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The Evolution of Remix Culture

February 6th, 2010 · 25 Comments

Tags: Art & Culture · Law



25 responses so far ↓

  • 1 The Evolution of Remix Culture // Feb 6, 2010 at 12:44 am

    [...] Cross-posted from my personal blog. [...]

  • 2 Jacob Wintersmith // Feb 6, 2010 at 1:57 am

    Sir –

    I am most impressed by your matching wardrobe and chair. Truly, stealth is always in fashion.

  • 3 Julian Sanchez // Feb 6, 2010 at 5:35 am

    While I do believe in camouflage, that’s actually just bad lighting.

  • 4 Tim Lee // Feb 6, 2010 at 10:02 am

    You should link/embed the original videos. I managed to find them but it should be easy.

  • 5 Joe Strummer // Feb 6, 2010 at 12:59 pm

    Wow. Awesome commentary Julian. Plus, I found a great new band!

  • 6 Constant Reader // Feb 6, 2010 at 3:27 pm

    Your piece gives the impression that copyright law’s straightjacketing of culture is a new phenomenon. That’s a surprisingly common idea, but it’s not really true. The 1709 Statute of Anne is often taken as the beginning of English copyright law, but it wasn’t. It just shifted copyrights from the Stationers’ Company to authors. Before 1709, the Company’s members had a royal monopoly on printing, so authors had to sell their manuscripts to a member of the Company. It was illegal to publish your book yourself. As I understand it, the Company’s members observed a custom whereby once one member acquired a manuscript, no other members would publish it.

    The Company’s monopoly was pernicious because it made it extremely easy for the government to censor. You go to the Stationers, and that’s it. And to the Star Chamber with anyone who publishes seditious books on his own. The whole system broke down during the Civil War and Interregnum, and people published loads of radical books, which helped drive the upheaval during the Interregnum. The system came back with a vengeance after the Restoration, though at the end of the seventeenth century the government took to prosecuting speakers and authors for seditious libel rather than for violating the soon-to-be-replaced licensing regime.

    The point is that the use of monopoly publication rights to constrict cultural advancement isn’t new. It was the original purpose of copyrights. Granted, that changed in 1709, but the earlier period is fascinating, and in some ways the problems of that era are reminiscent of copyfighters’ complaints today, as when people complain that overlong copyrights basically give a great author’s grandchild the exclusive right to change an original work and suppress publication of the original. If an enterprising young technology journalist wrote a long form piece on copyrights in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, I’d definitely read it.

  • 7 RickRussellTX // Feb 8, 2010 at 3:54 am

    In the stage 4 remix, a sweater-vest wearing pundit films himself expositing on the social meaning of remixes and our reactions to them.

    In the stage 5 remix, a snarky commenter on the pundit’s blog BLAM

    Whoops, sorry, I seem to created some kind of tiny, short-lived information singularity there.

  • 8 Freddie // Feb 8, 2010 at 2:48 pm

    Very smart piece. A Constant Reader above is exactly right. Please, no more invocations of “urban tribes” for anything besides derision.

    What’s ultimately so corrosive about the “Stuff White People Like” phenomenon is that it takes a critique of privileged culture and makes it into yet another entertainment object for that culture. It pretends to articulate an attack on whitebread norms of affluence but is in fact the most utterly distilled application of those norms. White people like “Stuff White People Like,” and in doing so they neuter an honest exasperation with the gradual drift of all need into fuel for affluence readings.

    I bring this up in the context of you video only because I think you should take care, when presenting such a twee phenomenon, to apologize for neither that preciousness nor for the self-implication that seems a necessary part of talking about it. God made fleas and whales and pronounced both good, and we should have both Precious and Juno and enjoy both, but there is danger in any readings that deny the privilege of consuming both.

  • 9 RickRussellTX // Feb 9, 2010 at 2:38 am

    @Freddie I’m a bit mystified by your comment.

    Four minutes of pretty hipsters being quirky can be diabetes-inducing whether those hipsters are black or white. There’s no racial implication there.

  • 10 John Asalone // Feb 9, 2010 at 6:16 pm

    This post should have ended with dancing. Almost an unforgivable oversight.

  • 11 Julian Sanchez // Feb 9, 2010 at 11:12 pm

    Originally, I was going to shoot it at my desk and end it with dancing in the background. But then I decided to try out the new Flip cam and shoot it in the chair, where it didn’t really work spatially. We’ll save it for the remix.

  • 12 Freddie // Feb 11, 2010 at 1:11 pm

    There’s no racial implication there.

    Of course there are.

  • 13 Julian Sanchez // Feb 11, 2010 at 6:08 pm

    Not strictly racial, I don’t think. I would have said precisely the same thing if both videos had substantially more multiracial casts. I think you’re conflating race with class & subculture.

  • 14 Conventional Folly » Remix culture // Feb 13, 2010 at 4:58 pm

    [...] be curious to know what Julian Sanchez — the author of this post and this clip on the evolution of remix as it relates to culture — makes of this story: The [...]

  • 15 Barry // Feb 15, 2010 at 11:07 am

    Nice, Julian.

  • 16 Freddie // Feb 16, 2010 at 5:59 pm

    I think you’re conflating race with class & subculture.

    It’s a bad habit of mine.

  • 17 Reputation Is Dead? « Elizabeth Nolan Brown // Apr 5, 2010 at 12:57 pm

    [...] weekend that I am hopelessly out of touch with what "most people," including those in what I think Julian Sanchez called my "urban tribe," [...]

  • 18 DJ Disney: Fairy Tale Remix 2.0 (circa 1937) « Yaralla’s Blog // Jun 8, 2010 at 11:22 pm

    [...] Sanchez, J. Evolution of the Remix, Julian Sanchez.com, February 6 2010, viewed on 6 June 2010. <http://www.juliansanchez.com/2010/02/06/the-evolution-of-remix-culture/&gt; [...]

  • 19 Vedere il © #2 « YURG // Aug 18, 2010 at 5:59 am

    [...] Lessig riprende il discorso dove lo aveva lasciato Julian Sanchez con l’analisi del’evoluzione della cultura del remix [...]

  • 20 YouTube Introduces “Copyright School” to Educate Infringing Users // Apr 15, 2011 at 4:09 pm

    [...] law, Nimmer on Copyright, fills an 11-volume treatise.) Copyright geeks and fans of “remix culture” will appreciate that Google’s video touches on fair use and includes links to in-depth [...]

  • 21 Elizabeth Nolan Brown » Reputation Is Dead? // Aug 31, 2011 at 8:48 am

    [...] weekend that I am hopelessly out of touch with what "most people," including those in what I think Julian Sanchez called my "urban tribe," [...]

  • 22 エドハーディー // Jan 20, 2012 at 3:31 am

    ssig riprende il discorso dove lo aveva lasciato Julian Sanchez con l’analisi del’evoluzi

  • 23 Reputation Is Dead | Elizabeth Nolan Brown // Jul 4, 2012 at 5:04 pm

    [...] weekend that I am hopelessly out of touch with what "most people," including those in what I think Julian Sanchez called my "urban tribe," [...]

  • 24 Carly // Oct 25, 2012 at 12:46 pm

    I am heartbroken that this video has been taken down from YouTube; I’ve used it in teaching my writing and composition classes for a few years now. Any way that I can get a copy to show in my classes (obviously for educational use) – or have you perhaps published it elsewhere online? It’s such a fantastic video for teaching remix culture, copyright/copyleft, etc. Thank you!

  • 25 » Weekly Link Posts (weekly) Music for Parking Lots // Mar 24, 2013 at 7:41 pm

    [...] The Evolution of Remix Culture [...]

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