Saturday, May 14, 2011


Yesterday in class we discussed the concept of remix, which in this class' context is means to take material that has a creative commons license (or theoretically any content) and reworking parts of it to make it partly the original creator's creation and partly one's own creation. Dr. Burton shared the example of his own work, which has been co-opted and in some cases changed slightly by other people to use in their own contexts.

Two other examples that caught my interest were Dartmouth's reworking of Milton's Paradise Lost to make it more user-friendly by inserting annotations; and Michael R. Collings' The Nephiad, which is an epic poem based on First and Second Nephi in the Book of Mormon. The second counts as a remix, if I understand correctly, not because it is changing the original, but because it is recapturing the content in another format. I personally love epic poems--but I'm a little worried that if I read the Nephiad, I will have a hard time taking it seriously. It is based on sacred text, after all, and I'm not sure that that should be tinkered with. Then again, it could be an inspiring recounting of the Book of Mormon events.

It's escapades like this, though, that make me nervous: the creators of the controversial show South Park have made a Broadway Musical based on contemporary LDS culture. It's not based on the Book of Mormon, so I'm not sure that it actually fits under the category of remixing; however, it does bring to bear some important issues about copyrighting and intellectual property. The Book of Mormon is in the public domain, so even if they wanted to make a musical based on it, there would be no legal restrictions against I care about that? Yes. A small anti-democratic part of me wants to take away their right to create content like that...

1 comment:

  1. I think the Nephiad sounds like a great idea. We know that many prophets, even Nephi, wrote poetry and followed precise forms that were used in their times. Poetry is a great way to express love and adoration. We, of course, don't get the full benefit of this because of the translation. Colling's might be bringing that back to us.