Two dynamic guests, Eric Garland of bigchampagne and Joanna Demers of USC's Thorton School of Music and author of the pro-remix book, STEAL THIS MUSIC, gave fascinating talks in my Distribution of Recordings seminar. It would have been interesting if the two could have heard the others talk.
Garland spoke of just how clueless media companies are and how they're entering a new stage of DRM conflict with the tech giants themselves, ie, Universal Music's rumbling of discontent toward Apple and Myspace and all of Hollywood now aiming their guns at YouTube. Garland used the metaphor of friction, of how Hollywood. The media companies keep putting up more friction, preventing users from exploiting their media on the internet, driving them off the grid into Pirate territory!!!
Temperatures will be rising.
Demers endorses remix culture and advocates new criteria in promoting "original" remixed content. One, the transforming remix should not decrease the marketability of original material. Two, the transforming artwork does not harm the reputation of the creators.
But Demers never answered this question: who exactly will adjudicate and utilize this criteria. Does she count on the courts, the public, the corporations? Unfortunately, we ran out of time to pursue this. Also, it remains unclear why music labels and their conglomerate owners will have a change of heart?
Together, both guests paint a picture of a digital future with conflict, opportunities, implosions, imaginings and uncertainty.