Remixing Questions

1. How do we judge the similarity between two works? In the video, we look at different kinds of works, like music, movies and technologies. But it is obvious that the similarity of two music is different from that of two electronic devices. Also, when we say “structural similarity”, the structure of two music is different from that of two movies. Then how do we judge that two works across different fields are similar under the same big topic “intellectual property protection”? Do you think all the examples given in the video are really convincing? For me, I would not think that  some episodes given in the video are similar.

2. China benefits a lot from copying the products from western world over past decades. The situation may be similar to the early twenty century United States when Charles Dickens’ work is not well protected well in United States. How do you think the intellectual disputes between different countries since they may not have an agreement of what is an intellectual property?

3. Sir William Timothy Gowers, the receiver of Fields award (The Nobel Prize in the field of mathematics), published a blog to resist Elsevier, a publishing company of many famous journals. ( He claims that Elsevier prevents the transmission of knowledge. Do you think we should discriminate intellectual property of different fields, i.e., academic, entertainment and education? We need to protect intellectual properties but in certain fields intellectual properties should be open to the public.

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2 Responses to Remixing Questions

  1. winniet2011 says:

    This topic of intellectual property between China and the US is actually one that I’d never really thought about. Similarly, in Taiwan, there are covers of famous American songs- they don’t even bother changing the tune, it’s exactly the same. I don’t know how strongly the artists feel about their tune being used in a different country, but if I were an artist, I would probably sell the tune, write up a contract saying that it can only used by that single artist, and let them do what they want with it. With the exception of Psy, it has been made very clear that any attempt of international music trying to enter the US market has been very unsuccessful. Many extremely popular artists from Asia have tried, and while their success has been proven to be high in Asia, it is abysmal in the US. Eventually, everyone leaves and goes back to Asia. I believe that giving the tune to an artist in Asia would pose little/no threat to artists in America due to this barrier. This way, it’s a win-win for both artists and is simply a business contract than a matter of international relations.

  2. Anna G says:

    You bring up a really good point about the differences between remixes of music vs. movies. It was a bit disappointing that Ferguson didn’t discuss this in the video.
    With music, it seems a lot more obvious when something is remixed because we hear the same riff or lyrics that we are familiar with. However, movies don’t generally use the same exact footage when remixing, but rather include shots at the same angle, with the same lighting, and/or with the same composition of people and objects. It would be a much more obvious copyright violation if Star Wars were simply made up of actual footage from older films.
    For me, remixes in music can also be difficult to recognize sometimes because I may not be familiar with the original piece or it may be distorted and unrecognizable. I also am just not trained to hear particular aspects of music that might have come from a different artist.

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