This is the last blog of my media course and I would like to explore one of my favourite new media example, the remix culture. I came across remix culture since I was in year 9, just the time that internet are a platform for us to download illegal music. Heaps of mash-up are available online but it was until the introduction of youtube and myspace (allows the user to share their music online), remix culture has become  popular  and it challenges a lot of legal issue.

So what is remix culture? Remix culture describes the culture that media users are starting to remix and mash up anything they want with any kind of easily accessible remix program. The most common behaviours are the mash-up with music obviously, and also, the remixing of different footages into a short movie is also commonly seen.

I found an interesting idea by Lessig (2007) to explain the changes of such media culture. He borrows two components from how CDRs can be used, Read-Only and Read/Write.  Basically, we are living under these two media cultures. Read-Only culture refers to one way creativity from producer to consumer, in which the consumers are only allowed to ‘read’ the media but not able to have any editing or even share with then. Obviously, this represents the commercial side of the media, Read-Only culture products mean money for producers and all are protected under Copyright. While on the other hand, the thriving Read/White culture reresent the current user, where we are able to create, participate or even remix other’s work.

In fact, these two cultures are currently coexisting in our media culture. Some may argue that the Read/Write creativity may have a negative effect on the whole media industry. Rather, I think these cultures are complementary in the creative perspective. The introduction of the Read/Write culture does not compete with or weaken the market for the creative work that get mixed. In some sense, that is a new creation from what  has been created.

An example would be Dean Gray. This is a band that remix the whole album of popular band Green Day to the internet for a nono-profit purpose.  The uploaded site was only active for 10 days as they are sued from Green’s Day label. Interestingly, Green Day lead singer Billie Joe Armstrong has described the matter as ‘really cool’ after hearing one of the song on the radio. (Montgomery 2005)

Dean Gray version

Original Version from Green Day

What I am trying to say is that the the changes that media proceeding is way faster than the society expected. It is impossible for the government to react and cope with such epic change. Just like the remix culture, currently there is no laws to restrict this phenomenon. It is the responsibility for the government to find a way to allow the co-exist of two culture.

Lessig, L 2007, Larry Lessig on laws that choke creativity, online video, accessed on 31 May 2011


Montgomery, J 2005, ‘Green Day Mash-Up Leads to Cease-And-Desist Order, Grey Tuesday-Style Protest’ MTV accessed on 31 MAy 2011