A Remix Manifesto

The documentary, RIP! A Remix Manifesto is about copyrighting and the way it is transforming along with the growth of media. Gregg Michael Gillis, known as the mash-up music artist, Girl Talk creates music using recreation. The controversy of copyright has become a major issue for Girl Talk in the industry. Girl Talk uses songs by other artists and mixes them to create new tracks. Gregg Gillis does not get the permission from the artists that he samples his music from, meanwhile the U.S. copyright law requires artists to do so.

The trailer for RIP! A Remix Manifesto

RIP! A Remix Manifesto, the documentary:

Some have considered what Girl Talk does as illegal and absolute piracy. Paul McDonald writes in Digital Discords in the Online Economy: Advertising versus Content versus Copyright, “…when it comes to the arrival of new technologies, the copyright industries frequently adopt a contradictory response to innovation. It is this contradiction that has made the battle over copyright one of the main drivers behind the online media economy” (397). What is interesting about this documentary is that it raises so many questions about evolving media and rights to artists about art. There are questions such as : Should artists be able to build on the work of others? What is authenticity? What kinds of issues come with remixing? Is anything that we create or artists create actually new? What is new media art? Can art be original and how can artists produce original work without building off of other artists?

While there are other artists that also produce art similarly, combatting traditional copyright music laws, Girl Talk has become the face for breaking these barriers. The online media economy has created fuzzy distinctions for what is fair use and what is not. Although sampling has been done in the past, the ongoing debate is occurring majorly not between artists and composers, but between the artists who are recreating and the corporations that own the music . The way in which artists use copyrighted material is then monitored and restricted. Girl Talk, along with many other artists will have to come up with ways to sample music and work their way around the big corporations and fair use laws to continue making the music that they enjoy.

McDonald, Paul, and Patrick Vonderau. “Digital Discords in the Online Economy: Advertising versus Content versus Copyright.” The YouTube Reader. Stockholm: National Library of Sweden, 2009. Print.


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