Just stumbled upon this thing I wrote a while back. Before we were a production company with the hitRECord Accord and all that, our 2009 v3 website had only this to say in a link on the bottom of every page:
There's only one rule here:
By Releasing our RECords here on hitRECord.org, we are inviting our fellow hitRECorders to remix, refine, represent and reRECord them.
In the 20th century, when RECords were still strictly physical objects like discs of wax or rolls of film or pages of ink, every single copy had a cost to reproduce. But times have changed. Sound, light and text can now be RECorded digitally in 1s and 0s. Countless copies cost nothing to reproduce. And although some stragglers will try to corral digital RECords into behaving like their analog ancestors, a quick review of the internet's short but sweet history certainly reveals that 1s and 0s simply will not be contained.
For those committed to permission and possession, this progression might seem like bad news. But I look forward to a not-too-distant future when we will be hitting records of immense power and beauty emerging from a mysterious and authorless technacollective to which we've all contributed by no other means than through our individually unique self-expression.
And by the way, this is not new. Here's a reference I recently read -- Lawrence Lessig, in his extraordinary book REMIX, quotes the artist Candice Breitz:
"In African and other oral cultures... stories and histories were shared communally between performers and their audiences, giving rise to version after version, each new version surpassing the last as it incorporated the contributions and feedback of the audience, each new version layered with new details and twists as it was inflected through the collective. This was never thought of as copying or stealing or intellectual-property theft but accepted as the natural way in which culture evolves and develops and moves forward. As each new layer of interpretation was painted onto the story or the song, it was enriched rather than depleted by those layers."
Shakespeare wasn't the first to write Romeo and Juliet. Disney wasn't the first to stage Cinderella. The Bible as we know it today has gone through innumerable revisions and representations. Writers write with words they read. Singers sing with scales they hear. It's all original, because it all comes from one origin. Let's play like it.
again by heart...