Week 2 – Essential Reading and Viewing

RiP: A Remix Manifesto


  1. Culture always builds on the past.
  2. The past always tries to control the future.
  3. Our future is becoming less free.
  4. To build free societies you must limit the control of the past

This film addresses the issue of copyright and using pre existing materials. I agree with everything that was said in this film. Humans since the beginning of time have used previous knowledge and ideas to better themselves and better their creations. The knowledge, history and stories from the past make up culture. The idea of copyright, the idea of the past, the culture belonging to an independent body is inconceivable. To control and own the past, is to destroy and prevent the future of our culture. Put simply, companies can try to own the past but it will never happen. We are a society founded upon stealing from the past and we as a society will continue to steal from the past regardless of who owns it.

Something that got to me while watching this film is when the director Gaylor discusses how the rock legends The Rolling Stones stole riffs from famous blues artists before them and evaded the law because of the time they lived in, now prosper from these songs. Now that those songs are their intellectual property, if I were to steal those riffs and make my owns songs I would undoubtedly be sued for copyright infringement because of the copyright times we live in. I found this very ironic.

The last line of the manifesto was something that really struck a chord with me. “To build free societies you must limit the control of the past” It was in the news that a Florida day-care centre faced lawsuits for having famous Disney characters drawn on their walls. This is incredibly hypocritical of Disney considering they owe a lot of their animations to story tellers from the past that are now dead and aren’t alive to sue them. We’ve always lived in a culture that eats itself and if we prevent culture from eating itself, our culture will cease to be free any longer.

In conclusion, this film addressed copyright law incredibly well. All of it’s points were very well explained. I’d like to finish of with a quote from the director Gaylor about what the future of copyright and fair use will be like “Nobody has the answers as to how this will all unfold. But we really have to find a little sanity in this copyright war, and soon.”


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s