New Media

Writing Beyond Words – Remix Chapter 4 Section 1

This section of our book Remix by Lawrence Lessig discusses the difference between quoting literature vs music.

“If you can quote text from Hemingway’s For Whom the Bell Tolls in an essay, we can quote a section from Sam Wood’s film of Hemingway’s For Whom the Bell Tolls in a film” (Lessig).

Why is it so different? What makes it different?

There are no differences between the two. The same thing goes for music.

Quoting lyrics and lines from sonnets are the same thing, the only difference is the type of work it is. The government policies are different when it comes to punishments for quoting.

The punishments are stricter on forms of expression rather than those of text. Because everyone is taught to write, it is not governed as closely. Films and music were left to the professionals therefore, you had to ask permission to use their lines.

One of the main reasons permission has to be asked of authors and companies in order to use their lines or quotes is because that product will be published. If it is a college essay, as long as you cite it properly, there is no issue. The essay is not one that is being sent in to be published to a literary magazine or journal.

Unfortunately, the government does not care what the intention of the product is. Everything is being seen as the same.


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