BRETT GAYLOR: Hi, I'm Brett Gaylor, the director of RiP! A Remix Manifesto. So if you downloaded this film from ripremix.com, thanks and I hope you made a contribution. If you didn't, it's OK. We're not going to send any lawyers after you. But we just want to let you know that you can download this film, and pay what you want at ripremix.com. It goes a long way to help support the people who made the film, as well as those who are making sure it gets out there.
And don't forget that this film is licensed under a Creative Commons license, so that means you can remix it and remake it into whatever you want. And if you want to make your own contributions to further evolving versions of the film, visit opensourcecinema.org where we're making continued versions of the film that'll play around the world. So thanks and keep remixing.
[TECHNOLOGY SOUND EFFECTS]
SPEAKER 1: Today, we're going to create a mash up-- a fun and adventurous way to make something fresh out of something stale.
SPEAKER 2: And we heard--
SPEAKER 3: --girl talk from the aesthetic legal margins of music.
SPEAKER 4: When you experiment with products over a period of time, you find that some of the cut ups seem to refer to future events. Stop at random and then cut in a phrase. And how random is random?
SPEAKER 5: No question, the insidious virus amidst this illegal downloading of music is--
SPEAKER 6: Some people with some samplers.
SPEAKER 9: Which poppy noise sounds like thunder phonics, sounds like happy up tempo, [INAUDIBLE] puppy.
SPEAKER 10: Michael Jackson had the Mounties called in to confiscate all the copies of the CD.
SPEAKER 11: Now before we get our freak on, we need to match up our feelings.
SPEAKER 12: Cleveland, what's up? Make some noise!
Is Cleveland all right tonight?
SPEAKER 13: The operator on some level, knew just where he was cutting in.
BRETT GAYLOR: Let's stop and play a game. See if you can tell me the author of this song.
MICHAEL JACKSON: [SINGING] Come on. Come on. Come on. Let me show you what it's all about. Come on. Come on. Come on. Let me show you what it's all about. Come on. Come on. Come on. Let me show you what it's all about. Come on. Come on. Come on. Let me show you what it's all about. Come on. Come on. Come on. Let me show you what it's all about.
BRETT GAYLOR: If you guessed the Jackson 5, you'd be wrong. Try again.
If you guessed Queen, you're still wrong. Because this music was created by my favorite artist, Girl Talk. Girl Talk makes mash ups. His computer is an instrument, and the notes he plays are sampled from thousands of pop music classics cut up and rearranged to create new songs.
GIRL TALK: Pop music or music from different genres seems untouchable, you know, Elton John seems untouchable. Obviously they create that. And they force that idea in your mind that these people are superstars, they're untouchable. So just being able to just manipulate and do whatever you want, and just kind of put Elton John in a headlock, and just put a beat behind him and pour a beer on his head.
BRETT GAYLOR: Whether or not you think this music is original isn't the point. Because the rules of this game don't depend on who made the songs. They depend on who owns the copyright. And according to the people that do, sampling even a single note is grounds for a lawsuit. That means these kids should not be dancing. And you shouldn't be watching, because using these songs in my movie is against the rules too. And the fact that there are people out there calling my favorite artist a criminal is exactly why I need to make this film.
This movie is about a war, a war over ideas. The battleground is the internet, and I take that personally. Because I was born at the exact same time as the internet.
I was born on a small island off the west coast of Canada. My parents were trying to get away from the world. But like all kids, I wanted the opposite. I wanted to connect back. Luckily, the creators of the internet thought the same way.
SPEAKER 14: This computer will talk to this computer, sending a message first to this computer, and forwarding on to this computer, thereby acting as a relay.
BRETT GAYLOR: Millions of computers were connected and evolved into one perfect machine, designed for a single purpose, sharing information. The internet allowed me to connect from my island to the world, to communicate ideas with millions of others, and a media literate generation emerged, able to download the world's culture and transform it into something different. And we called our new language remix.
Funny things, political things, new things were all uploaded back to the net. The creative process became more important than the product, because consumers were now creators, making the folk art of the future.
But the people who owned the culture that we remixed, they represented the past. And they declared war.
They didn't see a great library, or an information superhighway. They saw a supermarket. And they wanted to get paid. For these people, ideas are intellectual property locked up until purchase. They use infinite money, corporate lobbies, and lawsuits to protect their property. Let's call this side the copyright.
On the other side are those who want to share ideas. We'll call them the copyleft. These people believe that the public domain must be protected to ensure the free exchange of ideas and the future of art and culture. These are the people I've traveled the world to find.
