I fully embrace the ideas presented in RiP! A Remix Manifesto. As a member of Overclocked ReMix ( http://ocremix.org ). I have worked with many individuals to remix music into new pieces. While it is certainly not too difficult to find new ways to create, the Internet, for better or for worse, has become a litmus of the culture pulse of the world.
With almost no barriers for communication, and ease of access to digital devices that can edit and create digital media, the Internet has turned every picture, video, song, letter, book, etc. into a canvas. From a purely cultural perspective this is enormous. Not only does the Internet allow the creation of new material, but it has also inadvertently exploded the world of remixing from a niche product, to a main method of communication and expression. The importance of these factors cannot be overstated.
However, this also means our culture will have to make a slow (and painful) transition to a world where simply having an idea is not enough. In a pre-Internet world, creating a product meant that you were the owner of that product. If someone wanted to have that product, or use it for some purpose of their own, they had to either physically come to you or contact you to receive permission. With bandwidth ever increasing, and no way to stop the endless stream of information travelling the World Wide Web, sharing, copying, and stealing ideas and creations has never been easier.
Simply being a creator is not a enough, because now everyone is a creator, a remixer, a commentator, and a consumer, at the same time. Most prominently in the past two decades has been the music industry, whose stranglehold on record sales continues to slip as the Internet slowly bleeds the industry dry with piracy, remixing, and new bands and artists who use free or small-pay sites like Bandcamp. Now, more than ever, a musician is more than just a creator, they must also be a performer. Studio bands are a thing of the past. A musician will almost never make money by simply making an album. As famous Internet rapper MC Lars says in his song “Download This Song” (which is free on his website):
“$18.98 Iggy Pop CD. I wonder if I can get for my sister for free? It’s all about marketing, if fans buy the shirt, then they get the MP3. Music was a product, now it is a service. Major record labels, why you tryin’ to hurt us?”