[Podcast Transcript]

Welcome to Screen Space your podcast about creating usable, accessible, effective, and efficient web, blog, and digital media design for the everyday (and non-expert) designer. This is episode 15 of Screen Space, “An interview with Justin Lewis on ‘Copyleft, Digital Pirates, and Content Creation with Remixing.’”

I am your host, Dr. Jennifer L. Bowie. I teach and conduct research in areas related to digital media, web, and blog design. Before we move into the interview, welcome to my new listeners from Oldenburg, Germany; Pelotas, Brazil; and Manila, Philippines. Enjoy, design well, and let me know if there is anything you would like me to cover.

In this episode, we hear from Justin Lewis on “Copyleft, Digital Pirates, and Content Creation with Remixing.” Justin is at Syracuse University working on his Ph.D. in the Composition and Cultural Rhetoric program.

Now, let’s hear what Justin has to say about Copyleft, Digital Pirates, and Content Creation with Remixing.

Transcript/Summary of the interview

First Justin explains copyleft: any content creator can say their media can be appropriated in any way beyond their control (they can set what ways it can be appropriated). Allows the artist control over the content they are creating.

In his presentation he looked at how the peer-to-peer conversation has occurred over the past ten years, looking at the legal domain and rhetoric and composition.  He is also looking at individuals’ reasons for pirating: anticorporatism, some genuine copyleftists and want to spread information, and those who are unhappy with current content media distribution systems. He also is looking at how private private spaces are community-based. Finally he explores what the motivations for the work are—he thinks it is social capital. He also looks at the technological discourse.

Takeaways for us:

Individuals who create now are bricolagers, assemblers, often appropriating things when creating new content. Remix is an example. If you want you work to get out then consider allowing your work to be taken up and reappropriate your work. May enhance your ethos and allow you to gain exposure.

He suggests we attach Creative Commons licensing badges to your blog or other media. There is also a video plug-in that allow people to cut and post remixes onto your own blog. Also be connected to social networks. Post your cotenant in places where people can pick it up, such as pirate communities or places they can download it for free.

Three tips for us:

  1. Make sure you have clearance to use what you are using
  2. Visit the Creative Commons website to see what level of attribution you would be interested in giving your content.
  3. Practice the remix to generate even more originality and creativity. Play and remix.


  • Run by Creative Commons and EFF. Huge collection of artifacts that are copylefted, creative commons attribution, or that are no longer under copyright. May find good media to use in own work.
  • Play around on networks that you may not be familiar with or may be outside of conform zone and check out the conversations [Those pirating sites]

And that concludes the interesting interview with Justin. Thanks Justin, for sharing this with us. If you would like to contact Justin, feel free to email him at or check out his Twitter at @justalewis. I’ll provide those as links in the transcript.

A note on the transcript: the transcript for this podcast is limited as I do not have time right now to transcribe the interview. If any of you want to, I welcome your help. I did provide a brief summary of the interview for my audience that has difficulty with sound.

That wraps up episode 15: “An interview with Justin Lewis on “Copyleft, Digital Pirates, and Content Creation with Remixing.” Join me next week for the last of the four Computers and Writing interviews. In this interview Shaun Slattery will talk about “Information Management Techniques for Writers.”

If you have questions, comments, or thoughts on what you want me to cover please send me an email at or check out the Screen Space blog— You can also follow @Screen_Space on Twitter for hints, tips, advice, news, and information on designing websites, blogs, and other digital media texts. Also, check out the blog for a transcript of this podcast complete with links and resources.

Have fun and design well!

Screen Space is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 United States License. So, feel to send a copy to your favorite digital pirate, but don’t change the podcast, do give me and Screen Space credit, and don’t make any money off of it.

Screen Space’s opening music today is “African Dance” by Apa Ya off of Headroom Project and the closing music is “Survival” by Beth Quist off of “Shall We Dance”. Both these selections are available from Magnatune.

Episode 15 Links and References:

Justin Lewis’ contact info:

Other links:

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