If you’ve got 80 minutes to spare, watch RiP: A Remix Manifesto, a probing investigation into how culture builds upon culture in the information age.
If you’ve got 20 minutes to spare, watch Professor Lawrence Lessig‘s TED Talk, where he shows how current laws strangle creativity.
But if you’ve only 3 minutes to spare, watch Madeon‘s live mashup of 39 songs while asking yourself this: Should each of the sampled artists have the power to demand this video be removed due to copyright infringement?
Copying Is Not Theft is the first meme in the Minute Memes series, and was supported by a grant from the Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts. Animation, lyrics, and tune by Nina Paley. Music arranged by Nik Phelps; vocals by Connie Champagne. Released under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 license.
Copying is not theft.
Stealing a thing leaves one less left
Copying it makes one thing more;
that’s what copying’s for.
Copying is not theft.
If I copy yours you have it too
One for me and one for you
That’s what copies can do
If I steal your bicycle
you have to take the bus,
but if I just copy it
there’s one for each of us!
Making more of a thing,
that is what we call “copying”
Sharing ideas with everyone
That’s why copying
If you are reading this post, you must be Israeli singer, Amir Benayun (and no one else!).
I have found a video lying around the Internet and I think it belongs to you. At least that’s what I understood from the following takedown notice on YouTube:
[singlepic id=267 w=525 h=525 float=center]
As you probably know, the sure way to make a video appear everywhere is to try to take it down claiming you own the copyrights. Fair use? Fair mousse! That’s why I felt it was my civic duty to put this video here, for you to take and put it away:
After you have finished downloading it to your home, the video will naturally disappear from this post, and I will know you are keeping it safe where no one can illegally watch it. I am very sorry I had to post this video here, as I am not even sure I agree with its premise, but I felt I had to help you collect every piece of copyrighted material you own.
In RiP: A Remix Manifesto, web activist and filmmaker Brett Gaylor explores issues of copyright in the information age, mashing up the media landscape of the 20th century and shattering the wall between users and producers. The film’s central protagonist is Girl Talk, a mash-up musician topping the charts with his sample-based songs. But is Girl Talk a paragon of people power or the Pied Piper of piracy? Creative Commons founder, Lawrence Lessig, Brazil’s Minister of Culture Gilberto Gil and pop culture critic Cory Doctorow are also along for the ride.
Check out the film trailer:
You can watch the film on DVD or VOD.
Suing YouTube for 1 billion dollars, Viacom in their opening statements (which have been made public today) claimed the leading video site does not do enough in dealing with copyrighted material; To which YouTube retorted:
For years, Viacom continuously and secretly uploaded its content to YouTube, even while publicly complaining about its presence there. It hired no fewer than 18 different marketing agencies to upload its content to the site. It deliberately “roughed up” the videos to make them look stolen or leaked. It opened YouTube accounts using phony email addresses. It even sent employees to Kinko’s to upload clips from computers that couldn’t be traced to Viacom. And in an effort to promote its own shows, as a matter of company policy Viacom routinely left up clips from shows that had been uploaded to YouTube by ordinary users. Executives as high up as the president of Comedy Central and the head of MTV Networks felt “very strongly” that clips from shows like The Daily Show and The Colbert Report should remain on YouTube.
To fully understand the absurdity of all this you might want to check out my post titled Gaining Better Understanding of Our Digital Age.
I’ll let Professor Lawrence Lessig summarize: