Is Remixing Okay?

What exactly is remixing you may be asking? Remixing is simply taking something and using it for your own use. This can be used in good ways but it can also get you into trouble. What I mean by this is there are some music artists that use the tune or rhythm from an old song and they get sued for using it without consent from the other artist.

There have been lawsuits against some famous artists that have stolen or “remixed” an original song and tried to make it their own. Personally for me, remixing isn’t a bad thing considering my major is digital media. Nothing in the digital world is new. Everything has been made from something that has come before it. When I was in my Intro to DM class last fall, I did a little remixing for my projects. One was the ASCII projects and I was first introduced by my digital media teacher, Deloy Cole, to remixing. I made the Chicago Cubs logo and he said that in the digital media world we remix. When I look at other pieces of either graphic design or photography, I want to try and recreate those in some way. Then once I would get the hang of it, I would go off and try to do my own thing. In that way I am remixing what I see to better my skills in digital media, whatever the area of the field may be. Nothing is ever new in the media and people tend to copy off of others to make it better.

Digital media isn’t the only field that people tend to copy off of. As I mentioned before, music artists take inspiration from older songs. When does taking inspiration from a song go to far? The simple way of answering that is when a sing sounds almost exactly like another. In a video by Watchmojo.com, they have a top 10 list for the most rip off songs and sound alike songs. I honestly didn’t know half of the songs and when they played the oldies and the newer songs, I could hear a big similarity in both of the songs. One that they talk about was back in the year of 2013. The song ‘Blurred Lines’ by Robin Thicke featuring Pharrell Williams had used the tune from Marvin Gayes ‘Got to Get It Done’. There was a lawsuit against Thicke for using similar chords and rhythm as the late Marvin Gaye has sung. This does show that remixing can have horrible consequences if you don’t give the original person credit. In the end, the lawsuit was handed over Marvin Gaye’s family.

There are many cases in the music world, they remix an original and nothing happens either. However, most artists do take inspiration or even samplings of songs to help them make theirs. Personally, I don’t think that remixing is a terrible thing. Most people I think learn by looking at others work. I know of people who do graphic designs, they look at different designs to have some inspirations for what they need to do. I have friends on the Vista that will look on Pinterest for some ideas for the spreads. Remixing something like that and then making it your own isn’t bad. I found this list from the book ‘How to Steal Like an Artist‘. This was an interesting list to look at but I did find it interesting. The most interesting thing that I read on here was to be boring. I’ve been told throughout my time at Greenville that digital media doesn’t do boring. I also found an interesting picture of the difference between a good theft and a bad one. This makes me have a better idea as to how I can be a “great artist” in my field.

Overall, remixing to me is a good thing. Sometimes it can get people into trouble such as many music artists. The other list I found shows that a good theft gives credit. So after all of this, I think that remixing is okay when you give the credit and reinvent it into your own.

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