« Paying Attention in Digital Times / Daniel Herwitz | Main | The Roots of Remix / Dada, Surrealism, Collage »

Blog Assignment: Rip! A Remix Manifesto

Blog Assignment
Spring 2014 Digital Arts / Mixed-Media Studio:

We used to be able to watch this entire documentary film online... but now they are asking for donations. Please try to view full video.
RiP! A Remix Manifesto (it's about 86 minutes)

RiP: A Remix Manifesto from Laurent LaSalle on Vimeo.


Take notes on what you find most revealing or surprising about the contemporary practice of remix artists. Does the video raise issues about your own use of digital media... in your artwork or your life? How does the video relate to recent internet blackout/protest and SOPA (Stop Online Piracy Act) legislation? Do you side with the CopyLEFT or the CopyRIGHT?

Prepare your comments (about 150 words) and have them ready to post to the blog...


I think the whole copy write issue is sprucing knowing that the artist made it without caring what would happen. People still love the remixes. Being able to remix things that have already been out in the world is great because its a totally new way of seeing things its a pop for our culture. I think a big part of art is getting ideas from other cultures and their art and using some of their concepts in your own work. It does make me think about my own work because I feel like my artwork should be purl my own ideas but then again I think that no idea is really one persons idea we get ideas from others. Like they said mashing things together could get old vary fast, but that happens with most things. new music gets created and then newer things so everything will eventually get old, but I don't think it should be a huge problem within society. If you can take something and rearrange something and turn it into something new I don't think that should be illegal. It is a new idea someone made. I definitely agree when they say that culture builds in the past.

I was interested in finding out that Walt Disney himself was part of the mashup history. He took ideas of other stories and made them into his own. Just like what these other remixers are doing with music, using previous ideas to create new creations. The fact that the companies now put a copyright onto it stops all new creations. I think that we create from other ideas so why stop this. Sooner or later everything is going to be copyrighted and there will be no new ideas due to the fact that companies want to make money.
I think that we need to take action in how we copyrighted things. If we go about it like the way we do with writing papers I think we could solve some problems. We should give some credit to who gave us some previous ideas. I also thought the idea of having a separate copyright was a good idea. If the artist are okay in people using it then they should be able to.
For me I am more of a Copy Left peron but we should still have some kind of system a way to credit people on what they have done to contribute to what new thing or idea we have made.

First of all, whoever did the editing on this video is amazing. From what I have seen, I am becoming more and more convinced that I belong to a generation that is revolutionizing the future. There is no way that the infrastructure of corporate media is going to last. This is the way I think of it; you can’t use the same software for a computer because technology is constantly evolving and unless that software is updated then eventually it will be of no use. Looking at software as a comparison to corporate infrastructure and the nature of evolution puts into perspective the eventual failure of corporate laws. The more energy is put towards public domain, the more corroded the system of copyright will be. If they fail to update, they will crash and burn which I think is part of this documentary. This is evidence of CopyRIGHT failing to flow with nature so it’s collapsing. The remix culture is a rebellion much like how the baby boomers were rebelling against their pro war parents, and government. The battle between public domain and the copyRIGHT really reminds me of the war on drugs. The system said to prevent the surge of illegal drug use and sale however it has probably done more damage then good. Its an example of infrastructure that is making things a lot worse by holding back the natural flow of information and creativity.

Coming from someone aspiring to be an artist soon, I would like to see copyright laws more relaxed. For a small example, the iconic photo of Barack Obama ‘Hope’ poster done by Shepard Fairey, you know the one I’m speaking of. It looks nothing like the original photo, but Fairey was sued because some people believed it was similar. The photo was not shot by him or made from ‘scratch’. I love creative commons, but this photo didn’t make that cut. I like the idea of being more like Brazil but we are in America and some would say that American corporations are a little more greedy then what is healthy…

Lawrence Lessig says “We can’t stop people from taking culture and remaking it in a way that expresses their ideas differently, if we can only drive this creativity underground.” I’m on the copy left side. I think as artists, we should be able to take things that we see from the media, what we read and what we hear from the media and use it to inspire us to create things that we love. Media is all around us and it inspires new ideas. The main thing in the RIP! A remix manifesto was about music, and “girl talk” that samples music to make really cool remixes. He’s remixing music, not stealing full songs and calling them his own. Personally, I think as long as you are not completely stealing works of art/music/etc. from someone, it should not be a problem to be able to use parts of it to create something really cool.

