7.6/10
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9 user 22 critic

RiP: A Remix Manifesto (2009)

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A documentary which examines copyright issues in the information age.

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A documentary which examines copyright issues in the information age.

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Documentary | Music

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Release Date:

April 2009 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Kultura remixu  »

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1.85 : 1
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A good first attempt, or first half.
4 March 2010 | by (Canada) – See all my reviews

I saw a version of this film that was 86 minutes in length. As the film itself asks the audience to remix it, I can't really know which version I actually saw.

That, in fact, is one of the problems with the remix culture that was completely ignored by this documentary. How does identity or trademark get protected in the remix world? While it is of course impossible to prevent infringements from happening, there should be a reasonable response to violations, along the lines of libel and slander and fraud. I'm sure the people who use IMDb to read comments such as this one want some assurance that we're all talking about the same thing, or else what is the point? This is a much larger issue than just that of course.

The other problem I had with this film is that it failed completely to address the elephant in the room, which is software, whether it's cracked, hacked, or open source. It kind of boggles the mind how you can actually use software in the production of a film about cut-and-paste culture, and miss it. I guess it doesn't have a Girl Talk beat, eh? (Jeez, isn't there anyone out there better than Girl Talk?)

As some other comments have noted, the above two flaws, combined with the lack of any real proposal or at least a survey of ideas on how to proceed forward, mean this film can't really be a 9 or a 10, at least on my scale. There is such as thing as intellectual property, and the film itself notes that this has been recognized since the printing press, in the form of copyright. It's not going away, and saying "oh well, whatever" isn't enough.

But I do give the film an 8, because it does a great job of showing the cancerous growth of the copyright and patent industry, which isolate us from our own public cultural experience, and stifle creativity and innovation by extending well beyond what was originally intended, to the point of making criminals of the world's youth, bankrupting everyday people, and putting sick people's lives at risk. I particularly found the revelation near the end, about the direction of US policy at the end of last century interesting and shocking. A country like Canada must do all we can to ensure that bad US decisions don't become our problem to be solved by giving away a chunk of our sovereignty. F that, my friends.

I look forward to a followup that addresses the flaws of this film.


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