Together we've drafted a manifesto, and it goes like this. Culture always builds on the past. But the past will always try to control the future. Our future is becoming less free. And to build free societies we need to limit the control of the past.
What these kids are doing on this dance floor is unraveling that control. The future and the past are dueling it out right here. And whoever wins gets to decide if ideas will be determined by the public domain or private corporations in science, industry, medicine; our entire culture.
But let's start with everyone's favorite battle, music.
Remember Girl Talk? He knows a lot about intellectual property. Because by day, he's an engineer who samples biological data.
By night, he tests how people's biology reacts to his musical data.
GIRL TALK: You know, people have a hard time taking a step back and thinking, wow, sampling is an instrument. Potentially in the future we're going to look back and just be like, wow, I can't believe people were having these moral struggles with someone collaging two songs together. That seems like something that could be very dated very fast.
BRETT GAYLOR: Well, what is the moral dilemma? Who would have a problem with Girl Talk's music?
MARYBETH PETERS: I've been at the Copyright Office for more than 40 years. You need to know, I don't have a computer at home. I've never done a mash up. I've actually never downloaded a song that was hanging out there.
BRETT GAYLOR: Can I show you a mash up?
MARYBETH PETERS: Sure.
GIRL TALK: So, I'll just grab any one of those, paste that into a new window, Elvis Costello Radio. So if I just highlight the first kind of percussion hit--
So if I put 0.25 seconds of it there, then paste 0.125 seconds of it, which is half of that, then paste a 0.25 seconds again. So this is one second now. And this should be on a rhythm.
Put in 0.125 seconds of silence. Put it twice. That's 0.25 seconds of silence. And paste the a 0.25 seconds again.
MARYBETH PETERS: Oh my god.
GIRL TALK: Paste the 0.125 seconds.
BRETT GAYLOR: This is a lot of copyright infringement?
MARYBETH PETERS: Well, no. I'm just amazed at what he's doing.
GIRL TALK: So I'm just taking his notes and rearranging them. I'll put in the minimal version.
Then you can put a beat underneath that. Then I'll put in the extended version. And they're layering over each other. So you can hear the ones that fit with each other. And I could slow either one of these down. So if I wanted to go-- or speed them up, so if I want to go this-- twice the speed and increase the pitch.
MARYBETH PETERS: So none of it is his. He's just rearranging other stuff?
GIRL TALK: So that pretty much sounds nothing like that original song. And I would say that's roughly the equivalent of taking a familiar Beatles melody on your guitar and rearranging the notes and putting a new guitar pedal sound on it, and calling it your own song.
MARYBETH PETERS: It's taking something that was and turning it into something that it wasn't. There's just-- there's like a gazillion copyright questions that-- it would be a great exam question for a copyright law class. The answer will always be, it depends. And in part it depends on whose it is and how upset they are.
BRETT GAYLOR: Wouldn't there be something to be said that his creativity is being limited?
MARYBETH PETERS: No.
BRETT GAYLOR: No?
MARYBETH PETERS: His creativity isn't. You can't argue your creativity, when it's based on other people's stuff.
BRETT GAYLOR: Well, why not? Girl Talk's music is obviously creative. Remember the manifesto? Culture always builds on the past. And it didn't start with Girl Talk. He isn't the first artist to make new music from old songs.
MUDDY WATERS: I made that blues up in '38.
SPEAKER 15: Tell me a little of the story of it, if you don't mind.
MUDDY WATERS: Well, I just felt blue and the song just fell into my mind and come to me just like this song and I starting singing the song.
SPEAKER 15: Do you know is that tune, the tune for any other blues that you know?
MUDDY WATERS: Well, this song comes from the cotton fields and the boy that put out the record of it was Robert Johnson.
SPEAKER 15: Did you know the tune before you heard it on the record, though?
MUDDY WATERS: Yes, sir. I knew the tune before I heard in on the record.
SPEAKER 15: And who did you learn it from?
MUDDY WATERS: I learned it from Son House.
GIRL TALK: So right now I'm going to introduce the loop from the Led Zeppelin song, "A Whole Lot of Love," and I'm going to have and A/B comparison between that riff and the riff from Muddy Waters, "You Need Love."
LED ZEPPELIN: [SINGING] Way down inside--
MUDDY WATERS: [SINGING] Way Way down inside, woman you need love. I know you need love. You just have some love.
