Everything Is a Remix Exposes the Fallacy of Copyrights Gone Wild

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Everything Is a Remix Exposes the Fallacy of Copyrights Gone Wild
[ Technology]

Before we get too far, it should be noted that this author does not believe all entertainment should be available on a free for all basis. While that sounds good in theory, there’s nothing wrong with seeing an artist get their just desserts, normally in the form of monetary reward, for creating something that’s enjoyed/consumed by the masses.

That being said, the subject of fair use has been soiled by such entities as the RIAA and the MPAA.

An example of this would be Walt Disney making beautiful art of such stories as Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs and Alice In Wonderland. Disney played absolutely no part in the creation of these stories, but he did adapt them, giving the public classic films that have stood the test of time. With that in mind, let’s see what happens if one of us — members of the general public — try to make use of characters from the The Lion King.

For an idea of what would happen, see the story of the Air Pirates versus Disney, and try applying what happened then with what you know of the RIAA and its strong-arm legal tactics.

With that in mind, the concept explored in the Everything is a Remix videos shows just how much influence past works have on new ideas, especially in regards to movie-making. As pointed out by SlashFilm, Everything is a Remix is a project being done by Kirby Ferguson, a New York-based filmmaker.

The goal of the project is to show just how much influence — or outright concept theft — older works play a part in movie-making, and after watching the video, it’s pretty clear that without the concept of fair use, what we see as inspiration could be categorized as outright copying. Too bad these concepts are not part of the thought process when it comes to copyright enforcement from the RIAA and the like.

Over at the site, it’s explained that the series will be presented in a four parts, with three of them already available. There’s also been a new video posted, and it breaks down The Matrix, pointing out numerous occasions where the Wachowskis were either inspired by another movie, and/or directly copied a concept or a particular fight scene.

Be sure and take a look, because it’s an awesome video:

It’s pretty clear there aren’t that many original thoughts left in regards to visual entertainment, which is another reason the concept of fair use should be upheld, if not defended as staunchly as the rights of the musicians the RIAA protects. If you’d like to see the rest of Kirby’s work, be sure and check out the installments of his Everything is a Remix project, all of which are available on his site.

If it doesn’t force you to take a look at the current conditions in regards to the entertainment industry’s vise-like grip on content, I’m not sure anything will.

Everything Is a Remix Exposes the Fallacy of Copyrights Gone Wild
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  • http://www.CaptainCyberzone.com CaptainCyberzone

    I’ve been noticing a lot of song’s music content being based around riffs from past (30+years ago) songs and some a pretty blatant with what they’ve co-opted.
    In part, it’s the education system no longer teaching civics and morality (something the churches did when most people went to church) and mental laziness.
    It’ll stop if and when the audience no longer buys it.

  • http://www.alda-architects.co.uk Alan

    I have often wondered if a more lax approach to Copyright could be part of a sound marketing strategy?

  • http://www.seonorthamerica.com Tom Aikins

    The lines are going to continue to get blurred, especially as access to distribution channels increases (the internet) and the cost of production keeps coming down. The decentralization of all forms of entertainment is something that will only keep accelerating and we’ll be seeing some fundamental shifts in the near future in regard to content and copyrights.

  • http://www.electric-reviews.org Mark Demers

    Content has been being copied since the first time they made LP`s. Just how many versions of “Yesterday” is there?
    I figure that once anything has been exposed to the public eye the ideas and concepts are up for anyone to have their own interpretation without repercussions.
    Ideas are only that but without freedom to interpret and use the content in your own way where will the parody comedies come from?
    And if you think that “The Planet of the Apes” was a totally original idea go and watch “Teenage Caveman” from 1958 – there are lots of similarities between these two films.
    All I`m saying is that Hollywood should relax, nothing is normally any better than the original versions and if they make the better films they`ll get the people in to watch them. If people see a funny parody or remake it may prompt those people to go see the original too.

  • http://www.spyimplants.webs.com don muntean

    Surprising they haven’t found a legal device to ‘own’ the very concepts of music and dramatic arts!

  • TonsoTunez

    Totally bone headed thinking on the part of Kirby Ferguson – sadly uneducated reporting by Chris Richardson.

    Copyright has nothing to do with ideas … copyright has to do with the ‘expression’ of ideas.

    Disney’s “Snow White” is the perfect example to confirm what I just said… Disney took a work that was in the public domain and created his ‘expression’ of the story – which he copyrighted … His version doesn’t stop anyone else from creating their own version of the story. You just can’t lift pieces from the Disney version and drop them into your version without Disney’s approval.

    Re: “Fair Use” There are limits on the exclusive rights of copyright owners which are outline in the copyright law: http://copyright.gov/title17/92chap1.html#107 — Kirby Ferguson – and others – have taken it upon themselves to erroneously re-define “Fair Use” as being able to take whatever they want from a copyrighted work and use it for their own purposes without compensating the rights owner – and more importantly – as a result – the creators of the original work – which, to me, is undoubtedly the most unfair of unfair uses.

    Chopping up other people’s expressions to include them in your expression may produce interesting results but that doesn’t give you the moral or legal right to disregard the value of the expression you didn’t create.

    You can’t tear the door off of my car to include it in a car collage you wish to display without my permission – There is no difference here.

    • http://www.webpronews.com/ Chris Richardson

      That’s right. Keep defending the copyright Mafia, otherwise known as people who act like this:


      Or this:


      And I’ll go on being uninformed about how no one understands the concept of fair use anymore.

      • TonsoTunez

        Ah, yes, torrentfreak … now there’s a reference you can believe in … I’m surprised you didn’t thrown the ax murders of creator’s rights, Larry Lessig and Mike Masnick, into your response to demonstrate how totally brain washed (or brain dead) you are.

        This is not about corporate anything … this is about individuals who would like to use their creative gifts to please you and earn a living while trying to do so … This is about human beings that have been granted rights by laws around the world that you seem to want to strip from them.

        Now if your intent is to snuff the creators that produce what you crave … keep it up — keep using torrentfreak as your bible and don’t be bothered with trying to educate yourself.

        And, certainly, never take human beings that have been given creative gifts that you are unlikely to posses into consideration.

        To you, it is not our humanity that is at stake here, it’s being sure you can satisfy your personal greed.

  • kike

    So what’s the point of all this? Should I blame “The 13th Floor” because “The Matrix” was released first?

    What about “Meteor” (’79), “Armageddon” (’98), and “Deep Impact” (’98)?

    I have seen them all.

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