Video, Memes, and Mashups

An integral part of New Media is the ability users have to create their own art, pictures, images, memes, videos, and mashups from material (usually owned by someone else) that is already on the Internet.  We see them everywhere spreading virally making average people Internet sensations from one day to the next. We share memes and mashups on a daily basis and in a way, they reflect who we are as a culture, a global culture. For a meme, all it takes is a picture and a great sense of humor; for a mashup video, takes a little more than that.

There is a fine line between mashups and copyright infringement. Although many mashups do use music, video, and other copyrighted material, mashups may go away with copyright infringement according to section 17 U.S.C. §107  in the U.S. Constitution on Fair Use, that states the following:

§ 107 · Limitations on exclusive rights: Fair use40
Notwithstanding the provisions of sections 106 and 106A, the fair use of a
copyrighted work, including such use by reproduction in copies or phonorecords
or by any other means specified by that section, for purposes such as criticism,
comment, news reporting, teaching (including multiple copies for classroom use),
scholarship, or research, is not an infringement of copyright. In determining
whether the use made of a work in any particular case is a fair use the factors to
be considered shall include—
(1) the purpose and character of the use, including whether such use is of a
commercial nature or is for nonprofit educational purposes;
(2) the nature of the copyrighted work;
(3) the amount and substantiality of the portion used in relation to the copyrighted
work as a whole; and
(4) the effect of the use upon the potential market for or value of the copyrighted
work.
The fact that a work is unpublished shall not itself bar a finding of fair use if
such finding is made upon consideration of all the above factors.

(Copyright Law of the United States, 2011)

In other words, this section attempts to protect memes and mashups under “fair use”. Any media transformed creatively rather than just “copying it” and looking different from the original it is subject to fair use in the sense that once completed, mashups do not intent to make a profit because they only take little pieces from the original work.  If anything, they provide free advertising for the original author (Connaughton, 2010).

The following video is a collection of memes from different sources I put together in a “mashup” with the purpose to analyze both terms, what are they, why do we use them. A mashup, “a collection of information from different sources” (Nations, 2012); and memes, “a virally-transmitted symbol or idea” (Gil, 2012), quickly are becoming part of our everyday life. We use them to instantly reflect what we feel about anything that is lingering in our surroundings.  Whether for fun, based on real events, to express solidarity, of just to laugh about celebrities, ourselves, or life in general, memes and mashups reflect who we are as a culture.

Please note that for the music I used GarageBand and mixed different tunes that comes with the software into one song. Not that I did not want to get into the Copyright infringement and Fair Use issue, but I did not want to get blocked by YouTube for using commercial songs as it happened to me in a previous assignment (IDT 503 – Module 3).  The memes came from different sources and I used iMovie to put everything together.  With this video I wanted to put my two cents out there to express my idea of what I think memes and mashups are  and what are they for.

References

Copyright Law of the United States. (2011). U.S. Copyright Law, TItle 17. Washington, DC. Retrieved April 22, 2012, from www.copyright.gov/title17/circ92.pdf

Connaughton, D. (2010, December 3). The Fair Use of Mashups. Retrieved April 22, 2012, from The IP Policy Blog: http://188ip.wordpress.com/2010/12/03/the-fair-use-of-mashups/

Gil, P. (2012). What Is a ‘Meme’? What Are Examples of Modern Internet Memes? Retrieved April 22, 2012, from About.com: http://netforbeginners.about.com/od/weirdwebculture/f/What-Is-an-Internet-Meme.htm

Nations, D. (2012). What is a Mashup? Retrieved April 22, 2012, from About.com Web Trends : http://webtrends.about.com/od/webmashups/a/what-is-mashup.htm

Images Sources:

http://gotsmile.net/145026/memes-business-cat-hold-calls1

http://icanhascheezburger.com/2012/04/20/advice-animals-memes-lawyer-dog-the-collar/

http://memes.icanhascheezburger.com/2011/12/13/advice-animals-memes-best-cat-memes-of-2011/#

http://memes.icanhascheezburger.com/category/technologically-impaired-duck/

http://www.buzzfeed.com/daves4/the-40-best-memes-of-2011

http://dabestmemes.tumblr.com/

http://www.guildwars2forum.com/threads/1959-Funny-Memes-D

http://chillopedia.com/interesting/the-5-best-memes-of-2011/#axzz1snHaj8IX

http://weheartit.com/entry/22218337

http://urbansavior.com/lion-lols-turning-the-jungles-fiercest-animal-into-a-lol-target/

http://urbansavior.com/25-of-the-most-hilarious-internet-memes-of-2011/

http://loyalkng.com/2010/12/22/happy-holiday-video-from-klick-inc-tv-for-viewers-like-you-featuring-internet-memes-in-real-life/

http://weknowmemes.com/2012/02/angelina-jolie-legbombing-meme/

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Journalism: The case of Samantha Brick

Freedom of speech, freedom of writing and express whatever we feel in an article as long as we have someone to read us, right?  Not so these days.  As much as we would think of how lucky we are for having available–and for free– a variety of tools and apps to create blogs, art, images, videos, etc., where we can just write about anything and throw it out there in the hopes that we will touch someone with our story, such thought comes with a heavy responsibility.

I grew up in a small city where everyone knew pretty much each other and you couldn’t do anything in the morning without avoiding everyone finding about it by the evening, especially your folks.  I always thought that by moving to a bigger city you would be safe because no one knew you or care what you did or didn’t do.  Moving away to avoid gossip seemed to work for a while until social media emerged. Anything we say, do, or post, besides of reaching everyone with a connection to the Internet in an instant, forever will stay in cyberspace.

Take the case of Samantha Brick, a British journalist who wrote an article in the Daily Mail titled “‘There are downsides to looking this pretty’: Why women hate me for being beautiful” on April 2, 2012 where she reveals that her life has not being easy because she is too beautiful (Brick, 2012).  Within hours she became the center of attention and by the next day her article had nearly 5,000 comments from angry men and women reacting to her self-acclaimed beauty. By the very next day, people were creating memes about her, she was the number 1 trend of searches in Google and Facebook and Twitter users created the hashtag #samanthabrickfacts posting nasty comments ridiculing her.

All this within a 72 hour period, from a woman posting her thoughts about herself in a newspaper located across the globe.  Whether she is pretty or not, whether life has been hard on her because she is too beautiful and women hater her because of that, the point is the instant and nasty viral reaction towards her from people Brick has never seen and probably never will.  Social media is a powerful tool that requires us to think twice what we say, how we say it, and why we say it.  As I mentioned before, in the past one could say anything and perhaps get away with it with few people offended.  Now? The mouth-to-mouth effect is global and instantaneous through social media.  We are all connected and for good or for worse, let’s not brag about something we may regret later.

Samantha Brick Meme

Samantha Brick Meme

References

Brick, S. (2012, April 2). ‘There are downsides to looking this pretty’: Why women hate me for being beautiful. Retrieved 7 2012, 2012, from MailOnline: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/femail/article-2124246/Samantha-Brick-downsides-looking-pretty-Why-women-hate-beautiful.html

Image Source:

http://www.quickmeme.com/meme/3on7u3/