THE STAPLE SINGERS: [SINGING] This may be the last time. This may-- This may be the last time to--
THE ROLLING STONES: [SINGING] May be the last time, I don't know. Oh, no. Oh, no.
THE VERVE: [SINGING] Cause it's a bittersweet symphony that's life. Trying to make ends meet, you're a slave to money then you die.
MUDDY WATERS: The song came into my mind and just come to me just like that song, and I started singing, and went on. I knew the tune, before I heard it on the record.
SPEAKER 15: Who'd you learn it from?
BRETT GAYLOR: So if artists build on the work that came before them, then a healthy public domain is essential to creativity. Because in the public domain, we can freely build on earlier works. It's part of evolution. Think Mozart, Shakespeare, or Thomas Edison. But these days, the public domain isn't so healthy. Let's play the game again. See if you can sing the lyrics to this next song written in 1893, and still not in the public domain.
If you so much as hummed that, then you're a copyright criminal, because to sing it in a theater, restaurant, or any other public space the law requires you to pay royalties. But you wouldn't be paying this money to the two sisters who wrote the song, because they died a long time ago. You'd be paying Warner Chappell, the world's largest music publisher. The song makes them millions of dollars a year in licensing revenue.
So what do you think would happen if Girl Talk and I were to ask permission to sample from the people who own the history of music?
That's good, dude.
SPEAKER 16: [BLEEP] Publishing.
BRETT GAYLOR: Yeah, hi. I'm wondering if you can pass me on to the copyright manager.
SPEAKER 16: No. They only take emails. They don't take calls.
BRETT GAYLOR: Is there anybody that just can kind of explain it to me?
BRETT GAYLOR: Hi, there.
SPEAKER 17: Hi, how are you?
BRETT GAYLOR: I'm good, thanks. Yeah, I'm making a documentary film and one of the characters, he uses a lot of different samples in his music.
SPEAKER 17: OK.
BRETT GAYLOR: Do we have to clear that for a film as well?
SPEAKER 17: Is this-- has he released a CD or a recording of this music?
BRETT GAYLOR: Should I hang up?
SPEAKER 17: Well, it's very possible that he has not cleared his samples through us. He is legally not allowed to use any of these songs, unless he clears his sample through us first. So--
BRETT GAYLOR: So let's do the math. This Girl Talk song crams 21 songs into three minutes. Each title is owned by an average of four corporations, who want at least $2,500 per sample. That makes $210,000 just for the publishers. The recordings are owned by labels, another $52,000. So far that's $262,500. To clear his album, he'd be looking at well over $4 million. And the best part is that if any of these 85 corporations don't like mash-ups, they can just pull the plug. And if you keep on making the music, well, that's when the lawsuits start happening.
So how did it come to this? Well, believe it or not, copyright was originally designed to encourage people to create, not stop them. Once upon a time, all ideas were in the public domain. Every invention and every piece of art could be built upon by the generation that followed. And one inventor built on the public domain to create the printing press, the machine that created the modern world and with it a beautiful dilemma. Now ideas could be spread around the globe. But how could an individual now profit from his or her creative efforts?
The solution was the first copyright law. The Statute of Anne gave authors exclusive rights to their work. But the law was meant to be a balance between the rights of authors and those of the public. So after 14 years, the work fell into the public domain and anyone could copy it. But over the years, people kept inventing newer and better copying machines, each disrupting the business model that had come before.
From the player piano, to the radio, to the VCR; each technology originally copied ideas without paying the copyright holder. The solution was always a balance. Lawmakers ensured the right of the new technology to innovate, while maintaining the right of authors to still get paid. By 1998, the music industry was raking in over $13 billion a year. And that's when an 18-year-old college dropout invented Napster, a program that transformed the world's computers into a peer-to-peer music-sharing network. The record industry realized that in this future they would lose control. So when Napster offered to pay a billion dollars in exchange for a license to allow their users to keep copying, the record industry refused to evolve, parted with history, and started suing.
SPEAKER 18: [SINGING] Breaking rocks in the hot son. I fought the law and the law won.
SPEAKER 19: Napster--
SPEAKER 20: Napster--
SPEAKER 21: Napster.
SPEAKER 22: Hi. I'm one of the kids who was prosecuted for downloading music free off of the internet.
SPEAKER 23: What is it about this?
LARS ULRICH: In essence, it's about control. It's really about controlling what you own.
SPEAKER 23: To own and control his art.
LARS ULRICH: Control, yes. It's controlling that, timeout for one second. Part of what we're trying to do here is make people understand that what they're doing is illegal.
