A few months ago, I watched a movie called ‘RiP: A Remix Manifesto.’ It is a documentary by filmmaker Brett Gaylor about copyright law and the many ways that art is being stifled by big corporations who just want more money. It is fairly one-sided, so some may not view it as a documentary. It presents an argument in the way that any schoolteacher would be proud of: The movie begins with a statement defining culture and explaining how it needs to grow, and then spends the other 75 minutes giving evidence as to why and how this growth is being stifled. As well as being incredibly informative, it is also very well presented. It almost seems like a mashup by itself, with the soundtrack being full of Girl Talk and a few other mashup artists. The movie stays interesting through it’s sometimes political humor (the copyright vs the copyleft) and interesting visual style. I never once found myself wondering when Gaylor would get to the point, because the point was continually displayed in bright colors and an awesome soundtrack.
The movie has been called an ‘open source documentary’ by Gaylor. He put up a lot of the footage he took when making the film at opensourcecinema.org, and has requested that everyone remix his own movie in order to make a new version (sometimes referred to as RiP 2.0) with even more information. The movie itself is available at ripremix.com, where you can pay what you want to download it, or buy the dvd. I have the DVD, as it has some cool bonus features, but the movie is pay what you want so that anyone can plunk down a few bucks, and get a lot of new information. If you don’t even want to pay that, the movie is also available on Hulu (for free, of course).
This is really a very interesting movie, and it touches on a lot of important topics. Anyone with an interest in either music or copyright law should definitely check this one out.