If you've been meaning to explore the muddy waters of copyright law, you may want to check out a a documentary film by web activist Brett Gaylor and musician Greg "Girl Talk" Gillis. Dubbed RiP: A remix manifesto, the creators practise what they preach, currently offering the film for download on a pay-what-you-can model, as well as inviting people to remix the film after getting it online.
Taking its cure from Harvard law professor Lawrence Lessig and other "copyfighters," RiP takes a look at how "culture builds upon culture in the information age," showing viewers four key developments - how culture repeats itself and builds on the past, how the past constantly attempts to control the future, how the future is becoming less free, and how control over the past must be limited to build free societies.
The film also delves into some of the biggest cultural scams in history, from Walt Disney stealing ideas from old fairy tales to Led Zeppelin copping blues riffs on their most famous songs. But the film mostly revolves around Girl Talk, one of the kings of the mash-up, and includes lots of footage from his innovative - and sweaty - live shows.
For updates on the film, downloads, screenings and info on an imminent DVD release, sign up for the RiP mailing list here. And, well, name your price and watch the thing.
Unfortunately, though, Canadian viewers may have jump through some technical hoops if they want to download RiP, as it's currently only available to download for those in the U.S. Bummer, we know.