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American and Australian Media Policy in regards to musical remix culture.
Journalism & Communication
Pages 9 (2259 words)
The Work of Remix in the Age of Digital Reproduction Walter Benjamin, an eminent German critic, argues that a work of art loses its originality and authenticity through the mechanical reproduction of art1. In the modernist world of mechanical reproduction, the “original” work of art loses its “aura”, as Benjamin called it.
In the age of remix culture, remix rebels have begun to question the “originality” of an artwork. Thus, today, what is at stake is not just a work of art’s “aura” but even its very originality. Indeed, remix rebels, including prominent scholars such as Lawrence Lessig, argue that everything is a remix and derived from past works. Their argument automatically brings up the issue of copyright. As K. Mathew Dames notes “the rebels claim that if nothing is original and originality is a key component of copyright protection, then how can copyright exist?”3.The aim of this paper is to compare American and Australian Media Policy in regards to musical remix culture with respect to the copyright issues. Contemporary American Law on musical creativity treats the subject rather arbitrarily. While covering is permitted freely, sampling is automatically regarded as copyright infringement. Noah Shachmant points out this double standard and gives the example of Beatles: "[W]hile the Beatles’ tunes have been recorded by thousands of bands, their song catalog [of recordings] has been notoriously off-limits to hip-hop and dance-music producers’ manipulations."4 DJ Danger Mouse’s “Grey Album” is a good case exemplifying this phenomenon. ...
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