Digital Mashup

yellow by dennis knopf

A digital mashup refers to digital media content (e.g. text, graphics, audio, video, animation) drawn from pre-existing sources, to create a new derivative work. Digital media have made it easier for potential mashup creators to create derivative works than was the case in the past, when significant technical equipment and knowledge was required to manipulate analog content. Mashups raise significant questions of intellectual property and copyright. While questioning the law, mashups are also questioning the very act of creation. Are the artists creating when they use other individuals’ work? How will artists prove their creative input?

A major contributing factor to the spread of digital mashups is the World Wide Web, which provides channels both for acquiring source material and for distributing derivative works, both often at negligible cost. Web or cloud computing based applications are a combination of separate parts brought together with the use of the open architecture of public Application Programming Interfaces (API). For example, a mashup between Google Maps and Weather.com could be made available as an iphone application, where the content and context of that content are drawn from outside sources through the published API.

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