Thursday, 4 April 2013

A Citizen Media Course and the Future of Creativity

I want to use my last blog post to talk about what I have discovered and learned throughout my seminar course on citizen media and the public sphere.

To start, I think the most influential aspect of this course for me was what I learned about remixing. Remixing, as discussed in one of my previous posts, is taking an original work and remaking it into something else that creates a new concept or acts as a spin off of the original idea. What I found most interesting is how remixing is often used by citizens to go against mainstream media.  I was surprised by how many citizens out there are willing to spend many hours working through remixes in order to be a creator of something new. This has shown me the ability of citizens to act as producers instead of consumers. McKenzie Wark expressed that using citizen media as a way to form social relations that create a bond, acts as a public sphere where people can contribute as something more than just a consumer.

I also think the discussions about copyright that the class had while acting as a public sphere allowed me to understand how influential copyright is on all different people’s lives. Throughout the class we would often share our ideas about copyright; whether it is good, bad, or both to a certain degree. Copyright does not just give acknowledgement for one's work but it protects that work from being distributed and reproduced by other people. The downfall of the copyright law is that it restricts creativity. In “Do Copyright Laws Stifle Creativity?” Dr. Lawrence Lessig demonstrates that people from around the world can participate in citizen media. He expresses that the creative process has become overly restricted because of what is called infringing upon copyrights. He used the example of a woman who posted to YouTube to share a video of her young son dancing with some music in the background and in result they were forced to take it down with a notification saying this infringed on copyrights. Where does it all end?

I think the course flowed through the possibilities; restrictions, issues and outcomes of citizen media to show how nothing is ever fixed but rather things are always in a constant state of changing. As technology advances and the Internet improves, mass media and citizen media will change. Therefore what this class has mainly taught me as an underlying theme is that copyright is not bad nor is it something to be afraid of, but there should be limits to copyright because with it comes a lot of restrictions which will end in the suffering of innovation and creativity.

What is the future for creativity if copyright continues to dominate? I believe that as citizens continue to push through and go on with remixing through citizen media, copyright will be forced to reconstruct their laws to protect and acknowledge those who have created something but also to allow creativity to proper. 

Ciao from another participating citizen of media,


No comments:

Post a Comment