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Reconciling Copyright with Cumulative Creativity

The Third Paradigm

Giancarlo Frosio

Reconciling Copyright with Cumulative Creativity: The Third Paradigm examines the long history of creativity, from cave art to digital remix, in order to demonstrate a consistent disparity between the traditional cumulative mechanics of creativity and modern copyright policies. Giancarlo Frosio calls for the return of creativity to an inclusive process, so that the first (pre-modern imitative and collaborative model) and second (post-Romantic copyright model) creative paradigms can be reconciled into an emerging third paradigm which would be seen as a networked peer and user-based collaborative model.
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Chapter 8: From the oral-formulaic tradition to digital remix

Giancarlo Frosio


Where we discuss remix and user-generated culture, highlighting the mechanics of reuse and appropriation that define modern digital creativity. Users, unprofessional authorship, and online communities play a critical role in the making of modern creativity. Amid fan fiction, remix, mash-up, machinimia and other hybrid forms of digital creativity, copyright law still constrains transformative uses. The networked society sets the preconditions for a social and collaborative idea of authorship that resembles the premodern collectivistic idea of creativity. Digital creativity thrives on a post-modern reinterpretation of borrowing and copying as a necessary ‘tribute’ to previous works. Vidding, machinima, musical sampling and mash-up compose a puzzle of responses and memes as part of a hyper-reactive community environment. As this suggests, we may be witnessing the demise of the individualistic idea of authorship in the networked information society.

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