Remix culture

Remix culture , sometimes read-write culture , is a society that allows and encourages derivative works by combining or editing existing materials to produce a new creative work or product. [2] [3] A remix culture would be, by default, permissive of efforts to improve upon, change, integrate, or otherwise remix the work of copyright holders. While a common practice of artists of all domains Throughout human history, [4] the grow of exclusive copyright restrictions in the last decades Several limits this practice more and more by the legal chilling effect. [5] As reaction Harvard lawprofessor Lawrence Lessig , Who considers remixing a desirable concept for human creativity, works since the early 2000s [6] [7] was remixing transfer of the concept into the digital age . Lessig founded the Creative Commons in 2001 qui released Licenses have tools to enable cultural remix again, as remixing is Legally Prevented by default the exclusive copyright diet applied currently on intellectual property . The remix Culture for cultural works is related to and inspired by The Earlier Free and open source software for software movement, qui encouraged the reuse and remixing of software works.


Remix: Making Art and Commerce Thrive in the Hybrid Economy by Lawrence Lessig in 2008 describes the remix culture. The book itself is open for remix [8]due to its availability under a CC BY-NC license. [9]

Lawrence Lessig Described the Remix Culture In His 2008 book Remix in comparison to the default media Culture of the 20th century under use of computer technology terminology as Read / Write Culture ( RW ) vs. Read Only culture ( RO ). [5]

In the usual Read Only media culture, the culture is consumed more or less passively. [5] The information or product is provided by a ‘professional’ source, the content industry, which possesses an authority on that particular product / information. There is a way for a happy and happy person to be happy and happy. The emergence of Analog mass production and duplication technologies (pre- Digital revolution and internet like broad-casting radio) inherently enabled the culture of business production and distribution and limited the role of the consumer to consumption of media.

Digital technology does not have the ‘natural’ constraints of the analog that preceded it. RO culture had to be made possible by the Internet. This is primarily done in the form of Digital Rights Management (DRM), which imposes largely arbitrary restrictions on use. Regardless, DRM has largely been ineffective in enforcing the constraints of analog media. [10] [11]

As opposed to culture, Read / Write culture has a reciprocal relationship between the producer and the consumer. Taking works, such as songs, and appropriating them in private circles is exemplary of RW culture, which was considered to be the ‘popular’ culture before the advent of reproduction technologies. [5] The technologies and copyright laws that soon followed, however, changed the dynamics of popular culture. As it became professionalized, people were taught to defer production to the professionals.

Digital technologies provide the tools for reviving RW culture and democratizing production, sometimes referred to as Web 2.0 . Blogs explain the three layers of this democratization. Blogs-have redefined our relationship to the content industry As They allowed access to non-professional, user-generated content. The ‘comments’ feature that comes up to a space for readers to have a dialogue with the amateur contributors. ‘Tagging’ of the blogs by users based on the content provided for the purpose of their interest. The third layer added by a number of other organizations, and thus, organizing a database of preferences. The three layers working together established an ecosystem of reputation that served to guide users through the blogosphere. While there is no doubt many amateur online publications can not compete with the validity of professional sources, the democratization of digital RW culture and the ecosystem of reputation is a space for many talented voices to be heard that was not available in the pre-digital RO model .

Intertwining of media cultures

For remix culture to survive, it must be shared and created, or “remixed” by contributors. This is where participatory culture comes into play, because consumers start participating by becoming contributors, especially the many teens growing up with these media cultures. [12] A book was published in 2013 by Henry Jenkins called “Reading in a Participatory Culture” which focuses on his technique of remixing the original story. Moby Dick to make it a new and fresh experience for students. [13] [14]This form of teaching reinforces the correlation between participatory and remix culture while highlighting its importance in evolving literature. Since media culture customers start to look at art and content as something can be repurposed or recreated.

