RiP it up; mash it up!

The RiP documentary was great. I took two things away from the movie, one as a writer and the other as a teacher.

First, the point from an artist’s perspective: I don’t have a problem with mash up, except the creator–Girl Talk, for instances–cite his sources. “Here’s all the music I used to create this track.” If my name is in the credits, I’m happy. Now people can visit a bookstore and buy my book to learn more my work. With that idea in mind, mash up actually helps the musicians and writers and photographers who are featured in these works get attention. More importantly, the corporations, not the musicians, have a problem withe mash ups; it’s not from a creative perspective, but that of financial need. Why should anyone respect these corporations who don’t have a hand in the creation of the music, when it’s the band or artist who do the majority of the work, and has more talent than the company executives?

This point brings me to my second take-away, as a teacher: copyright and fair use is a huge topic in education, especially public schools. Two years ago I collaborated with a classmate to create a newsletter to parents that explained plagiarism and copyright–what students could and could not do with intellectual properties. I’m all for mash up in the classroom, unfortunately with the copyright laws, and sometimes the ambiguity of those laws, prevents my future students from exploring this side of creativity. The way around this, I think, is to have the same approach when writing research essays: students quote the author and then cite the source. Why can’t students use The Strokes in a video and cite the band in the ending credits. How are the two–essays and video–different from one another?

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2 Responses to RiP it up; mash it up!

  1. Valley Girl says:

    I totally agree! The RIP video was my first exposure (that I know of) to mash-up. I love it. I don’t have a problem with it either. If we can use someone’s creativity by citing the original sources in written material, why not in music, video, other media? I think that is something the copyright laws maybe need to adjust to. Emerson and Thoreau often used previous writers’ works to spring off from, so this idea of using portions of what someone else has created and adding to it is not new. As long as credit is given at the end so viewers can go back to the original, if so inspired, then it should be lawful. I agree that maybe corporations are getting in the way because of the almighty dollar. It all comes down to making a buck. Where do free expression and rights of ownership meet?

  2. scrapscribe says:

    I had the same thought about citing sources. And also the same question of how are say, research papers and videos/music any different as long as you cite. I’m SO with you on this brother! 😀

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