SPEAKER 24: That means come clean, delete your files, and promise to never ever do it again.
BRETT GAYLOR: But Napster was a peer-to-peer technology, the opposite of broadcast. It allowed people to share files directly between individuals. You didn't need a central signal. You just needed a connection and a friend. And there were a lot more of us than there were of them.
CORY DOCTOROW: When Napster was shut down, it was like we were cockroaches. They turned the lights on, and we all streamed under the furniture. And we had missed the fact that in 18 months we'd assembled the largest library of human creativity ever, and we'd done it for free. When the courts shut Napster down, there were I think 52 million Napster users, and 50 million had voted for each political candidate in the presidential election.
So there were enough Napster users to change the outcome of the election.
BRETT GAYLOR: Napster had captured the world's attention, because it was simple, effective, and deliciously fun. Everyone started sharing all their music. And before you knew it, we had built up the greatest library of music in history. But it also meant we didn't need the record labels anymore. Because now we were all distributors.
CHUCK D: For the longest period of time, the industry had controlled technology. And therefore the people were subservient to that technology. This is like the power goes back to the people.
LARS ULRICH: Right, but--
CHUCK D: And it had definitely been two different worlds.
LARS ULRICH: But there is millions of dollars involved in this. If the record company bosses don't take the money, then the internet people are going to take-- somebody is going to profit off this. And if it's not the artists, then you're profiting it illegally. It's bulletproof.
SPEAKER 23: All right, bulletproof meaning what?
LARS ULRICH: That if you're going to do this, you're going to have people like Metallica with very deep pockets who are very tenacious on your back all the time. And whether that's something that you want to continue pursuing basically.
BRETT GAYLOR: Welcome to point 2, the established powers of the past will always try to control the future.
DON SMITH: We received notice from the attorney that there's been illegal activity on our computer. She was representing, of course, the recording industry. She said, you're guilty, Mr. Smith, of downloading songs illegally on your computer. And I said to the woman. I said, I've never downloaded songs. And she said, well someone in your household must have. And I said, perhaps.
I said, you have to understand my computer is our family computer. And on any given Friday or Saturday night, my child would have maybe dozens of friends over. And at that point she said, well, we will send you a form. And you can implicate your child. I'm Don Smith. I'm a pastor and a ministry consultant from McKinney, Texas in the Dallas, Texas area. And I have been sued for copyright infringement.
SPEAKER 25: There is no god!
CORY DOCTOROW: In this world in which we pretend that we're not all copyright criminals, it's like the Victorians who pretended that they didn't all masturbate. Right? The official line was if you masturbated, you get hair on your palms, you'd go blind, you'd go nuts. Right? The official line today is that only bad people copy files without authorization. In both cases, it's not true. And I think that what's happening with copyright is the same thing that happened with masturbation. That people are starting to admit to each other, yeah, I do it too.
BRETT GAYLOR: But at the same time the law made 52 million people copyright criminals, one lawyer was launching a movement to set them all free. His name is Lawrence Lessig. He's the guy who wrote the manifesto that inspired this film.
LAWRENCE LESSIG: The one thing that's absolutely clear is that there's no way to kill this technology. We can only criminalize it's use. We can't stop people from taking culture and remaking it in a way that expresses their ideas differently. We can only drive this creativity underground. We can't make our kids passive in the way we were growing up. We can only make them quote, "pirates." and the question we've got to ask is whether this is any good.
BRETT GAYLOR: Lessig has been traveling the globe for over a decade, sounding the alarm on his own country's copyright policy.
LAWRENCE LESSIG: You know, I'm not anti-American. So I'm not trying to rally people against America. But I am anti this particular version of American policy. I'm embarrassed by it. Because it is so extreme relative to our tradition. And it does harm when it forces-- when this kind of extremism is forced on developing nations. And I think it's particularly appropriate then to come to developing nations and to at least get them to recognize that there's another side to this story.
So I felt like a lawyer with a guilty conscience that somehow there had to be a balance to this. And if a mess was being created because lawyers were playing into the hands of these people who profited from this, then lawyers needed to be on the other side. So that's what really got me going.
BRETT GAYLOR: I want to make a mash-up film basically. I want to take all my favorite mash-ups, my favorite movies on these subjects, stuff I find on the internet, and I want to cut this together in a way that really tells the story of the last 10 years of copyright. I'm wondering if maybe you could take a look at it.
LAWRENCE LESSIG: Yeah, that's fantastic. It's totally illegal.
BRETT GAYLOR: Will they take my house?