Effects on artists

Remix culture has created an environment that is almost impossible for artists to have or own ” original work “. [15] Media and the Internet have made art so that it leaves the work up for other interpretation and, in return, remixing. A major example of this in the 21st century is the idea of memes . Once you’re ready to go to cyberspace [16] For example, the 1974 self-portrait created by artist Rene Magritte , “The Son Of Man”, was remixed and recreated by street artist Ron English in his play “Stereo Magritte”. [17]

Domains of remixing

Folklore and vocal traditions

An illustration from a 1354 Syrian edition of the Panchatantra , an ancient Indian collection of animal fables . The original work is believed to be comprised of the 3rd century BCE, [18]based on older oral traditions, including “animal fables that are as old as we are able to imagine”. [19]
Various “remixed” Free Beervariants in recipe and label artwork, created since the first release in 2005 under a Creative Commons license .
  • Folklore existed long before any copyright law. All folk tales , folk songs , folk art , folk poetry , etc. was revised constantly through the folk process . According to Ramsay Wood , [20] the oldest known example of remix culture is the Panchatantra , an ancient Indian collection of interrelated animal fables in verse and prose, arranged within a frame story . The original Sanskrit work is Believed to be Composed around the 3rd century BCE, [18] based is older oral traditions, including “animal fables that are as old as we are able to imagine”. [19] The Panchatantra was reinterpreted in the following 2300 years at least 200 times in 50 different languages ​​all around the world. [21] [22] [23]
  • Cooking recipes may be among the oldest knowledge of the mankind which is inherited further and shared unrestricted for adaptation and improvement. A recent example is the Free Beer project of Superflex which has recipe and label artwork under a creative commons license , an active encouraging free adaptation and a reuse.
  • Parodies are a form of satire that adapt another work of art in order to ridicule it. Parodies date back at least to ancient Greek times. Parody exists in all media, including literature , musicand cinema .

Graphics and images

  • Remixing in the graphical arts is long known as appropriation . An example for appropriation in graphics is the never-ending remix of Leonardo Da Vinci’s piece Mona Lisa (see Mona Lisa’s reimplementation and reinterpretations and media related to Derivative Works of Mona Lisa at Wikimedia Commons). This painting has-been innumerable times Reproduced with different faces and Photoshop effects, Such As Marcel Duchamp ‘s LHOOQ . Some remixed images include Photoshopped images of the Mona Lisa mixed with Mr. Bean and an alien-like version.
  • Graffiti is an example of a read / write culture where participants interact with their surroundings and environment. In much the same way that advertisements decorate walls, graffiti allows the public to choose the images displayed on their buildings. By using spray paint , or other mediums, the artists essentially remix and change their walls or display their twist or criticism. As example, Banksy is a notable contemporary English graffiti artist.

Books and other information

Wikimedia logo mosaic to commemorate the millionth file at Wikimedia Commons. Remixed from the images on the Wikimedia commons.
  • Wikipedia is an example of a written remix, where the public is encouraged to add their knowledge in an encyclopedia . The wiki -based website enables a user to remix the information presented. called Wikipedia “the world’s most comprehensive and up-to-date encyclopedia” because it is edited and produced by such a large pool of people. [24]
  • Scanlations are fan-made translations of comics from a language into another language.
  • Book mashups , multi-combining books, received care in 2009 with Seth Grahame-Smith ‘s Pride and Prejudice and Zombies .
  • The OpenStreetMap project Creates a free editable map of the world, [25] with over two million registered users Who collect data using manual surveys, GPS devices, aerial photography, and other free sources. [26]
  • The Wikimedia Commons is digital data repository open for free glad contributions from the public. The content, mostly images and sound files, is licensed under Creative CommonsLicense and Rendering. Another examples are the picture collaborative hosting site Flickr and Deviantart Who offer Creative Commons license options.

Software and other digital goods

Software as digital is better suited for adaptation and remixing.

