Do original thoughts exist?

Having the chance to further explore the concept of ‘remixing’ this week was intriguing for me, as I’ve often struggled with writing research papers, and being told not to put quotations all over the place because when I re-word someones thoughts, they are my ‘scholarly’ thoughts and interpretations.  I’ve repeatedly wondered how much of my schema can possibly be my own.  I mean, when you consider people who intersect with my identity (female, teacher, mom, wife, reader, gym-goer, etc) have been around making things work, and improving(?) upon them for many years.  As someone who strongly relates to a social constructivist perspective, it seems far more likely that I may see any idea someone has and either work to make it my own, or work to improve upon what I have already seen or interacted with.

License: CC0 Public Domain  via pixabay
License: CC0 Public Domain via pixabay

I think it is for this reason, when I stumbled upon Everything is a Remix by Kirby Ferguson I understood what he was trying to get at.  It makes sense to me, that we don’t really have ‘originality’ in the sense that it’s all brand-new.  I would argue that it is, in fact being built upon and modified.  I really enjoyed the video below and believe it’s worthwhile to watch, it is almost 40 minutes however, so if you’re not willing to spend your time there – check out his much shorter Tedtalk. 

While I can appreciate that copyright was developed to ‘give credit where credit is due’ (read: pay for the product/ideas).  If we can appreciate the fact that ideas may in fact be building upon the ideas of others – who deserves the payment? Are we in fact ‘stealing’ if we are modifying and ‘making it our own’?

When we participate in an online space, where it is easy to be exposed to many ideas, remixes, and ‘inventions’, what is the fairest way to determine who ‘owns’ which ideas?  In some sense it is easier I suppose, if you take someones song or video and use it- it’s not your own. What about when I create a video online using software, the ideas I’m putting in that video are coming from somewhere, but I’ve placed them in my own array – so is that now solely my intellectual property?

I much prefer to be on the copyleft side of things.  Let me use your creativity and ideas and pieces, to realize my creative ideas and pieces.  Let’s build upon each other, and share with one another!  Creative commons helps with this, and I believe it is making the ‘online spaces’ easier to be creative in.

Just this week, I was able to share a really cool resource with my children and my staff, called Incredibox, where they get to ‘create’ beats using a resource someone else has created.  However, examining copyrights this week, has caused me to question the different apps and platforms I have personally been using to ‘create’ different elements for my final project.  Have I become the ‘owner’ of the content I have created – or does it ‘belong’ to the creator of the platform (yet another reason that reading terms & conditions are important)!  Equally important – is to consider if I want to be an ‘owner’ of the resources I have created- and how to work to ensure that I am sharing the things I create online.

License: CC0 Public Domain via pixabay
License: CC0 Public Domain via pixabay

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