LAWRENCE LESSIG: Do you have a house?
BRETT GAYLOR: No.
LAWRENCE LESSIG: Well, then don't worry.
BRETT GAYLOR: OK, good. This is the kind of advice I was looking for. But isn't there some fair use in here, or is it all fair use?
LAWRENCE LESSIG: Well, in my view of what fair use ought to be, everything that you've shown me should be fair use.
BRETT GAYLOR: Fair use is a part of copyright law that allows for free speech. I can use small amounts of copyrighted material to make an argument.
I can still get sued. But now I have a defense.
LAWRENCE LESSIG: I think that the way you think about it is imagine you were writing an essay, and in the course of the essay you would quote stuff from your culture. You'd quote passages from some popular writer. Or you'd have passages from Shakespeare, or whatever, you just include it. And you'd use it to try to make your story, right? And what you do is you'd quote and you'd cite. That's what you do.
You should have the same freedom with film as that writer has with that text. Nobody would doubt that the writer could do that with the text. But it's a federal case whether you are allowed to do that with film.
BRETT GAYLOR: The coolest lawyer in the world just told me I'm making an illegal film.
If I want to use this Girl Talk song, I would need to ask dozens of rock stars and get permission from the Warner Brothers. But there's no amount of money in the world that would convince the music industry to allow me to use their own music to criticize them. If it were up
NARRATOR: If it were up to them, you wouldn't be allowed to hear anything.
GREGG MICHAEL GILLIS: Generate silence-- OK.
NARRATOR: So how do I make a mashup film without playing a mashup? My one hope is fair use, because I am making a point. My point is that copyright is out of control. It's been manipulated for profit at everyone's expense.
This is a global issue, so the debate shouldn't be limited to just me, or a bunch of lawyers and lobbyists. Why not enlist the world's remixers to join the discussion?
[MUSIC - GIRL TALK, "BOUNCE THAT"]
I started a website called OpenSourceCinema, and I put all my footage online to see what people will do with it. So far this film has been mixed and remixed to the point where 64 university students even got together to make an animated version.
[MUSIC - GIRL TALK, "BOUNCE THAT"]
KILLER MIKE: (SINGING) I be on it all night man, I be on it all day.
NARRATOR: So now I've got a posse. And we're creating this movie together. Whenever you see this song, you'll know that this piece of video came from someone else. Maybe it came from you.
SPEAKER 2: These are communities that are being created by the opportunity this technology makes available. And these communities engage in a kind of conversation, each one taking what the other had done and adding to it, mixing it, and changing it, and engaging in a creative act.
SPEAKER 3: Hello. Yes. Hello.
NARRATOR: And my community taught me that the remix game has been going on for a long time.
SPEAKER 3: Hello. Yes. Hello.
SPEAKER 4: When you experiment with cut-ups over a period of time, you find that some of the cut-ups and rearranged text seem to refer to future events. Stopped at random and cut in [INAUDIBLE], we have a new juxtaposition. Now of course this procedure on the tape recorder produces new words by all the juxtaposition.
SPEAKER 5: At first I tried to create new art forms out of the remains of older culture.
NARRATOR: From the Dada-ists, to the beat poets, to the pop art of Warhol-- today's remixers are standing on the shoulders of giants.
[MUSIC - BILLY FAITHFUL, "DARTH BLUES"]
SPEAKER 2: The importance of this remix has nothing to do with the technique that each of these videos demonstrates. The importance is that this technique has now been democratized. This remix gives anyone with access to a $1,500 computer the power to say things differently.
[? [MUSIC - JOHN LENNON, "IMAGINE (CISKKO REMIX)"] ?]
JOHN LENNON: (SINGING) Imagine there's no heaven. It's easy if you try. No hell below us. Above us, only skies. Imagine all the people living for today. [INAUDIBLE] peace.
SPEAKER 2: This is writing in the 21st century. It is literacy for a new generation. It is building a different democracy. It is building a different culture, where people participate in the creation and the recreation of the culture around us, a form of culture that has existed from the beginning of human society all the way through the present, except for one century-- the 20th century.
[MUSIC - "MICKEY MOUSE CLUBHOUSE SONG"]
NARRATOR: Well if you were born in the 20th century like I was, you're probably familiar with the song you're listening to, and you probably grew up watching the creations of Walt Disney. I love this stuff. And so does Cory Doctorow who's probably one of the only copyright activists in Mickey's Club.
MICKEY MOUSE CLUB: (SINGING) Who's the leader of the club that's made for you and me, M-I-C-K-E-Y-M-O-U-S-E!
