Nothing is original. Steal from anywhere that resonates with inspiration or fuels your imagination. Devour old films, new films, music, books, paintings, photographs, poems, dreams, random conversations, architecture, bridges, street signs, trees, clouds, bodies of water, light and shadows. Select only things to steal from that speak directly to your soul. If you do this, your work (and theft) will be authentic. Authenticity is invaluable; originality is nonexistent. And don’t bother concealing your thievery. celebrate it if you feel like it. In any case, always remember what Jean-Luc Godard said: “It’s not where you take things from – it’s where you take them to.” This is the fifth rule of Jim Jarmusch, an independent film director, his golden rules:
In his written publications and in recentish TED talks, Lessig argues that copyright laws are strangling creativity and are bad for business. They are strangling creativity because they are extreme and prevent people from legally reworking and remixing ideas. This extremism has caused an extreme response whereby otherwise law abiding citizens are blatantly ignoring the law and living against it. He highlights the importance of allowing people, children in particular, the opportunity to participate in culture and express their ideas by remixing them and taking them somewhere new. He argues that in order for that to happen, a change in our law and culture must occur.
Generating content is an important part of participatory culture and of education today.
Participatory culture is “a culture with relatively low barriers to artistic expression and civic engagement, strong support for creating and sharing one’s creations, and some type of informal mentorship whereby what is known by the most experienced is passed along to novices. A participatory culture is also one in which members believe their contributions matter, and feel some degree of social connection with one another (at the least they care what other people think about what they have created).”
— New London Group (2000, p. 9)
I’m all for the democratization of broadcasting and what that means for the improved learning opportunities of my students, for me as an educator and for me as a creative individual. I really like the idea of people sharing, remixing, appropriating and transforming content on the Internet and in real life BUT I think it is very important to remember and protect the rights of the owner of the creative or intellectual property, even if that means not using something. As an educator I should speak of and encourage the values of freedom AND of respecting the creator. I found this website to help me to teach these values.
So how do we as a society find a balance between the natural instinct we have to remix and the ownership rights of the creator? We should aim towards developing a society where we have complete freedom to use the work of others IF we use common sense. Common sense could prevail by asking ourselves, am I actually creating something new or am I copying another person’s work? Have I expressed a new meaning or added new insight? How much am I taking and is the work that I’m taking the most important or iconic part of it? Will I be effecting the income of the artist by taking the work? Have I acknowledged the original work? In my opinion, if we ask ourselves these questions and refrain from using work that does not adhere to common sense or ‘fair use’ then we should have the freedom to use them. After all, nothing is original, as this final video shows.
Everything Is A Remix: THE MATRIX from robgwilson.com on Vimeo.
The Matrix Remix
New London Group (2000).“A Pedagogy of Multiliteracies: Designing Social Futures,” in
Multiliteracies: Literacy Learning and the Design of Social Futures, ed. B. Cope & M. Kalantzis for the New London Group.