Locking Up Art. Denying Beauty.

In my EMS class, we watched a documentary called, RiP:  A Remix Manifesto.  Now, when most people hear the word “documentary,” they think March of the Penguins, or something on the history channel.  This was no March of the Penguins.  Not because it wasn’t narrated by Morgan Freedman.  But because it was a manifesto.  And it wasn’t about a group of penguins in the north pole.  It was about  a pulse, a flow, a beat, a mix, a history, a society, a sense of freedom, a way of life, a constraint, a war, a culture, a struggle, an ongoing battle, a generation, a world, a changing world, a rapidly changing world, my world, OUR world……

So….specifically, this movie deals with copyright infringement.  This is an extrememly pertinent topic for today’s culture cause there are people like GirlTalk.  Who’s Girl Talk?  He’s a mash up artist from Pittsburgh (woot!) who takes hundreds of different songs, doesn’t get permission from those who “own” the songs, combines them digitally on his computer, makes entirely new songs out of the old ones, and puts on the most insane concerts you will ever go to (trust me).  His music is old school.  It’s new school.  It’s hip hop.  It’s rap.  It’s rock.  It’s ballads.  It’s…..craziness.

Here’s the problem with Girl Talk’s music, he doesn’t get permission from the songs that are copyrighted.  So his art is technically illegal.  The movie asks the question, how can you limit creativity?  If culture always builds on the past, how can you try to restrict our use of the past?  If ideas are meant to be shared, then how can you own them?  If art is meant to move and inspire others, how can you restrict the inspiration of the viewers?  What does that say about our society?  That we NEED to make money off of our thoughts, our ideas, our art, our music, our words, our love, our beauty.  The beauty we create.  That beauty is what makes life worth living.  It is the closest thing to being divine that the human race can achieve.  Why create it if you only keep it to yourself?  If you really do not want your work to be shared, then why make it?  Do you really need to see or hear it for yourself?  …probably not.  The intention for most artists is for their creations to be shared.

When referring to the sharing of art via the internet, the movie said, “There is no way to kill this type of knowledge.  It can only criminalize its use.”


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