This movie brought up a lot of interesting information. Being an artist myself, I have to say i agree with the copyright more. This is because i personally work hard on stuff i create and if someone were to make money off of and original idea that would make mad. I would feel like i was being robbed. Then on the other hand thinking about originality, it pops into my mind that nothing is really "original" technically because people always generate their ideas from subconsciously from pieces they have already seen.

I definitely think that copyright law goes too far. I believe people should be free to express themselves and be creative in any way they see fit. However, when a person takes an artists work there needs to be some sort of creative transformation of the original piece, if there's no creative transformation, then it's illegal. We still need some of these laws, because if they didn't exist, then what would stop these large companies from hiring people to seek out talented emerging artists and steal all of their work before they can make a name for themselves? Then causing even more of a monopoly on the entertainment industry, so I think it can go both ways. I also believe that when possible you should always give credit and/or get permission from an artists who's work you borrow from. Though this may not be possible if you sample a AC/DC song, if you sample a Charlie Parr song you can probably give him a call and just let him know what you're doing. Even if there was a law that said you didn't have to do it this way I think that it would be the ethical thing to do, since there is definitely a large gap between what is legal and what is ethical.
For piracy, I believe a $220,000 fine for downloading a few songs is a bit drastic, but I think there should be a penalty for stealing someones work and not conducting any sort of creative transformation.

After watching this video, I realized that there is much more to copyright then I realized. There are many stipulations and fuzzy areas. I think that the copyright laws as they are now are too extreme. I mean Disney himself appropriated from other peoples work. That piece to me stung the most because the company goes to extreme measures to protect everything, to the point where they wanted a daycare to paint over a Mickey Mouse mural, to keeping the movies in a vault only to be released when the most money could be made. I just think its crazy because he has taken so many stories and ideas from history and turned them into his own thing. Why should he stipulate who can do what with those ideas? I think that it is important for our culture to share our ideas if we want to keep moving forward. No body came up with everything on their own. Technologies and tools have been being developed over years and through many different people. Why should it be any different for music and video? And even that has its gray areas. Technically it is illegal for you to take anyone’s intellectual property. They go after anyone for thousands of dollars even when the person only shorted them a few dollars. It definitely scares the crap out of anyone using the Internet. What do they consider pirating anymore? Does YouTube fall in that category, because we don’t pay to listen there? I don’t think that is the right way to go about it and frankly it isn’t working anyway. As for SOPA, that is just going to even more of an extreme. They are trying to limit and control everything and that just isn’t possible and it certainly isn’t going to get us anywhere productive. I definitely side with copyLEFT.

The whole thing doesn’t really surprise me much, the rich get richer and f@$& everyone else. It’s a tale as old as time. Money will always congregate where greed is thickest and proliferate. While I find the whole thing depressing and a serious issue, it hasn’t played a large role in any aspect of my life (Besides being a part of a generation of digital criminals). I don’t know jack about copyLEFT or copyRIGHT, but the blackout was a message and whether it made a difference or not, it was right. So was “RiP!”, we are monetizing everything we can lay hands on and our culture as a whole is set back by it if not outright harmed. Stuff like SOPA is BS, but it’s not gonna stop while the forces that be hold the reins. That isn’t going to change anytime soon though, they have the money and power to see to that. I agree with the idea sharing our ideas and moving on to the future, I just think its chances of seeing full implementation are long.

