“RIP: A Remix Manifesto” by Laurant LaSalle


Having such wide access to texts via media raises questions about ways to defend intellectual property. This makes sense. After all, including information in a paper without a citation is plagiarism, but do the same rules apply to creative content online? Do these laws limit our freedom to create and use the intellectual property of others as a springboard to create more? It’s a moral struggle between creating these restrictions and the right to creative freedom.

Does building something from the bottom up make your material more legitimate than the creative flourishment on that idea? Some people say no – limiting creativity is a higher crime than mimicking the work of another. Others think the protection of intellectual property must be the apex of concern.

My reaction

Consider this, the creative property of say The Beatles isn’t completely organic. They were inspired by someone who was inspired by someone who was…all creative geniuses borrow the intellectual properties of others to build their own, even The Beatles. So, why is music mixing so much worse? Where’s that gray line?

This argument immediately makes me think of Mickey Mouse, who following his creator’s death years ago, is reaching the end of his protection under the law. After enough time, copywrites expire and creative property becomes free to use. Obviously, this liberation of Disney’s creation would greatly affect the company. Obviously, this isn’t a clear-cut issue. Personally, I think intellectual property is best served through imitation and reiteration. What better way to preserve it? That’s idealistic but in the best interest of creative license.

Why does this matter?

Artists of all threads value their creative property and deserve the right to protect it, but doing so puts overly harsh limits on other artists who wish to use their work in their own. Even Disney is grappling with these laws, and no one has an answer to serve all fairly. Figuring out fair rules and limits will help all artists protect their property while allowing others to work under as few limits as usual.


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