I had the great pleasure to sit on the opening panel at the Remix/Mashup Conference that was hosted by the Moritz College of Law at Ohio State University. At this panel I shared what I have learned as the head researcher into copyright use in online video at the CSM, dating back to our publication of Recut, Reframe, Recycle. The key point that I shared that was echoed by my fellow panelists is that popular culture has become so entrenched in the public conscience that it has essentially become the vocabulary for those who create online video. Sampling and quoting becomes the form of expression for a predominate number of creators online, making the awareness and normalization of Fair Use vital. Among the other panelists were Mindy Faber who has created the Open Youth Network in Chicago to teach the technical skills and cultural importance of remixing popular culture to teenagers/young people, and Francesca Coppa, who has done a considerable research into vidding, which is a form of fan remixing that has been around since the mid 1970's that takes clips of popular television shows and cuts them to popular music to create new meaning and articulate points about the media presented. The main point of the conversation was the importance of Fair Use education among creators, and recognition among copyright holders.
Keynote speaker Jonathan McIntosh shared in his presentation a history of political remix, and its importance as an art form to influence public thought.
One of the first known video remixes was created in 1942, and depicts Adolf Hitler and the Nazi Party as doing a happy little dance to a nice tune, instead of steadfastly marching. The goal of the remix was to take some of the power away from the image of the Nazi party, and to make them seem like a less intimidating enemy.
McIntosh also shared the remix by the collective known as Wreck and Salvage called Club Iraq, which draws on footage of videos posted by Iraq soldiers, videos from mainstream news, and rapper 50 Cent's song "In Da Club." After his video, access to Youtube and other culture sharing websites were banned from military zones.
Racial Equality $29.95 is a video that was made entirely from clips take from the Inauguration of President Obama.
A 16 year old vidder created a video that depicts the sexual exploits of Captain Kirk and set it to the Britney Spears hit "Womanizer."
This conference was a great reinforcement to the belief that remix is a key part of the future culture.