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Study: open source remixing seems to lead to less original work

May 14, 2013, 12:00 (0 Talkback[s])

What is it that means one open source project takes off, while another doesn't? There are a lot of ways to analyse this question depending on the example at hand, but a more general study of the "remixability" of online content has found a surprising correlation -- there's a trade-off between originality and the chance it will inspire new versions.

Researchers Benjamin Mako Hill from MIT and Andrés Monroy-Hernández from the Berkman Center for Internet and Society at Harvard University wanted to look at a particular dilemma -- despite "proponents of remix culture often speaking of remixing in terms of rich ecosystems where creative works are novel and highly generative", actual examples of it happening "can be difficult to find", Monroy-Hernández writes on Hill's blog.

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