The other day, one guy produced a chronological-order version of Pulp Fiction. Everywhere, students enjoy elaborating parodies and remixes of movie segments. Animated images are created out of motion pictures to capture their essence in few photograms, by amateurs.
Everybody today remixes media to produce new, sometime compelling stories. The problem though, lies within current copyright law: It deems illegal almost all YouTube uploads and all you and I may end up concocting by remixing the ever growing multimedia content on the Web.
For teachers and students, from arts to science, this is an unbelievable limitation. Yet, the younger among them don’t think too much about it. They just do it. In fact, can you even imagine an artist not building from art’s past history? A scientist not remixing the previously available knowledge to produce something new? Ask the youth and they will all reply: it’s ok to republish, repurpose and mix third party’s content.
But it’s not.
At least, not for long. Sometime soon, says Lawrence Lessig, the newer generation of youth used to the remixing culture will end up in Congress. They will be the ones who change the law. So, Lessig and many among us believe the new generation will change the very notion of copyright for all.
Beware, corporate lobbyists: the times, they are a-changin’.
[NOTE: This post was drafted during a class from the National Science Foundation‘s #NSFMessenger on the Art and Science of communicating science, and got the privilege of being reviewed by our superb facilitator Chris Mooney –yes, the very same author of Unscientific America: How Scientific Illiteracy Threatens our Future. Thanks, NSF & Chris!]