In this week’s reading, Michel Foucault points out in What is an Author? (1969) that “author” was privileged due to the concept of individualism. The author(s) are the ones giving original meanings to their productions (no matter if they are texts, images, paintings, audios or videos). In recent years, collaborative authorship has changed in media production, especially in the remix culture. Authorship is more than just selection and organization of content; it is a complex construct incorporating the concepts of originality and authority. Collaborative authorship in remix culture is gradually casting away from the original meanings given by the initial author(s).
“Everything is remixable” drag any audio clips, you make the remixes you want and share them with the growing community
Indiloop.com is an online audio editing, remixing and sharing community which allows users to upload audio clips or take audio materials from its library uploaded by others, create remixed sounds with an online editor, and then publish on its website. The online remix community revealed conflicting opinions on the minimal amount of contribution or modification needed to claim a remix as an original work. Online users focus on the music and how much time they put in to remix audios rather than giving credits to the original audio materials. They also tend to value the remix version than the originality in the traditional sense. When it comes to authority, these online remixers are “stealing” audio materials and violating copyright law for online content. However, the authority within the community of remixers was closely tied to users’ perceptions of expertise, instead of the initial author(s) of their audio materials. Viewing an online remix community as a constantly evolving network of iterations and variations, the transitional authority for online audio materials was referred as changelessness in the contrast.
Indiloop users bring content into the site from various sources and websites. The variety of sources indicates not only the collaborative relationship between the existing authorship and the online remixers but also between the original work and the remixed production.