CORY DOCTOROW: Ultimately, what this is a ride about is about glorifying piracy. They have a great gift shop when you get off that's all full of pirate stuff. I always walk in and I go, man, all this stuff makes me want to download a movie.
SPEAKER 2: I'm a big fan of this man, Walt Disney. I'm a big fan of his work, because his greatest works demonstrate beautifully how culture builds on the past. What Walt Disney did better than perhaps anybody else was to take works that were in the public domain, and updated it, and made it relevant for our age.
His work was always continuing the conversation of a culture. It was an expression through a remix of the stuff the went before.
CORY DOCTOROW: Walt was-- he was a mashup artist. Steamboat Willie was based on Steamboat Bill. And in his notes on the score, he says basically to his-- he instructs his staff, go and rip off Steamboat Bill for me, please.
[MUSIC - IRVING KAUFMAN - "STEAMBOAT BILL"]
IRVING KAUFMAN: (SINGING) Steamboat Bill, steamin' down the Mississippi. [WHISTLING]
CORY DOCTOROW: He used that so that people will know that we're referencing Steamboat Bill here. I think he was meant to be a stand-in for every person, to be a, kind of, a generic every-man. And so I think that we were told to identify with Mickey. And when you're told to identify with Mickey, you sometimes do.
DAN O'NEILL: (SINGING) Oh, the stork has brought a son and daughter to Mr. and Mrs. Mickey Mouse.
NARRATOR: In the 1960's, a cartoonist named Dan O'Neil wanted to turn American capitalism on its head. And for him, Mickey Mouse was the only character for the job. O'Neill and a collective of proto-remixers known as the Air Pirates re-imagined Mickey as a drug-dealing revolutionary. Disney sued repeatedly. It was a love generation standoff between freedom of speech versus the right of a corporation to control its intellectual property.
SPEAKER 6: Do you feel that an artist has a right to the characters that he or she creates?
SPEAKER 7: Absolutely not. I stole this mouse fair and square.
[MUSIC - "SOMEWHERE"]
DAN O'NEILL: (SINGING) I always go when I want to. Oh I always get what I want. 'Cause I whine all the time.
SPEAKER 8: I got you something [INAUDIBLE]
DAN O'NEILL: What do we got? Oh, how nice. This is great.
SPEAKER 8: You should have used this in court.
DAN O'NEILL: Well yeah, I did put in one of these things in court, which they had for $1.25-- how to draw Mickey Mouse it said on it. I mean, you guys want to tell me how to do this. This is the 1950's CIA mouse, see? See, this is 1928 Steamboat Willie. This is the real mouse here. They weren't using him. And then when we used him, they went back to him like a shot-- right back to him, oh boy. They put this image into everybody's mind. So basically, we have a mouse disease, you know-- artists inflicted with this impulse to draw your stupid mouse.
NARRATOR: Despite multiple trips to court, O'Neill couldn't stop drawing Mickey. He formed a remix terrorist group called the Mouse Liberation Front, enlisting cartoonists around the world to draw their own Mickey. Disney finally hauled O'Neill to the Supreme Court, whose unanimous decision nine to nothing, was that the Air Pirates' use of Mickey Mouse was not fair. They had taken "too much."
DAN O'NEILL: So I had all the underground [? dough ?] players of the '60s all [INAUDIBLE], because they didn't know anything about copyright. I mean, that's Mickey Mouse. But everybody knows that's not Mickey Mouse, because Mickey Mouse wouldn't do that.
SPEAKER 8: Well why go up to Mickey? Why did you--
DAN O'NEILL: Well, because Mickey-- I would have gone after Popeye. I would have gone after Little Lulu. I would've gone after anybody who was paranoid enough to attack everybody on sight. It wasn't about Mickey Mouse. It was about that Disney sued everybody for just looking at them. All of a sudden-- this is really silly. All righty then, let's see. There's another federal crime.
[MUSIC - "BROTHER CAN YOU SPARE A DIME"]
DAN O'NEILL: (SINGING) Once I built a tower up to the sky, bricks and mortar and lime. Once I built a tower. Now it's done. Brother, can you spare a dime?
SPEAKER 2: Now after Walt Disney, Walt Disney Corporation changed. It's no longer the objective simply to create works and build on the past. Instead, it was also the objective to control Disney works, to make sure others couldn't build upon them.
SPEAKER 9: Now Disney lawyers have taken aim at this Florida day care center, saying it has no right to use Disney characters on its walls. The daycare center called Very Important Babies received a letter from the Disney company insisting the characters violate copyright laws, and could give the impression that this center is affiliated with Disney.
