Everything is a Remix - movie screening in the European Parliament

Our modern digital society is based on the ideas of Web 2.0. That means that everyone creates, distributes, consumes, reuses and share the culture. The former model, where authors create, distributors distribute and consumers consume is more and more a sign of the past.

But even before that, when the number of people creating content – art, movies, books etc. - was limited, a certain pattern in their creative behavior could be seen, preserved through centuries in many books, plays, movies etc.

In essence – the idea where people copy concepts, transform them and combine is not new. But so far it was a common practice inside of a very limited amount of people, such as writers, directors, photographers, artists or even programmers (anyone remembering the “Pirates of Silicon Valley” movie?)

Not a long time ago I had an opportunity to see an independent documentary by Kirby Ferguson called Everything is a Remix. The movie is pretty much based on a very interesting assumption – that information evolve, just like living organisms do. Memes – the basic elements of information – are evolving and constantly undergoing changes. Yet, their basic idea and principle remains the same for the long time. Ferguson presented countless examples proving this assumption to be true and he did so in a manner so desperately missing in contemporary US documentary movies.

It should be noted that it is impossible for anyone to stop the memes from evolving. Memes were always present and the same memes we can see today will be there even after we are dead. The concepts and ideas in various movies, computer games, songs, or any other content simply want to be shared and transformed and changed – and nowadays (thanks to web 2.0) this is happening in mass numbers amongst all of us.

The copyright is a system initially designed as a temporary restriction of this practice. It was created as a way how to benefit the author for the time and effort he spent for creation of his work. Over the time the temporary nature of copyright was made almost permanent, blocking the “protected” memes from evolving almost completely. Instead of a temporarily protected content they become someone's property. And everyone who is following the natural path – contributing to the evolution of memes - is penalized and considered as an individual endangering the whole society.

The copyright is designed in a simple way – to stop a big portion of memes, ideas, concepts or stories from evolving, transforming or changing. This might have worked well when the copyright period was short and when the amount of people creating and using content was limited, as well as the variety of tools how to modify, transform and remix the original work. That is why the whole idea of copyright fails and why will always fail. It does a totally different thing – it penalizes everyone who acts totally natural, who is contributing to evolution of ideas and who is not harmful to our society at all.  


Lägg till ny kommentar