  • Pre-internet Public domain software of the 1960s and 1970s was software which was shared, edited and updated constantly as type-in ​​programs . The Free and open source softwaremovement can be seen as a kind of successor to those programs.
  • In the free and open source software culture, established in the 1990s as opposed to the “Read-only” proprietary software , sharing, forking and reusing the natural parts of the development model. For instance, the Linux operating system , with its commercial offspring Android and ChromeOS , is a highly successful result of a “remix culture” software.
  • The arrival of Internet facing software repositories helped the remix software development model enormously in the 2000s. GitHub has been used since 2008 more the collaborative software development in remix style, especially web development .
  • Fangames are video games made by fans based on one or more established video games . [28] Dōjin soft is the Japanese-specific variant, and homebrew typically for proprietary hardware consoles.
  • OverClocked ReMix is a community dedicated to preserving and paying tribute to video game music through non-commercial re-arranging and re-interpreting the songs.
  • Video game modding is the creative adaptation of a released video game . [29] In the 2000s the video game industry noticed the potential and supports often moderators actively with modding kits. Special cases are fan patches , server emulators and fan translation of video games made by fans to alleviate bugs or shortcomings. [30]
  • Machinimas are fan-made videos “remixed” and with video games, going far beyond the original scope and intend.
  • Retrocomputing and computer and digital preservation activities as emulation and reverse engineering Were Described as aspects of the remixing culture. [31]
  • Household 3D printing heavy relies on remixing as it allows users to repurpose existing designs. Several academic studies have highlighted the importance of remixing for the 3D printing community. [32] [33] [34] Thingiverse is a 3D printing community that allows its users to create, share, and access a broad range of printable digital models. The possibility to remix existing models is the core of this platform. In 2016 Microsoft started, a community that is also dedicated to 3D printing models.


  • DJing is the act of live rearranging and remixing of pre-recorded music material to new compositions. From this music, the term remix spread to other domains.
  • Sampling in music making is an example of reuse and remix to produce a new work. Sampling is widely popular within hip-hop culture. Grandmaster Flash and Afrika Bambaataa were some of the earliest hip-hop artists to employ the practice of sampling. This practice can also be traced to such artists as Led Zeppelin , who interpolated substantial portions of music by Willie Dixon , Howlin ‘Wolf , Jake Holmes , and Spirit . [35] By taking a small clip of an existing song, and changing it into a new piece, the artist can make it their own.
  • Music mashups are blends of existing music tracks. The 2004 album DJ BC presents The Beastles received acclaim [36] [37] and was featured in Newsweek [38] and Rolling Stone . [39] A second album named Let It Beast with cover art by cartoonist Josh Neufeld was produced in 2006.
  • Arrangements involving taking an already existing melody and reconceptualizing them into a new song. In dance and popular music, remixes can be considered arrangements. [40] Some popular albums are dedicated Exclusively to remixes, with notable examples being white Michael Jackson ‘s Blood on the Dance Floor: HIStory in the Mix and Linkin Park ‘s Reanimation .


In film , remixing is often done and happens in many forms.

  • Most new movies are adaptations of comics , graphic novels , books , or other forms of media. The majority of other Hollywood cinema works are typically genre movies that follow strict generic plots. [41] These forms of movies are relatively original and creative, but rather rely on adapting material from previous works or genre formulas, which is a form of remix. A prime example is the film Kill Bill which takes many techniques and scene templates from other films ( The Magnificent Seven , an official remake of The Seven Samurai , and Sergio Leone’s A Fistful Of Dollars ). [42]
  • Video mashups combines multiple pre-existing video sources with no discernible relationship with each other into a unified video. Examples of mashup videos include movie remixes , vids, YouTube poop , and supercuts . [43] [44]
  • Vidding is the fan labor practice in media fandom of creating music videos from the source of more information. The specialized form for animation shows is called Anime music videos , also made by fans.
  • VJing , similar to DJing , is the real-time manipulation of mediation and mediation for an audience, in synchronization to music. [45]
  • Fans and Fansubs are reworks of fans on the released film material.
  • Walt Disney works are important remixing examples company, for instance Beauty and the Beast , Aladdin , Frozen . These remixes are based on earlier public domain works (Disney movies altered from their original sources). [46] [47] Lawrence Lessig called therefore Walt Disney has “remix extraordinary” and praised him as the ideal of the remix culture in 2010.[48]Some journalists report that Disney tolerates fan remixes (Fan art) more than in earlier times.[49]