SPEAKER 10: I don't know of anyone who ever drove by here, and went, oh look, Disneyland.
SPEAKER 9: Kids and parents here at Very Important Babies don't want to lose Mickey.
SPEAKER 11: I feel sad a lot.
SPEAKER 9: That they took Mickey down? Why?
SPEAKER 11: Because I like him.
SPEAKER 12: It hurt me real bad, it make me cry.
NARRATOR: So if you want to know why "Happy Birthday" still isn't in the public domain, it's because after Walt Disney died, the Walt Disney Corporation asked the President of the United States to give them the most magical birthday gift of all.
SPEAKER 13: Finally, there was a distinguished visitor at the White House today. This fellow received a rather special welcome. And why not? He is the most famous mouse in the history of mouse-kind. So he pranced through the East Room today. There was even a stirring rendition of the old Mouseketeer club song.
NARRATOR: In 1998, on Mickey's 60th birthday, copyright law was rewritten to give the Disney empire control of the mouse indefinitely. Copyright terms were extended to the life of the author plus 70 years. Corporations got 95 years, more than quadrupling the original 14-year term of US copyright. And it wasn't just Mickey. Everything that was supposed to be free to remix was now locked up. So today, if you want to make art from the public domain, you'll have to settle for works created before 1923. So here we have the best example of point one and two-- Walt Disney built in the past. Then he died. And the Walt Disney Corporation changed the law so that no one else could do it again. Nowadays, if you want to be a mashup artist like Walt Disney, you've got to work outside the law.
GREGG MICHAEL GILLIS' FATHER: We used to always do Hall & Oates. And that was our favorite group. And Gregg, he always liked Hall & Oates, too. And I saw one interview in one of the articles, and they said, how do you keep it real? And Gregg said, I put Hall & Oates on every one of my albums. So we thought that was nice.
[MUSIC - GIRL TALK, "THE JOYSTICKS"]
GREGG MICHAEL GILLIS: Well there's me with my shirt off in high school at a Joysticks show.
GREGG MICHAEL GILLIS' MOM: Oh. So--
GREGG MICHAEL GILLIS: So there you go.
GREGG MICHAEL GILLIS' MOM: --it goes way back. I told him, keep the shirt on.
GREGG MICHAEL GILLIS' GIRL: I tell him keep his shirt on too.
GREGG MICHAEL GILLIS' MOM: Yes. [INAUDIBLE]
GREGG MICHAEL GILLIS' DAD: The shirt's not bad. It's keep the pants on.
GREGG MICHAEL GILLIS: Sometimes it gets hot up there.
GREGG MICHAEL GILLIS' DAD: Yeah.
GREGG MICHAEL GILLIS: It loosens people up. You know, they feel good. They feel comfortable.
GREGG MICHAEL GILLIS' DAD: But again, Gregg, like we said before, we think you're talented enough that-- why do you have take your pants off?
GREGG MICHAEL GILLIS' GIRL: I seriously say that all the time.
GREGG MICHAEL GILLIS: I don't-- I don't do it all the time. I only-- I take my shirt off when it's hot. And most of the time, when my pants come off, it's because people ripped it off. And I can't be this guy conducting this party, and have my pants taken off, and then me, you know, hiking them back up. And other people take their clothes off too. It's just-- you know, it's that sort of environment.
GREGG MICHAEL GILLIS' MOM: I didn't know that.
GREGG MICHAEL GILLIS' GIRL: Yeah.
GREGG MICHAEL GILLIS' MOM: I think he's talented and very creative, but there's always that concern with the copyright. So that's-- I think that's--
GREGG MICHAEL GILLIS: Why did you have to go there?
GREGG MICHAEL GILLIS' MOM: I'm sorry.
GREGG MICHAEL GILLIS: [INAUDIBLE] here?
GREGG MICHAEL GILLIS' MOM: After I said that, I thought, oh--
GREGG MICHAEL GILLIS' DAD: We're afraid he may land in jail, or get sued, or something along those lines. Because I mean, you know, we know what he does. Supposedly it's copyright infringement, so you know, we're waiting for the shoe to drop. It hasn't, but you know, we're concerned.
GREGG MICHAEL GILLIS: Everyone's just going to keep getting more and more extreme with protecting their own ideas. And you know, I think eventually everyone's going to realize that it's beneficial to share ideas.
