Remix Culture & Copyright

I’m sure that at some point you have seen a remixed trailer for some movie posted at YouTube. Some of them are lame, some of them are hilarious. The formula is simple, you take an existing movie, and you create a short trailer with an amusing spin. For example, someone made trailer that makes Dodgeball look like a serious thriller, or one that makes Jaws into a love story.

Other times, you can find trailers for movies that do not even exist. Did you like Titanic? Hell, you gotta love Titanic 2 with it’s star studded cast :P

Finally you have a whole genre of “vs movies” in which big screen heroes from different movies come together, and fight to the death. These video clips answer age old questions like: could Robocop defeat Neo?

Did I forget anything? Oh, yes – there is a whole nation of people like my friend un4scene who create themed music videos for their favorite songs, using clips from the shows and movies they love.

Say what you want, but making things like that takes skill and creativity. And in no way do these lovingly crafted clips take away anything from the original works. Lets’ face it – we live in the age of remix culture. The world of remixed media is where raw creativity meets technology. Remixing is a global phenomenon, and people are getting better and better at it. Unfortunately, this reign of free, uninhibited creativity is about to end.

All the media distributors are currently working on their own DRM solutions. Entertainment industry is throwing it’s weight around, and demands all these draconian copy protection schemes. Electronics industry people fear being locked out of content, so they bend over and take it up the ass from the RIAA’s and MPAA’s of the world. Everyone profits, except of the customer.

Every day, more and more content is released with crippling DRM. At some point in the near future we will hit a critical threshold where no new stuff will be available in un-protected form. Old media will be slowly phased out, and replaced by new High Definition DRM enabled releases. And that will be the end of remix culture.

Under DMCA it is illegal to crack DRM protection, even if you try to exercise your free use. The law will still allow copyrighted content to be freely used parodies. But what do you use if there are no official un-encrypted free copies available on the market? Soon remixing will be a criminal offense under DMCA.

MPAA and RIAA will kill American remix scene, and Sony and Microsoft are going to give them tools to do this. If that worries you, do something. Write to your representative, spread the word, don’t buy Sony, use Open Office… But first and foremost boycott all music and movies crippled with DRM. The only way we can stop entertainment industry from screwing our children out of fair use, is to cut their revenue stream.

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4 Responses to Remix Culture & Copyright

  1. un4scene UNITED STATES Mozilla Firefox Windows says:

    omg, those videos were just to cute. My favorite had to be the neo vs robocop one, that was just seamlessly done. :)

    On to the subject though, it’s so not going to get any better anytime soon, that’s for sure. The only light in that tunnel has been the development of some shows being shown for free (Lost on the ABC site & BSG on SciFi), although it is streaming and on their terms. Meh.

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  2. ZeWrestler UNITED STATES Mozilla Firefox Windows says:

    Ok. things i have done to help the cause.

    1) verbally told off a BMG sales rep.
    2) written a paper in classes about the evils of RIAA
    3) written my congressmen
    4) avoided looking at sony laptops while laptop hunting
    5) giving serious thought to not getting PS3 even though the FF series is on it.
    6) drank to the eventually thought that people will wise up to this shit.

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  3. ZeWrestler UNITED STATES Mozilla Firefox Windows says:

    btw, check out i’ve made some good videos on there.

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  4. Luke UNITED STATES Mozilla Firefox Windows says:

    un4scene: the thing that gives me hope, is seeing people releasing their original work under creative commons license like the Elephants Dream project. It seems that there will always be a small group of indy creators and idealists who will do things like this.

    I think some archeologists a thousand years in the future will be baffled when they try to recreate popular culture trends in 2030-2040’s. Will they be able to recover all the DRM locked, self-destructible data? Or will they view that time period as cultural dark age, where all digital creativity was distinguished?

    Zewrestler: good job! :) I don’t think I will buy PS3 for the following resons:

    1. rootkit
    2. MediaMax Spyware
    3. owning patent on DRM that would prevent me from buying used games
    4. constantly cripling PSP to prevent people from creating homegrown software on it
    5. just to fucking expensive

    I survived without a PS2 so I think I might make it without a PS3.

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