I Herd U Liek Digimons

October 11, 2011 § Leave a comment

No really let me

David Buckingham and Julian Sefton-Green, “Structure, Agency and Pedagogy in Children’s Media Culture” (2004)

Yeah it may not make any sense to the olds, but Pokemon isn’t just a text, and isn’t just a thing kids like. It’s a game kids play! Active construction! Gotta catch em all. In fact the whole thing is pedagogical! In that it encourages active, cross-platform engagement! As well as the development of a glocalized discourse communities!  Parents and educators should encourage (read: find ways to harness) this sort of energy!

Rebecca Tushnet, “Copyright Law, Fan Practices, and the Rights of the Author” (2007)

Oh man copyright what a clusterfuck! And the fair use doctrine, don’t even get me started on that! I mean attribution is enough of a headache but that’s nothing compared to the concept of transformation! Which (in theory) states (loosely) that the degree and nature of textual change can be used as the criteria for the degree and nature of (il)legality. Then again who gets to decide what means what to begin with? Lord, what a mess.

There was only one place I could go with this.

So Tushnet’s whole thing is like, jeez where do we draw the line between the author and the fan(s) who build upon his or her work, and how can the law be reformulated to recognize these fair-use appropriations? I mean who creates what, who deserves attribution? Is it the person whose original idea it was, or the person who took that original idea and did something even more original with it? Gosh those lines sure are fuzzy! And they are, don’t get me wrong, but compared to the kind of re-re-re-re-re-doublefuck-slashmixing that happens online, those are the easy questions. In other corners of the internet, attribution isn’t even possible, rendering the very concept of copyright almost unintelligible, let alone legally actionable. Consider the following, and tell me where you’d even begin to draw the line between content producer and content consumer:

Down the rabbit hole we go

So…………..here’s this somewhat obscure Pokemon that’s slashed into a made-for-tv copypasta, which in turn spawns a whole toy-humping army of memetic variation, none of which are attributable to any one source. Let’s say Nintendo “herd” about the dust-up (GET IT) and decided to sue for copyright infringement. Who might they serve with those papers? Where exactly would they post the DMCA? 4chan? Cool idea, except content is ephemeral, good luck trying to find the needle in that shitstack. What about the op? Another cool idea, except we don’t know who he or she is, and couldn’t, nor can we know who reposted, or who made the first macro, or the second, or a the fifteenth remix of the first.

tl;dr wtf do you even mean, “attribution?”


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