Week 6 David MacKool

24 Jun

Web in the modern era has done amazing things with societies view of ownership, reshaping what belongs to whom through the users of the web. In the TED talk, The new open source economics by Yochai Benkler, Benkler points out the economic shift as a result of the web creating a new form of transactional framework, that of the Peer to Peer network, moving the economic balance back towards a balance that allows anyone to create, innovate, and share. This point can be seen in wikipedia, open source programs, and like in Good Copy, Bad Copy, remixed music, where these various forms of open sources allow people to help each other to benefit everyone. Benkler believes that this social production is the big shift that will force a fork in our current economic path, with us either having the current industrial information economy stay the way it is now, or have it open up to allow us to create as we want. This point of view is of course 7 years old now, and though it is still relevent today, you can begin to see the open source path becoming more viable, as more and more often the established industrial companies are giving an open development spin to their products. The best examples for this come from the “all you can eat” services such as netflix, spotify, google, and most interestingly microsoft with its new operating system. Microsoft 10 in particular is an interesting example of how it gives opportunity for copyright holders, as it is being given away as a free upgrade to anyone with windows installed, even going so far as including those with pirated copies of the operating system. Microsoft is now seeing the importance of this open source culture as the best way to get people to develop on their platform, and by including as many people as possible into this one operating system, they are much more likely to get someone to develop for it.

The music industry is just as shaped by this change, and in Good Copy, Bad Copy, the Producers and Girl Talk believe in this new shift of open source, sharing a belief that the open source format allows for some amazing things to be done with regards to media. With regards to music, the remix genre is bolstering the music industry with massive quantities of new music, where conventional forms of music creation are running out of combinations. Music is formed off of base musical forms that instill a feeling in the consumer, and there were only so many of those combinations that could be made and copyrighted, but with remixing, the music industry can create completely new songs. Its most easily understood thinking of music as building blocks. the basic musical fundamentals are the base level of blocks, with instrumental musicians building a second layer, and remixed tracks forming the upper layers. The remix artists use the instrumental layer as their building blocks, and other remixers use those original remixes as their blocks. In this way, Girl Talk shows his point of view of this open culture, that there is no reason to stop at one layer and stifle musical progress.

2 Responses to “Week 6 David MacKool”

  1. Veronica Stachurski June 25, 2015 at 10:04 pm #

    You seem to have a very good grasp on the information that Benkler was presenting in his TED Talk, as well as Girl Talk’s point of view in Good Copy, Bad Copy. I do think, however, that you could have incorporated more information on the issues related to intellectual property and copyright issues. For example:

    The growth of the web has caused a great deal of strife in the copyright world, largely because it is so easy to obtain so many resources. You state that the open source path is becoming more viable, and this is true, but you do not address the fact that, in most cases, these open sources are illegal. Individuals pay for services like Netflix, but they don’t have to pay for movies that he/she streams online when it isn’t available on Netflix. The advancements in the web have created a whole new portal for the abuse of copyrighted materials. The question is, how do we prevent the abuse of someone’s ideas, but still encourage the new, creative things that people like Girl Talk desire to make from these ideas?

    You are absolutely right that Girl Talk believes in this new shift of open source, and that the open source format allows for some amazing things to be done with regards to media, but it is also true that he is technically breaking the law when he does it. Lawrence Lessig suggests that something like the Creative Commons be used to mutually benefit both the original artist and the “remixer.” Creative Commons allows the web to be used to create new and exciting things while still protecting intellectual property.

  2. Quishanna Coleman June 25, 2015 at 10:23 pm #

    I really appreciate that you brought up how this discussion that occurred seven years ago has continued to be discussed. I never (until reading your post of course) thought of Netflix and Spotify as products for this open source movement. But you are absolutely right! Both of those things as well as many other apps/sites like them require you to pay a seemingly simple monthly fee for unlimited access to any movie or song that you could think of (or that they have available)! I don’t even buy movies anymore because I find it easier to just wait for it to come on Netflix. I don’t watch TV either because I can find all of my shows on Hulu. This describes perfectly what they were speaking of in Good Copy, Bad Copy. People are giving less and less money to DVD companies; instead we are giving all of our money to companies that allow us unlimited access to a number of things.

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