Watch Our Video: Rebecca Black and Ark Music Factory

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Rebecca Black – Friday, Music Video

Ark Music Factory Wikipedia Entry

A Staged Interview of Ark Founder Patrice Wilson


Videography by Hannah, Kevin, Kristen, and Kyle. Edited by Kyle. Interviews Coordinated by Kristen and Kyle. Street Interviews by Kevin and Hannah.

We decided to take the phenomenon of Ark Music Factory and look at it from a few different angles. Instead of splitting up the work where each person studies a different website or entity, we have decided to look at a singular phenomenon from different angles. Hopefully this will allow us to see more clearly the context and why such a thing exists. This includes looking at the state of the music industry and how new media is effecting the way it operates and produces music. We would look at the trends in music and the shift to online music culture from radio and television music culture, also noting changes in music videos and how they are distributed and made popular.  From this we would then go into the background of Ark Music Factory itself.  First we will look at Rebecca Black, whose fame brought the group to the spotlight.  We will look at all the media appearances Rebecca Black has made and discuss how fast the cross-over from Internet to more traditional media is becoming. Also we will try to chart and discuss the proliferation of spoofs, parodies, covers, and things like cellphone applications that were made soon after she hit the viral stage.

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Check Out CJ Fam's Video - Ordinary Pop Star

If you don’t already know, ARK Music Factory is basically a company that little girls (and boys) pay to have a pop song written for them and a music video produced for that song. They also become part of the ARK Music Factory’s “label” and get promoted by ARK. What brought ARK to the spotlight was the near instant virality of one of their “stars” – Rebecca Black. Only a few weeks later Rebecca feels like old news and irrelevant, but I think there is a strange phenomenon here that deserves to be looked at more closely. Read the rest of this entry »

There may have not been Facebook in the 1970s, but the human concern for privacy is timeless. In 1974, Columbia University professor Alan Westin conducted surveys about privacy and concluded with the result that most participants were privacy fundamentalists (those with high concerns) or privacy pragmatists (those with medium concerns). Now, put internet in the picture. Privacy and the internet don’t really go hand in hand. People will tell you cautionary tales about that – “once it’s on the internet…!” Yup, you’ve heard the horror stories. No, really, if you don’t want to share certain information, DON’T SHARE IT.

As you may have noticed, Facebook constantly changes its privacy policy. But what exactly are some of the changes? It seems that when a layout change occurs, people pay attention and give their time of day to explore the new settings, but notifications about new privacy policies aren’t given too much thought. When Facebook started out, your information was viewable by friends and people in your network (such as a school network).We observed the transformations across the years on this timeline. Facebook started in 2005 with the policy that “No personal information that you submit to The Facebook will be available to any user of the Web Site who does not belong to at least one of the groups specified by you in your privacy settings.” Five years later (by April 2010), it’s become “When you connect with an application or website it will have access to General Information about you. The term General Information includes your and your friends’ names, profile pictures, gender, user IDs, connections, and any content shared using the Everyone privacy setting. …” and ended on the note that “If you are uncomfortable with the connection being publicly available, you should consider removing (or not making) the connection.” There goes your privacy! Read the rest of this entry »

Most of us already instinctively know what a remix is — we’ve all bought music with tracks that have mixed lyrics from one song with beats from another. However, with regard to music, this concept is often confused with sampling and vice-versa, which is a slightly different concept and often implies copyright disputes (as with artists like Girl Talk). In discussing remix in his TED Talk on how laws stifle creativity, Larry Lessig observes, “it’s important to emphasize that what it is not… is not what we call, quote, ‘piracy’.” So then, what defines a remix? A remix, according to Larry Lessig, is taking “sounds and images from the culture around us” and using them to “say things differently.” The act of remixing then is a way, especially for younger generations, to communicate with one another and is a form of virtual and technological literacy, creativity, and self-expression. The opening lines of RiP: A Remix Manifesto aptly summarize how the general public views remixing: “A way to make something fresh out of something stale.”

The music and film industries do not quite see eye to eye with the public on this issue, and have gone through a lot of trouble in an attempt to remove from video hosting sites any and all remixes containing copyright material without actual consideration for which appropriation are actually valid from a legal standpoint. As Lessig points out, this kind of extremism begets extremism aimed in the opposite direction, and as such remixing continues, now with a new utter disregard for any rule of law except possibly the rules of the internet.

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