GIFs are another example of remix culture. They are illustrations and small clips from movies used for personal expressions in online conversations. [50] GIFs are commonly taken from such a film, TV or YouTube videos. [51] Each clip usually lasts for about 3 seconds [51] and is “looped, extended and repeated.” [52] GIFs take a mass media sample and reimagines, or remixes, its meaning from the original context to use as a form of personal expression in a different context. [53] They are used in various media platforms but are most popular in Tumblr where they are used to articulate a punch line. [51]

Remixing in religion

Throughout history remix culture has been truthful not only in exchange of oral stories but also through the Bible . [54] Eugene H. Peterson reinterpreted Bible stories in his 2002 book ” The Message // Remix ” which makes the Bible more simple for readers to interpret. [55] An idea of ​​remixing back to the Quakers who would interpret the scripture and create a biblical narrative by using their own voices, which went against the “read-only” practice that was more common. [56]


Remixing was always part of the human culture. [4] US media scholar Professor Henry Jenkins argued that “the story of American arts in the 19th century may be told in terms of mixing, matching and merging of folk traditions taken from various indigenous and immigrant populations.” Another historical example of remixing is Cento , a literary genre popular in Medieval Europe, consisting mainly of verses or extracts from the works of others. [4]

The balance between creation and consumption shifted with the progress on media recording and reproduction. Notable events are the invention of the book printing press and the analog Sound recording and reproduction .

Analog era

In the beginning of the twentieth century, on the dawn of the analog Sound recording and reproduction , John Philip Sousa , an American composer and conductor of the late Romantic era , warned in 1906 in a congressionalhearing on a negative change of the musical culture by the now available “canned music”. [57] [58]

“These talking machines are going to ruin the artistic development of music in this country.When I was a boy … in front of every day in the summer, you would find young people together singing the songs of the day or old songs . Today you hear thesis infernal machine going night and day. We will not-have a vocal cord left. The vocal cord will be eliminated by a process of evolution, as was the tail of man When He cam from the ape. “

Specialized, expensive creation devices (“read-write”) and specialized cheap consumption (“read-only”) devices allowed a centralized production by few and decentralized consumption by many. Analog devices for consumers for low prices, lacking the capability of writing and creating, spread out fast: Newspapers, Jukebox, radio, television. This new business model, an Industrial information economy, demanded and resulted in the strengthening of the exclusive copyright and a weakening of the remix culture and the Public domain in throughout the 19th and 20th century.

Analog creation devices were expensive and also limited in their editing and rearranging capability. An analog copy of a work (eg an audio tape ) can not be edited, copied and worked on infinite often with the quality continually worsens. Despite that, a creative remixing culture survived to some limited degree. For instance composer John Oswald coined in 1985 the Plunderphonics in his essay Plunderphonics, or Audio Piracy as a Compositional Prerogative for sound collages based on existing audio recordings and altering them in some way to make a new composition .

Remixing as digital age phenomena

Technology changed fundamentally with the digital revolution . [59] Digital information could be reproduced and edited infinitely, often without quality loss. Still, in the 1960s the first digital devices were used for the purpose; the first consumer oriented devices video game consoles inherently lacked RW capability. But in the 1980s, the introduction of the computer and especially the IBM personal computer brought a digital prosumer device, a device usable for production and consumption at the same time, to the masses for an affordable price. [60] [61]Similarly for software, in the 1990s the open source software movement implemented software based on the idea of ​​edit-ability by anyone.