A Remix Manifesto gave some great insight into the world of copywriting. This topic gets so confusing and overwhelming that it can get hard for me to follow. Copywriting is a very sensitive subject matter for many people, especially those in the creative business. I think people are greedy with their own thoughts, designs, songs, or other kinds of creations. These things are meant to be shared so they can be expanded on. We share our thoughts so we can have a conversation with others. We share our designs and songs to give others inspiration and for something to improve. Creativity is not set in stone. We are meant to build upon and change what has been done before us to make what we want to say. Of course, I’m not saying that taking the work of someone else and claiming it’s your own is ok. But I would like to see the copywriting laws relaxed a bit. I am a graphic designer and I find it incredibly helpful when I have access to drawings, paintings, designs, pictures etc. This is how I often find inspiration for my personal work. Learning about the history of Walt Disney and how he drew from the past was fascinating. It is nearly impossible these days to truly and honestly create something that has never been done before. It is necessary that we notice where we’re getting material from especially when it is online, but the copywrite laws should be loosened so that the creators can take work from the past and improve it.

The Remix Manifesto was very interesting, being an aspiring graphic designer I will need to learn these laws inside and out in order to avoid being accused for stealing someones work. However, I do believe these laws are quite extreme; I often look to artists who I admire for inspiration on my projects. Artists should be able to take previously created artworks to build on and transform them into a new works of art; I think this is important because it shows the progression in time and technology. Now a days, especially with all the technology and visuals that surround us, it is nearly impossible to not have bits of other people's work incorporated into your own whether intentional or unintentional. With the growing strictness and harsh punishments for even using the smallest amount of someones work is constraining our future of artwork and it is becoming less free to create modernized versions of popular works of art.

I think that the debate underlying copyright vs copyleft is really just greed vs generosity when it comes to creativity. Throughout history, humanity’s creative process has been one of gathering influences and being inspired from other creative people, and making something out of it that is entirely your own. The reason copyright laws have been getting so out of hand are because corporations are greedy when it comes to creativity. They see it as a means to make money, and as soon as people are “stealing” their source of money, they try to take action. The flaw in this way of thinking is seeing creative ideas as merely a source of wealth. It is important to instead, think of creative ideas as something that we give freely to others and also freely give credit to those we have been influenced by or to those we are remixing. I think a good example of this is when the photograph was invented. The patent for the photograph was originally the property of the France, but they decided that it was something important enough to give freely to the world. Because of this, photography and everything that has stemmed from it has developed rapidly, just because of someone’s ability to see the creative process as something that is communal, important, and worthy of being shared with society.

I believe that making copyright on everything is stupid because then if someone came out with an idea, nobody can expand upon it or "fix" it. If we were to have copyright on pretty much everything, that means that us, as designers, are big trouble because majority of our art is down from "remix" of other original art pieces. I can't imagine going to my graphic design class and having to be able to create images from scratch. I understand where they're coming from, and I would be mad if someone when ahead and remixed my art works, but altering or using parts of it isn't a bad thing. In fact, many times people can make something more greater from my original piece. The Remix Manifesto has definitely made me more aware of what world we live in and the kinds of things i need to be more aware of the images I use and where I get my ideas, because the same thing could happen to any graphic designer as it did to Shepard Farey. Another thing about copyright is that it will reduce inspiration for most artists because this idea of "originality" doesn't really exist, and with copyright, it would mean that less art would be visible because we would find it hard to come up with something nobody has ever seen.

Overall, I think the copyright law is a little excessive, or intense. It is necessary for people to be able to express themselves as they wish, whether it is from getting an idea from someone else or having your own unique idea. Many things are better untouched, however there are things that are better after being modified by someone with a different point of view. The copyleft rule is a good method that allows work to be freely altered. Copyleft, the freedom to alter and distribute the work of others. I believe that modifying others work isn't a bad thing as long as credit is given where it is needed. I view copyleft as a chance for improvement or as a chance to combine different types of thinking. The start to a new piece of art is most likely influenced by something, therefore allowing anyone to modify your art allows for collaboration of influences and joining all sorts of artistic ability.

