William Gibson (author of Neuromancer, among other notable books) has some wise comments in ‘Wired’ magazine about the concept and the reality of user-generated content in our age.
Our culture no longer bothers to use words like appropriation or borrowing to describe [these] activities. Today’s audience isn’t listening at all – it’s participating. Indeed, audience is as antique a term as record, the one archaically passive, the other archaically physical. The record, not the remix, is the anomaly today. The remix is the very nature of the digital.
The full, short article is to be found here, and worth reading.