Writing Machines is the course website for English 170L at Pomona College in Claremont, California.
If you've done any web developing in the past two years, you've heard of mashups. If you're interested in copyright law at all, you've also heard of mashups (most notably Google getting sued by various news sources for aggregating their content). If you haven't heard of mashups, you've probably experienced them in the likes of Facebook or MySpace. So what's the big deal?
A mashup is a big deal because it blurs the lines between content ownership and use (if you think this is all fairly normal and there are no issues here, check out the linking policy that BoingBoing created in response to previous ideas of web ownership. Can you imagine the fits these people must be having over mashups? And how that would even work in the attention economy is beyond me--). For example, if I view something shared on Facebook that is hosted by YouTube, then I'm never visiting YouTube while still experiencing their content. That means that I never see any of the advertising on the YouTube page, while still using up bandwidth and getting the same experience. So how is YouTube going to make money if I never visit? Their sponsors will never get any clicks, and the whole advertising revenue model goes down the drain--