A Unified Interdisciplinary Theory of Open Source Culture and Entertainment

51 Pages Posted: 24 Dec 2007

See all articles by Jerald Hughes

Jerald Hughes

City University of New York - Department of Statistics and Computer Information Systems

Karl Reiner Lang

City University of New York - Paul H. Chook Department of Information Systems & Statistics

Eric Clemons

University of Pennsylvania - Operations & Information Management Department

Robert J. Kauffman

Singapore Management University; Singapore Management University - School of Information Systems

Date Written: July 20, 2007

Abstract

Digital technologies are profoundly transforming the production and consumption of culture and entertainment products. The emerging digital re-mix culture is an open source approach where content products in the arts and entertainment industries are increasingly rearranged, manipulated, and extended in the process of creating new works. This article offers a unified description of the tools and techniques that led to the development of the open source culture and that enable the processes which promote re-use of previously recorded materials. It then lays out the incentives and forces that either promote or inhibit the development, distribution, and consumption of modified cultural content by individual consumers and by derivative artists. Using multiple perspectives from economics, design sciences, and arts and culture, new theory is built to suggest how "rip, mix and burn" strategies based on re-use and recombination of content components can create significant economic value, stimulate artistic innovation, and spur creativity and growth in the culture and entertainment industry. The potential for wealth transfer and who loses and who gains in the open source digital re-mix culture are explored. The creative and economic forces enabled by digital re-use technologies are shown to play a significant role in the observed move towards more open source and social production modes in the culture industries. Five-mini case studies provide supporting perspectives for the proposed interdisciplinary theory of open source digital re-mix culture.

Keywords: digital culture, digital entertainment, digital music, information goods, innovation and creativity, theory development, interdisciplinary theory, open source culture, re-mix, social production

Suggested Citation

Hughes, Jerald and Lang, Karl Reiner and Clemons, Eric K. and Kauffman, Robert J., A Unified Interdisciplinary Theory of Open Source Culture and Entertainment (July 20, 2007). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1077909 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.1077909

Jerald Hughes (Contact Author)

City University of New York - Department of Statistics and Computer Information Systems ( email )

17 Lexington Avenue
New York, NY 10010
United States

Karl Reiner Lang

City University of New York - Paul H. Chook Department of Information Systems & Statistics ( email )

17 Lexington Avenue
New York, NY 10010
United States
646-312-3370 (Phone)
646-312-3351 (Fax)

Eric K. Clemons

University of Pennsylvania - Operations & Information Management Department ( email )

Philadelphia, PA 19104
United States
215-898-7747 (Phone)
215-573-8757 (Fax)

HOME PAGE: http://www.wharton.upenn.edu/faculty/clemons.html

Robert J. Kauffman

Singapore Management University ( email )

Li Ka Shing Library
70 Stamford Road
Singapore 178901, 178899
Singapore
65-6828-929 (Phone)

Singapore Management University - School of Information Systems ( email )

80 Stamford Road
Singapore, 178902
Singapore

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