RiP!: A Remix Manifesto

I watched this movie in class yesterday.  Yes, there are courses at UBC where the prof shows you a movie.  CRWR 213 with Charlie Demers.  I was lucky enough to get a spot in this course.  How awesome is it?  Well I figure the fact that we watched a movie on the first day is a good sign.

The movie is a documentary by Brett Gaylor about copyright infringement.  I know, that doesn’t exactly sound like the most interesting of topics.  But it really was fascinating.  Having worked at the bookstore, I know a bit about copyright laws, but not that much.  There’s a lot involved.  Having gone to school, we all know about plagiarism and citations and using other people’s work in terms of writing.  This movie goes into the copyright laws regarding music and film, something that I didn’t quite know much about and tends to have some grey areas.

The documentary focuses on Girl Talk, who’s music consists of sampling and mashups.  Taking forms of already existing music in order to create something new, he is being innovative and creative.  However, some have said this use of other artists’ songs could constitute as copyright infringement.  The film focuses on various other things such as Napster and Disney, and goes into the issues surrounding copyright laws and how they pertain to us in the world of media today.

I like that Gaylor talks about the fact that things he shows us in the movie could be considered copyright infringement and that he could get sued for it, but uses the right of fair use as a justification.  His way of informing us and giving his opinion on the matter is done in a way that is both informative and entertaining.  If you’re interested in this sort of thing, I recommend watching it.  If you’re not interested and aren’t even sure what copyright infringement means, I still recommend watching it.  I’m not generally a big fan of documentaries but this one is definitely worth the watch.