mashups on the frontline

Dirk Voorhoof was kind enough to send me a copy of the FREEDOM OF EXPRESSION vs. COPYRIGHT presentation I blogged about earlier . This also quotes the US Supreme Court decision allowing the 2 Live Crew Parody of 'Oh pretty woman'. I remembered Joichi Ito making a comment about remixing at the Internet Governance Forum; a trawl back came up with this inspiring quote (via Intellectual Property Watch ); “Ito added that the editing of multimedia has become an essential part of social discourse in the United States, and that “being able to share and remix video and music is vital” to political debate. But he said copyright law is interfering with political commentary by preventing the use of video material. “I think we’re inhibiting an entirely new form of free speech,” he said”.
Well, i think that nails it - all this mixing and mashing is the emergent free speech of our times.
can dialectics break bricks?can dialectics break bricks?
But of course, this is a mode of counter-hegemonic expression with a pedigree. As Lawrence Liang points out in the The Black and White (and Grey) of Copyright , the Situationist International were putting this in to practice in the 1960's and 70's (and he reckons they were inspired by the late romantic poet Lautréamont!)
[Note 1] For a Human Rights geek like myself, it's doubly cool that mashups are the frontline of of expression, because I reckon that technology mashups are the current tech trend with the biggest potential for online activism.
[Note 2] For a good example of a Situationist mashup (aka detournement), check out "Can Dialectics Break Bricks?" by René Viénet.