First off, I am now a fan of Girl Talk, and I loved the soundtrack to this movie. Second, the editing and layout of this documentary was exceptional to say the least. At first I thought this was going to be a very dry documentary but I couldn't have been more wrong. I am definitely on the CopyLEFT side of the argument, I think people should be allowed to use art and songs from the past to create their own new versions. To take away these things is to take away so much creative ability from every artist that wants to manipulate and transform history. The fact that corporations like Warner Chappell still own artists music well after they die (95 years!), and sue people for thousands of dollars but don't even give any money back to the artists who the people were stealing from is just an awful thing. It is hard to believe that within the past 100 years copyright law has gotten so ridiculously out of hand, especially since copyright law in its origins was supposed to provoke artists to "mashup" work. As someone who loves collages, mashups and remixes, I think that progress is needed so that we can use art and music from the others and the past for our enjoyment in the future.

It is such a frustrating issue. On both ends of the spectrum I feel there are good arguments. I am a composer and make my living from it. The ironic part of all this is I have actually sampled others peoples music to make a new songs. In everyone of those cases I have paid for all the appropriate clearances to use the copyright underline compositions and recordings. The reason why I paid is because the composers of the music I sampled and the copyright owner of the master recording are not always big corporations. I think that's where this documentary misses the mark. There are millions of people who make a modest living from their publishing royalties and or sales of their music. I wish this documentary would interview a few honest musicians, artist and independent label owners who struggle to make an honest living through there music. Most of these people are not "Big Bad Corporations" and many of them would be able to afford a better life for their families. If everyone who is so "Creative" with other peoples intellectual property, would pay just a small fee for the use of the music, some families would have a better life. Further more its not like "Girl Talk" is doing this for nonprofit. His "Mash Ups" are for sale and here is a one his iTunes links https://itunes.apple.com/us/album/unstoppable/id465352069 I'm sorry but if he is making a profit from record sales and performances, isn't it only right that the owners of the music he so called re-invents should get a share of the profit? If I make peach pies out of peaches, and sell them to people. Does that mean I get the peaches for free? does it? should we make every patent a public domain as well? I mean where do you draw the line? I have been on both sides of this issue in my career and I think that there is abuse on both ends of the spectrum. Should the copyright law be amended? Yes, but should people like "Girl Talk" who uses other peoples property as an "expression of creativity" be allowed to sell his music for profit? Should he charge 10k for a performance and not have to pay a single penny to the guy who owns 4% of one of the compositions? who cant afford to pay his or her light bill? There are more perspectives here that this documentary does not address.... I'm glad we are all having this conversation, I believe theres a solution somewhere in the middle of all this.

I find it most surprising that the people who made this video fully supports ‘CopyLEFT’. As for me, I see it as something good and bad. I think that if a person/artist is willing to put out forth all their money for copyrights, then they should go ahead. On the other hand, there are many artists out there that are willing to put their own work in public domain. This video does not raise many concerns to me right now, because in my classes professors encourage us to use our own images or public domain. Other than that, I do fear of being sued, so I would not use a copyright image into my own artwork. Referring to the SOPA and PIPA, stopping theft is important, but to what extent to they have to take measures? There are already so many that are worrying about these bills since it would stop sites from linking other links to prevent theft/piracy. I think that these ideas should be thought over again and find a resolution that can partially satisfy both citizens and company at a certain level. I am a partial supporter of both CopyLEFT and CopyRIGHT. I understand that as an artist, you want to take ownership for something that you created. However, the Fair Use Policy is a guideline to show how much we can use. At moments, you’ll never know what kind of creation could have been made if we could have all recycled art. There are a lot of meanings into this, that it is hard to choose sides quickly.

I think the issue of copyright is confusing and very two faced. I personally think information should be free and available to all, it is my belief that it would be better for humanity and society as a whole and to me that is pretty priceless. However, as an artist (specifically a graphic designer) I can understand the other side as well. I wouldn't want someone else "defacing" my work or making money off of it without fair compensation. I go on Tumblr pretty often and one thing that has come up on there quite a bit is the issue of fan art and if you choose to sell your fan art if that is morally acceptable or not. I have seen some beautiful pieces inspired by Disney movies and video games specifically, but a larger corporation owns the characters you are recreating...so are you appropriating or directly taking money out of Disney's (or whatever other faceless corporation's pocket?)...I personally would love a shorter time limit on copyrights in general (or at least a financial cap...I.E. Once you make x amount of dollars...others can borrow from your copyright. Whenever I talk about copyright issues I feel like I am contradicting myself...but it is a complex issue with no black and white answer and it can also be argued that there is no original ideas left.

