DJEarworm is internationally known for his genius mashups, which get millions of hits on YouTube. Today, he answered questions about creativity, copyright and music from the students in our Media Literacy class.
He was articulate, funny, and charming. And he had some interesting things to say about copyright.
"A lot of the time, I just do stuff on the basis of fair use."
"I'm not a very attractive target." (for being sued by copyright holders)
"I'm a handyman. I do whatever anyone asks me to do."
"My manager said we used to worry that we'd get cease and desist, but instead we get come and assist. The people that we think would sue us are actually hiring us."
"When I first started out, I felt like I was putting myself at great personal risk. It turns out that I wasn't. But at the time there were lots of lawsuits... people were actually getting shut down that were making mashups back in 2004, 2006... It's definitely eased off and I would say if you want to push the envelope more than everyone else, you better be brave."
Has copyright law kept up with the changes in technology?
"NO WAY. It's 20 years behind. It's horrible."
"I don't like to be put in this position, but this is the way to make art in 2013."
This morning, a new video by author John Green was highlighted in my Facebook stream. His thoughts had themes similar to those of DJEarworm, so the Media Lit class and I watched it together after we signed off of Skype. Later, I emailed the link to DJEarworm.
Many thanks to "the Earworm" for spending time with us today!