Watch: RiP: A Remix Manifesto (2009)
Listening: Download and listen to a copy of Girl Talk – Night Ripper
Reading: 1) Bermingham, L.B. "CULTURE JAMMING or a culture jammed? RiP!: A Remix Manifesto." Screen Education. Winter.54 (2009): 44-47. Print.
2) http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Night_Ripper (for list of sampled songs)
Week eight was a central week in my course since I really feel that the film RiP!: A Remix Manifesto (2009) talks about very important current issue within media studies. I also assigned the album “Night Ripper” by Girl Talk since the artist’s work forms the basis for the documentaries subject matter. Ever since Napster first breached the copyright boundary a decade ago we have needed to update our copyright infringement laws. I think the film does an excellent job of answering not only the problems with copyright laws but also whether or not they should be changed or updated. The reading would prepare students for some of the issues that the documentary looks at such as how our future is becoming less free and Girl Talk’s creative process. What I really felt makes this film valuable was how it makes the leap from media copyright into scientific copyright and patents. The film hints that laws that are in place to protect intellectual property limit research in the cure for cancer and AIDS. This makes the issue of copyright infringement much larger than just about protecting someone’s ideas or musical property. Each of the samples that are used by the artist Girl Talk are examples of copyright infringement but the Bermingham article makes the point that Disney has been appropriating classical stories for the basis of their content for years and asks the question “what is different about their use?” Finally I included the wikipedia page for Night Ripper because it lists all the samples used in the album that I’m sure many students will recognize from their own music libraries. An idea for class this week might be to poll students about which albums from Night Ripper they already own in order to see what percentage of the album the average fan might have already paid for.
Right now you can check out this snippet of the documentary looking at how our culture is becoming less free