Awhile back my boyfriend showed me this really interesting short video series that relates directly too this...

I found the copyright issue very surprising. I had no idea that the laws were so strict with both music and movie/characters. I think that remixer’s like Girl Code should be able to produce exactly what they do without being sued. I feel that if they take many songs and make it into something that does not sound like the original what so ever, that it is a new and creative product. This video really does raise issues about all of our work because we are always influenced by what we have seen, so does that mean everything anyone makes is against the law? I find it outrageous that the laws are so strict.
Personally, I am a copy-left person. I believe that if someone takes bits and pieces from someone else and makes it completely different from the original piece that it is in fact a new work of art. If the copyright laws keep up the way they are, we are going to run out of new art.

This film was very interesting to watch, especially from the view of an artist. I often find myself stuck in the middle when it comes to borrowing other people's work. As a creator, I am proud of what I make and would probably be upset if someone took what I did and said it was all their own. At the same time, I, as well as many others, tend to draw inspiration from others to create work of my own. As a teacher, this point of view also comes into play. As we build lesson plans, we tend to teach about an artist and their style, and then have the students create their own versions. If copyright continues to control creativity and the future of works, I wonder if this teaching technique will be effected in any way. In our art classes, we are taught that as long as we alter an image at least 80%, it is okay to use as our own without credit. Therefore, I probably belong more in the "CopyLeft" category. I believe that as long as you give credit for recognizable pieces that are not, there shouldn't be a problem. This video reminded me of the piece by street artist Banksy, which is of a quote by Pablo Picasso written on stone, which states: "The bad artists imitate, the great artists steal." Underneath the quote was the source of Picasso, which Bansky had scratched out and carved in his own name. It makes us giggle, but at the same time plays into the role of the internet and never really knowing the legitimacy of the sources.

Everything that I learned through watching the video has really shifted my beliefs to the copy left side. There are obviously lines that can be crossed, and it is really going to have to come down to a balance between the two. With the rule of copy rights, it forces people to try to come up with some truly original work for them to stand out. There is also the artists that will try to emulate their favorite work, which is fine if your in to all that as long as its for personal use. And then there is instances like the one Shepard Fairey got himself into, where in no way shape or form was he trying to "copy" someones idea. He used a picture taken from an outside source that captured the message he wanted to convey, made it original by turning it into the "street art" "stencil" look that he was famous for, and labeled it "HOPE". I think that case settlement moved us to this new generation, where we alter the work past its original distinction to make something monumental and still be implemented with copy right rules. Culture will always build off the past. Without the past as our building blocks, who knows how far behind our technical advances would be. All we do know is that they would indeed be behind where we are at now.

I've never been a huge fan of copyright law, but at the same time I don't know much about it really. This movie does a pretty decent job of getting you riled up about the topic but at the same time I feel like they pretty much said what they had to say in the first 20 minutes or so. There just didn't really seem like there was enough information there for more than a half hour episode of a tv show. I found it most interesting when they talked about how copyright law could negative affect people beyond just music downloads. When they talked about how some people may not be getting the medicine they need or technology may not be advancing as quickly as it could I thought that it gave a lot of weight to the argument. I wish that they went into a bit more detail about that. The documentary spent a lot of time following Girl Talk but he never seemed greatly affected by copyright law. If anything he seemed to be more successful at the end of the movie. He was able to quit what seemed like a very nice job to pursue his music career. I agree with what this movie was trying to say for the most part. I am also a bit cautious when I watch documentaries like this because sometimes they bend the truth to improve their argument. I'm definitely on the copyleft for now but I would still want to get more information from the other side of the issue just in case it's not as black and white as they make it out to be.

