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March 16, 2012

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Arjun

I completely agree that progress should be embraced and art is supposed to forge together remnants of the past to create new forms. I recently read a piece discussing youtube and the future of theatre. and it argues a similar stance. Technology should allow us to explore the past and simultaneously create a new artistic future.

Vincent Blackshadow

"Imagine if all the works of Beckett or O'Neill or Williams were similarly available to work from, to mix-and-match, to mash-up, to shake up. It takes nothing away from the original"

You have all the works of the previous thousands of years to work from, if what you want to do is "remix". Are people really so familiar with Williams or O'Neill that remixes are necessary? What if this is their first exposure to these writers and they hate the "remix". It certainly does take something away from the original - its reputation.

"Remix culture is more than about coasting on someone else's creation"

The implication is that coasting is at least part of it. Suppose someone can choose between a "remix" of a contemporary author they like, and a "remix" of an author or authors they have never heard of - who are they likely to choose?

Art will stagnate much quicker if it becomes nothing but mash ups of earlier works.

99

No one is saying that the arts will become "nothing but mash ups of earlier work." And, honestly, you can't tell or predict how any audience will react to any work of art, so creating from that perspective isn't going to be successful. People see new productions of old plays and may not like the production. That's the risk of making art.

What I'm talking about is something more akin to what writers like Shakespeare, Sophocles and Aeschylus did in the past, what Chuck Mee has done, what mash-up artists like Girl Talk or DJ Danger Mouse have done: creating brand-new works using parts cribbed, borrowed, imported and sometimes, yes, outright stolen from other artists in way that our current copyright protections make difficult, if not illegal. Does GATZ "coast" on the reputation and artistry of "The Great Gatsby?" It certainly does...but it also creates a wholly-new work. "The Great Gatsby" is unharmed by it; its reputation is unharmed; the book can still be read, by someone who didn't like the production, even.

I'll say this again: Coming from a place of fear or putting the concern of a mythical, unhappy or confused audience member first, is a pretty poor starting place for an artist. Shouldn't we allow the maximum room for creation?

Ian Thal

creating brand-new works using parts cribbed, borrowed, imported and sometimes, yes, outright stolen from other artists in way that our current copyright protections make difficult, if not illegal.

And when was Chuck Mee convicted of copyright infringement? I see no mention of it anywhere.

What I'm talking about is something more akin to what writers like Shakespeare, Sophocles and Aeschylus did in the past

Sophocles and Aeschylus were basing their plays on myths that were so old that even under 21st century American copyright law, would have been in the public domain. Likewise, most of Shakespeare's sources (and note, he mostly stole plots, not so much poetry) were also old enough that he would have been safe under our rules (though he would have likely been in hot water over As You Like It.)


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