Thursday, July 19, 2007

Mashups, Remixes & Education: Is it outright copyright infringement?

An interesting article from Brian Lamb on Mashups and Remixes in education. I agreed with the bulk of his views, but was reminded of the danger of terminology. I'd venture to say that in many cases, mashups and remixes are outright plagerism, and/or theft of others' IP and creative work. In education we need to take care that we not lul ourselves into thinking or teaching that it's all ok by simply calling it by another, hipper, trendier name (i.e. "it's not copying or duplication--it's a mashup or a remix").
Doug Johnson writes:

Intellectual-property issues on Web 2.0, where students are producers of information, are somewhat different. This generation of producers often views others’ creative work as raw material for their own expressions. The term mashup is commonly used to describe a montage of digital works, especially music and video, that have been edited and mixed to create a unique creative product. The use of others’ work is regarded not as theft or plagiarism, but homage to the originator, and sites such as YouTube make sharing these creations simple and inexpensive. Guidelines for the use of copyrighted works in this fashion are unclear and routinely ignored by many when creating mashups.

Admittedly, there is increasingly more material out there with open licensing, but just because some have opened up their work for free use (myself included), most still have not. Luckily, both Yahoo and Google now facilitate advanced searches using filters that only display material with creative commons (more open) licensing.

Anyway, read and enjoy this interesting Educause Review article by Brian Lamb.

Dr. Mashup; or, Why Educators Should Learn to Stop Worrying and Love the Remix
[EDUCAUSE Review, vol. 42, no. 4 (July/August 2007): 12–25]
-Joel G.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I noted that he used Shakespeare of an example of a copyright infringer who did great things! (Shakespeare can be used to justify alomost anything.)
Terminology is one issue, right citation/documentation is another. I do not see these "mashups" crediting their sources. But maybe sources do not want to be associated? I once told a playwright about all the changes I wished to make in her play as I staged it. She was very supportive, but in the end said, "Go ahead, but take my name off of it and change the title." Of Course "web 2" moves faster than plays on the stage or papers in a classroom.
Back to terminology: Does calling it a Blog also mean "no credit/no authorship?" Is this question an old university conservativism?

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