The Remix Manifesto relates to SOPA through ideals 2 (The past always tries to control the future) and 3 (Our future is becoming less free). The Remix Manifesto relates to the internet blackout/ protest through ideal number 4 (To build free societies you must limit the control of the past)

I found the first section of the movie to be pretty interesting because it went into detail about the history of remixing. My favorite point made in the section was about the birthday song and how it’s copyright laws are infringed upon every time it’s sung in a public place. I felt the movie gave a lot of good points about the crookedness and broadness of copyright laws. It raises some issues about my use of digital media in my artwork because as of right now I incorporate a lot of imagery that isn’t mine into my art. After watching Rip! A Remix Manifesto I would have to say I am CopyLEFT. Growing up I was taught that two minds (or more) think better than one and I feel in order to progress you need to be able to expand where other people left off.

I've always found the issues surrounding copyright to be outright ridiculous. People receiving longer jail sentences for breaking copyright laws than for murder? You've got to be kidding me. I just cannot get behind absolute lockdown and control of what is being labeled as "intellectual property." As far as remixing goes, no serious remix artist is out there claiming that they "own" the samples they use. Credit is given where credit is due. If these remix artists were trying to pawn off their remixes as completely original content and not mashups then maybe they'd have a case, but acknowledging it as a remix/mashup alone shows that they're not trying to claim the entire thing as their own. And then there's the entire issue of remixing being a skill, a talent that people possess, and how trying to pull the copyright card on them completely undermines THEIR "intellectual property," which in this case would be the remixes and mashups that they create. But they don't have millions of dollars backing them up, so their concepts and ideas are obviously worth less, right?

Overall, I think "RIP" failed to make a fair and accurate case promoting the fair use of other peoples' intellectual properties. This is because the creator of the film seems to be confused by the complexity of the questions he is attempting to answer. I think it is important to note that the rules of fair use differ between the visual and the auditory arts. The rules regarding fair use of visual images was clarified in the work of Ron English and subsequent legal actions taken against him in the '90's. The basic rule seems to be 30 percent change or the work must be an obvious parody. The music industry is a little different because most musicians don't own their own work, even the unused bits and pieces are owned by the studio if was created while the artist was under contract. Music also differs in that songs are made up of common notes and chords many samplers think that the way a musician arranges those common items makes their music somehow public property. The case against Vanilla Ice seems to have made the boundaries clear, at least to me. If you take the proprietary "hook" of a song or a signature "riff" and reuse it without permission, that is an act of theft. Maybe it is the technical term "sampling" that confuses some artists. Samples like the cheese and Jimmy Dean sausage that are handed out on toothpicks at the local food mart are free, it seems that some think that is the same as sampling art. But, if you were to graze at the produce section or make and eat a sandwich in the deli aisle, you'd rightfully be charged with theft. So to then should someone reusing someone else's singing, instrument playing, or lyric writing without obtaining permission from the owners of that material. The band used in this film, Girl Talk, obviously steals from other artists to create music.

The issue of copyright addressed in RIP! is nothing new to our generation and I believe it is something that has gotten way out of hand. Even before watching this documentary I would have identified myself in favor of copyLEFT and the reasons for this go hand in hand with the ideas laid out in the remix manifesto. From a creator's standpoint, I take pride in my "original" works but the extent of that originality can only go so far as we are in an age where everything has been said and done already (1. Culture always builds on the past). The problems I begin to have with copyright laws start with number two of the manifesto( 2. The past always tries to control the future); to some extent copyrights need to be regulated for the fact that you should receive some sort of I find it repulsive that companies such as Warner Chappel and others alike receive royalties for the work of artists up to 95 years after their death. This essentially means that the cases filed against those who illegally downloaded are being sued by a company that owns the rights, not the actual artists themselves. Number three(3. Our future is becoming less free) is an idea that is becoming more real as it is getting harder and harder to grow culturally with all of the restrictions placed upon us, copyright included.
I found the segment of the film on the band Radiohead(big fan) most interesting. The band put out their album, In Rainbows, up on their own site for digital download; giving their fans the option to pay what they wished for the album. This seemed like their testament again strict copyright laws and opened up a new way to get the music directly from the hands of the band.

Post a comment