Bringing the Copyright Wars to a Screen Near You

As a musician, I know how easy it is to “borrow” somebody elses groove and make it into something new and different.  There is a growing sense that as media tools become more and more democratized, available on every desktop, with a library consisting of whatever you want to search for on youtube or google, you ought to be able to “borrow” and ultimately create something new yourself.  (Like This!) Thats all fine until you want to use an image of Wile-E-Coyote or Mickey Mouse!  Then the Copyright Cops slam down on you to cease and desist or pay huge fines or in rare cases pony up royalty fees.  Thats the battlefront in the coming war between copyright holders and people who just want to make something new and cool.

 

Now Brett Gaylor has finished his 6-year project rip! A Remix Manifesto – a feature length film exploring this very battle.  Its released under the Creative Commons license, and is available under the same concept as RadioHead’s  “pay what you want to” approach.

Its being distributed in theatres and is already available online through various venues.  I haven’t decided where I come down on the whole copyright issue.  As a media creator, I want to be able to be compensated for my work if a lot of people like it, but I also don’t think its fair that kids aren’t allowed to draw mouse-shaped characters and put them on a website.  I haven’t seen the whole film yet but the trailer looks interesting!

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