Internet and web 2.0

The arrival of the Internet in the late 1990s and early 2000s created a highly effective way to re-implement a “remix culture” in all areas of art, technology and society. Unlike TV and radio, with a unidirectional transport information (producer to consumer), the Internet is inherently bidirectional , Enabling a peer-to-peer dynamic. This accelerated with Web 2.0 and more user-generated content due to Commons-Based Peer Productionpossibilities. Remixes of songs, videos, and photos are easily distributed and created. There is a constant revision to what is being created, which is done on both a professional and amateur scale. The availability of various end-user oriented software Such As GarageBand and Photoshop Makes it easy to remix. Internet remixes to the masses. Internet memes are Internet-specific creative content which is created, filtered and transformed by the web and its users.

Foundation of the Creative Commons

Creative Commons license range between public domain (top) and all rights reserved (bottom). On the left side of the license. Remixing is permitted in the two green license groups.

As a response to a more restrictive copyright system ( Sonny Bono Copyright Term Extension , DMCA ), Lawrence Lessig founded the creative Commons in 2001. In 2002 the Creative Commons released a set of licenses as tools to enable remix culture by Allowing a balanced, fair Enabling release of creative works, “some rights reserved” instead of the usual ” all rights reserved “. Flickr , Flickr instance , DeviantART [62]and Europeana using or offering CC license options which allow remixing. There are several webpages for this remix culture, for instance ccMixter founded 2004.

The 2008 open-source film by Brett RiP Gaylor !: A Remix Manifesto Papers “The Changing Concept of Copyright “. [63] [64]

In 2012 Canada ‘s Copyright Modernization Act has been added to a new exemption that allows non – commercial remixing. [65] In 2013 the US short ruling Lenz v. Universal Music Corp. Acknowledged That amateur remixing might fall under fair use and copyright holders are requested to check and respect fair use before doing DMCA take down notices . [66]


Main article: Copyright reform movement

Under the laws of many countries, anyone with the intention to remix an existing work is liable for lawsuit because the laws protect the intellectual property of the work. However, current copyright laws are proving to be ineffective. [67] [68] On the other hand, fair use does not address a wide enough ranks of use cases and Its borders are not well Established and defined, making use under “fair use” Legally risky. Lessig argues that there needs to be a change in the current state of copyright laws to legalize remix culture, especially for fair-use cases. He states that “outdated copyright laws have been introduced to children under criminals.” [69]One proposal is to adopt the system of quotationused with book references. The artist would quote the intellectual property she would like to give the original creator credit, as is common with literature references. As tools for doing so Lawrence Lessig Proposed the Creative Commons licenses qui demande de instance Attribution without Restricting the general use of a creative work. One step further is the Free content movement, which proposes that creative content should be released under free licenses . The Copyright reform movement tries to tackle the problem by cutting for instance the excessive long copyright termsRufus Pollock was debated by scholar . [70] [71]

Other (copyright) scholars, such as Yochai Benkler and Erez Reuveni, [72] promulgate ideas that are closely related to remix culture in 2007. Some scholars argue that the academic and legal institutions must change their culture. [73]

Reception and impact

In His 2006 book Cult of the Amateur . ” [74] Web 2.0 critic Andrew Keen criticizes Free-Write and Read Culture.

In February 2010 Cato Institute ‘s Julian Sanchez Praised the remix for social activities icts value, “for performing social realities” and remarked copyright That shoulds be Evaluated Regarding the “level of control permitted to be exercised over our social realities” . [75] [76]

According to Kirby Ferguson in 2011 and his popular TED talk series, [77] is a remix, and that all original material builds off and remixes previously existing material. [78] He argues that it would be unnecessary.

In 2011 UC Davis professor Thomas W. Joo criticized remix culture for romanticizing free culture , [79] Terry Hart had a similar line of criticism in 2012. [80]

In June 2015 a WIPO article named “Remix Culture and Amateur Creativity: A Copyright Dilemma” [66] acknowledged the “age of remixing” and the need for a copyright reform .