Lecture – Copyright, Alternatives, and Remixes

We will discuss Copyright and Ethics next week. You will learn how copyright relates to the projects we are working on in this course, as well as how to protect yourself on both sides of the copyright fence in your future endeavors as a creator and consumer. There are four videos below to watch for lecture for Friday of Week 4.

Lawrence Lessig: Laws that Choke Creativity

One alternative to copyright is Creative Commons. For this Friday lecture, watch this 19 minute TEDTalk delivered by Lawrence Lessig, a lawyer who founded Creative Commons**. I had the privilege of seeing Mr. Lessig speak at a symposium when I was at Penn State; he is a very dynamic speaker with interesting stories that illustrate the strengths and weaknesses of our copyright laws. He has several other videos posted on YouTube if you want to watch more. Some overlap this TEDTalk, but all are interesting.

**Side note: When updating this page for the Fall 2015 quarter, I discovered that Lawrence Lessig was running for President of the United States in the 2016 primaries.

Lawrence Lessig: Laws that choke creativity

Song Exploder — Weezer

Song Exploder is a podcast where musicians take apart their songs, and piece by piece, tell the story of how they were made. The description of this episode comes from the Weezer episode:

In this episode, Rivers Cuomo breaks down the meticulous process of making the song “Summer Elaine and Drunk Dori,” through the different demo versions that the track went through, and the array of spreadsheets that he uses collect, analyze, and harvest his ideas.

As you listen, consider what we have discussed in lecture as well as some of the videos we have watched including Lawrence Lessig’s TEDTalk and the two TEDTalks shared later in this post.

Mark Ronson: How Sampling Transformed Music

This TEDTalk is delivered by Mark Ronson, a producer and DJ who has worked with Paul McCartney and Amy Winehouse, plus has had some hit songs himself (e.g., Uptown Funl). The TEDTalk description says:

Sampling isn’t about “hijacking nostalgia wholesale,” says Mark Ronson. It’s about inserting yourself into the narrative of a song while also pushing that story forward. In this mind-blowingly original talk, watch the DJ scramble 15 TED Talks into an audio-visual omelette, and trace the evolution of “La Di Da Di,” Doug E. Fresh and Slick Rick’s 1984 hit that has been reimagined for every generation since.

Kirby Ferguson: Embracing the Remix

Is remixing a form of creativity, a production of the new on the shoulders of what precedes it, or is it just copying? Listen to this TEDTalk as Kirby Ferguson shares some highlights of his deeply-researched series, Everything is a Remix.

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