"Fedora Remix" etymology

Paul W. Frields stickster at gmail.com
Fri Oct 3 14:43:06 UTC 2008


On Fri, Oct 03, 2008 at 03:12:35PM +0200, Mathieu Bridon (bochecha) wrote:
> Hi,
> 
> > I missed this thread yesterday due to being on a plane, but that RHM
> > article is exactly what I was going to point to for the purposes of
> > establishing a date of the "remix" phrase being used.
> >
> > And yes, I do remember when Jack left me a voice mail that said "dude,
> > Fedora 7 needs to be all about the remix".  :)
> 
> I'm not sure I understood very well, but is this thread about knowing who
> between Ubuntu and Fedora is the first one who used the term "remix" ?
> 
> If it's not, maybe I should read it more carefully, but if it is, how
> could that matter ? o_O

The term remix has been around for a long time before any Linux
distribution started using it.  It started with the corporate music
business, and progressed down to professional and then indie DJ's, and
now to any kid with a few minutes of spare time and an audio
application that lets them do mashups.  Heck, some artists give their
raw tracks away and ask their fans to produce them.  (I really dig the
Nine Inch Nails fans' "The Limitless Potential" album for some cool
remixes of "Year Zero" tracks.)

That's a lot like the overall progress of our culture, moving the
power and concepts of building on pre-existing science and art from
the hands of the few to the hands of the many.

Yesterday, I was looking through some comments responding to press
about some of the Fedora remixes that are starting to trickle out.
And there I saw a couple of people -- not a lot, just a couple --
floating the idea that somehow Fedora was copying other distributions'
remix concepts.  And honestly, it *did* bother me, because we have
been working on this since 2006, and even made a big deal about it in
the run-up to Fedora 7 in May 2007.  The entire reason we were in the
driver's seat on making remixable distributions -- as with so many
other features -- is that we do all our work in the open, freely
distributable and modifiable by everyone.  Developing these remix
tools freely and openly is how we've always made Fedora, and we're
going to continue to embrace that idea.

I'm not saying that no one else should do it -- on the contrary!
Wouldn't that be hypocritical, to encourage remixes and then say that
no one else should do the same?  What I *am* trying to say is that the
whole concept behind the remix culture is that you *give credit* where
it's due.  When I remix Nine Inch Nails, I don't claim to have written
the music, I just take the tracks that Trent, et al. created, and put
them together differently.  So it strikes me as a little bit "Johnny
come lately" when I see other people not only claiming to have
invented the concept but somehow intimating that it should be
exclusive.

In this age of rumor being taken for fact, the loudest voice
overpowering the written record, and hyperlinks replacing evidence,
it's important that we keep history and reality in mind.

-- 
Paul W. Frields                                http://paul.frields.org/
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  irc.freenode.net: stickster @ #fedora-docs, #fedora-devel, #fredlug
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