titled "Bert is Evil," all of which have Bert from Sesame street in "evil" situations.  Long story short the images of Bert with Osama Binladen end up creating quite the controversy. This is when Jenkins begins to talk about his first topic, convergence.  Jenkins starts out with this, "convergence represents a cultural shift as consumers are encouraged to seek out new information and make connections among dispersed media content" (Jenkins 3).  He continues to go over convergence and further explains what convergence is and the different aspects of it with a couple of examples while still relating back to "Bert is Evil" when needed.
      Jenkins relates to Weinberger in a couple of ways. It seemed like a lot of stuff that Jenkins was saying related to Web 2.0. Weinberger has a similar view of Web 2.0 in that its information is infinite and there are tons of different ways of seeing or obtaining that information.  Also how anyone can publish what ever they would like to on the web.  Jenkin's discusses social networking sites and schools and I highly agree that these things should be okay in schools and possibly one day even taught in schools. The working world is beginning to use these tools more and more and the knowledge of how to use them at an early age can only help.
      The last thing that I noticed is that Jenkins and Weinberger both notice different things about the web and its infinite amount of information. Weinberger focuses more on how all the info on the web is organized and "tagged." While Jenkins sees people taking parts of that information and changing it to their liking. But in the end Jenkins views users as less in control of that info and Weinberger sees them as having almost total control.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

#5 implicitly explicit

 "the meaning of a particular thing is enabled by the web of implicit meanings we call the world"

     What Weinberger and Heidegger are saying is that without any implicit meanings, the world would be just definitions. Based on peoples experiences with different things, specific objects can mean any number of things to different people. Like when I see a pencil I don’t just see something to write with. I see something that I can make art with and create different marks and messages through something other than just writing. Yes, there are other people out there who think the same way as me but there is any number of people out there who see the pencil as something very different. The same thing goes for every object in our material world and with every object every person could have an entirely different definition for what that object really means. The “web of implicit meanings we call the world” helps give each person definitions for each object.
     The third order of order fits into this because with the way people order things now, we can add an unlimited amount of tags to anything, including implicit definitions. In doing so we are labeling things with more than one definition. Weinberger gives good examples of this using Walmart product suggestions after purchasing items online. Anything can have any number of labels and we can define things differently with the use of images, videos, articles, blogs, dictionaries, etc. Because we are able to do this we gain a better understanding of the world around us and in the end we can label things however we would like to as long as it works for us.