A Remix Manifesto

I had to watch two films, Rip! A Remix Manifesto and Everything is a Remix. These two films wrestle with the idea of copyright and intellectual property. The general position presented in both films is that copyright, while originally designed to encourage creativity and innovation, has grown to inhibit them. A copyright originally lasted 15 years before the material entered public domain. This allowed creators time to profit from their ideas while still giving others a fair chance to build upon those ideas. Now, a copyright lasts the creators entire life plus 70 years. This means that ideas can be locked out of public domain for over 150 years, stopping anyone from building upon those ideas. The second film discusses how this impedes not only art, but also medical research and technology. It seems as though opposing points of view are held mainly by members of corporations and anyone else who stands to profit from having a vice-grip on valuable intellectual property. Copyright is usually somewhere in the back of my mind as I am creating. I would hate to upset a copyright giant and end up deep in legal trouble, especially since I draw and upload a lot of fan-art. Luckily, many corporations have grown to see fan generated content as a good thing because of the way it keeps fans engaged far longer than the source material alone can. Blizzard is a great example of this. All of the playable heroes from their recent game “Overwatch” have extensive visual reference guides specially created for fan-artists and cosplayers. The only foolproof way of avoiding copyright trouble is to just avoid building on copyright material all together. One thing I have noticed on You-tube is that creators usually only get copyright struck if they use sounds or images directly from a source. I have seen creators speed up and flip video clips to avoid copyright strikes.

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