To many of us music lovers, we sometimes love the remixed version of a song better than the original. Or we may not even know the original even exists. Never the less, remix culture is a strong commodity within the media community.
There are many YouTube videos on the internet that go through the step by step process of how artists remixed various different sounds and songs to create their own song. For example, artist The prodigy’s song ‘Smack My Bitch Up’ is a remix of many songs. These are all combined together to create a unique sound. This video is an example of the creation of the remix that is this song.
Meme’s are also an example of ‘Remix’ within today’s society. These memes are created from normal photos to then add text to create a whole new meaning. One of the most popular memes on the internet is the photo of Jean Wilder as Willy Wonka:
If you search ‘Willy Wonka meme’ in Google Images, this is what comes up and more. However, are remixes of songs and creating memes infringing copyright? When artists Robin Thicke and Pharrell Williams released their song ‘Blurred Lines’ in 2013, it became an instant hit. Climbing the iTunes charts quickly to number 1, however the more times that this summer hit was played on the radio, Marvin Gaye had decided to sue both Thicke and Williams for copyright. Marvin Gaye and his family believed that ‘Blurred Lines’ was very similar to his song ‘Got to Give it up’. However, when referring to the copyright act involving songs, one can only be legible to sue if the other song copied lyrics or snippets of the music, Gaye claimed that ‘Blurred Lines’ had the same ‘vibe’ as his song. In saying this, your initial reaction would be ‘Oh so, Robin Thicke and Pharrell won the case’, WRONG.
The jury sided with Marvin Gaye as they believed it infringed copyright due to similar vibe. This case is further elaborated in this article.