Response to the Everything is a Remix by Yu Zhou

I really like the idea of Everything is a Remix. When talking about Bob Dylan of stealing other people’s songs, it came up to my mind that once my friend showed me her original piece of song. Yet she was not confident of its originality because that might be a melody buried deep inside her mind for so long and just came out. She said that perhaps she only heard it once. Maybe Bob Dylan did “steal” the melody on purpose or maybe he did not. It’s hard to classify the border line of doing on purpose or by accident. I don’t think we should punish those innocent “stealers”. Or else people will be so afraid to create. In a world of 7000000000 people, coincidence happens all the time. People share ideas. In academic fields, people have the strong data base to search for already-existing ideas(though probably not all of them are published), but when it comes to art, especially music, it’s hard to search. So here comes the question that we cannot do anything to those who did it on purpose either. How do we detect one’s intention?   Pessimistically nothing.

The idea that all things begin with “copy, transform, combine” on this planet really impresses me. These three worlds illustrate the reproduction and evolution of lives on the earth. They also describes the popular word “remix”. It’s really smart to use this argument to somewhat justify remix as it seems more convincing. We ourselves are the product of remix. Why should we stop it? Films are built on other films, literature, well-known TV shows etc. Macintosh was built on Xerox. Newton found the Laws standing on giant’s shoulders. In this sense, creativity needs remix. If we are to create out of nothing, we stand on the point where our ancestors did. When our mind did not evolve that much, there will only be repetitions of the same or similar creation. So in any fields, we learn from the previous masters to do real innovation. Also it’s very interesting that we tend to justify stealing from other as long as that’s what we do and we benefit from it. When it comes to the case others stealing from us, we get furious as Jobs did to Samsung. For personal current benefit and interest, we really want our product to be protected so that we can earn more, or to stand in the stage of history longer. It’s really a mixed feeling. A certain time period of protection is very necessary, but the question is how long should it be? In different areas the time period should be different probably. The division requires huge amounts of work!

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