Where has the Creativity Gone?

RIP Remix Culture

Music is everywhere. Music is a creative act that is personal depending on who is making the music. There are different genres and different styles of music, but it will always be unique to the producer and the consumer. The music industry is affected most heavily by the laws that have been created within the last few decades including, copyright, fair use and intellectual property. Anyone who has downloaded music from Napster before realizing it was illegal, is considered a criminal. Our whole generation can be considered criminals because the internet breeds the sharing of information and files.

Remix is a way of creating new culture that builds on top of existing culture that already exists. The new music that is being sampled and created is changing our culture that we live in because music can shape our society. Music is everywhere, at work, at home, when we study, when we drive, you cannot escape it. So why should it be limited to the works that only the few mainstream musicians create that don’t make up the long tail of the music industry. Most music that exists today because of the internet and sharing has made the edge of the long tail more prevalent in our lives then the “mainstream” music. Corporations are controlling our lives because they are controlling the things we listen to. Ever wonder why you only hear the same twenty songs on the radio? The Big Six Corporations could have something to do with that. So many artists have been born from the digital age where we can discover and create new music thanks to sharing sites like Youtube and Soundcloud, they don’t need to be signed to record deal to become famous. Yet so many people looking to become famous while using the internet have been sued or been issued a cease and desist letter, stating that the use of copyrighted music is not allowed and they want these amateur musicians to pay up.

So many great musicians like Girl Talk who was a focus point of the documentary, RIP! A Remix Manifesto knows that the threat of being shut down by the government exists every day. He samples and used close to forty different artists in a three minute song. Is he really infringing on copyright laws? He is creating something new out of something that already existed changing its form and making something entirely different. This is the argument at large, are musicians like Girl Talk unable to express their creativity because they are using existing music as their foundation for their music. Plenty of other artists use other famous music and incorporate it into their work. Super Smash Bros is also another famous mash up artists that is widely popular like Girl Talk. The documentary argues that most famous songs we can recognize from artists like the Beetles or Ledd Zeppelin have been stolen from other artists, so this seems to be a vicious cycle. People need to start fighting for our music to be free to the people. In Brazil, they encourage the remixing and creativity that comes along with being a musician, they foster and teach kids from a young age to embrace creativity and to create new things every day. Why can’t America be more like Brazil? A main reason is that our country is money hungry and devoted to caging in the Intellectual Property of the already rich and famous. I am a criminal according the copyright laws and I am proud because musical taste expands past what the industry wants me to listen to, I decide what kind of music influences me because the internet allows me to find and share music that you would not find coming from an artist on a record label.

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