NARRATOR: Well that's the hope, although the past is doing a pretty good job of controlling the future. But remixers are fighting back.
[MUSIC - NEGATIVLAND, "I STILL HAVEN'T FOUND WHAT I'M LOOKING FOR"]
CASEY KASEM: He was a little dog named Snuggles. But he was most--
NARRATOR: Before I'd ever heard of Girl Talk, my remix heroes were Negativland-- professional shit disturbers who were sued for remixing U2.
CASEY KASEM: That's the letter U and the numeral 2. The four-man band features Adam Clayton on bass, Larry Mullen on drums, Dave Evans, nicknamed the edge on-- this is bullshit. Nobody cares. These guys are from England, and who gives a shit. Oh yeah, just a lot wasted names--
NARRATOR: More accurately, they were sued by U2's label, Island Records, for mixing the band with Casey Kasem.
MARK HOSLER: While we were on tour, I was handed a tape by someone at the show. And this was a tape recording of the Top 40 disk jockey Casey Kasem having a really bad day in the studio.
CASEY KASEM: And I got to tell you, when I first heard him, it blew me away. And it still does today, every time I listen to the tape.
MARK HOSLER: About 10 days after the single came out, 180-page lawsuit landed on our doorstep.
CASEY KASEM: This is American Top 40 right here on the radio station you grew up with, Music Radio 138-- oh fuck.
MARK HOSLER: Are we supposed to say certain things are off-limits to making art? Is art off-limits? Is other people's art off-limits, you know, to making art? That doesn't make any sense. That's just silly. That's just some business guy's way of thinking.
[MUSIC - NEGATIVLAND, "GUNS"]
NARRATOR: Negativland coined the phrase to describe their take on remixing. They called it culture jamming. They wanted to use the modern media against itself to critique the power it has over our lives.
MARK HOSLER: Corporations are completely taking over our culture, and telling us that we can only consume it. And we're saying no. We're saying we want to actually make with it, respond to it, take it, mutilate it, cut it up.
We're saying you don't ask us whether I want to have a billboard everywhere I go in my town. You don't ask me if I want to see your Nike logo everywhere I go. You don't ask me if I want to hear U2's music everywhere I go shopping, or when I eat in a restaurant, so why do I need to ask you to take a little bit of it, and make something out of it, and make fun of you, critique you. Why do I need to ask?
NARRATOR: Well, the culture jammers, mouse warriors, and the remixers of the world are up against one of the most powerful industries on Earth-- big media. Once comprised of countless movie studios and record companies, six Hollywood studios and four major record labels now control Hollywood. And these companies are owned by even bigger companies. Disney, Viacom, Time Warner, News Corp, BMG, and General Electric own more than 90% of media holdings in the United States.
All these companies are represented by two lobby groups-- the Recording Industry Association of America, and the Motion Picture Association of America. Like it or not, this is who owns and controls our culture. Their primary goal is to preserve the business model that made these corporations rich, even if it means convincing governments to halt the flow of new ideas, new technology, or better business models.
But as powerful as these groups are, there is one thing that threatens their very existence. Yes, along with China and Russia, my home and native land was singled out as one of the world's worst pirate nations. And they sent their cops after us.
ARNOLD SCHWARZENEGGER: Jackie and I are on a mission to stop piracy.
JACKIE CHAN: Help us stop piracy.
ARNOLD SCHWARZENEGGER: Let's terminate it.
NARRATOR: It started when Arnie came to talk with Prime Minister Steve about an international crisis-- people making bootleg DVDs with their camcorders.
ARNOLD SCHWARZENEGGER: [INAUDIBLE] jerseys.
STEPHEN HARPER: [INAUDIBLE] discuss environment, trade, camcording I want to talk about.
CHARLIE ANGUS: Certainly there's a lobby. There's a concerted corporate lobby to make us appear as though we are somehow derelict in our international duties if we don't enact whatever the industry lobby throws on our desk, and says, this is our wish list. You must make it happen.
NARRATOR: The wish list for Canada was simple-- lock up culture. Which brings us to point three-- our future is becoming less free. The thin edge of this wedge is technology known as digital rights management.
[MUSIC - AMI GOFF, "LEGALLY BOUND"]
NARRATOR: Using this technology, the record and movie companies can prevent you from copying CDs, DVDs, and files to your computer. Rather than letting the law decide what you can and can't do, now some corporate software will decide for you.
CORY DOCTOROW: I just call it the urinary tract infection business model. It used to be that, like, with a CD, or with other media, all the uses of it flowed freely and easily. But with the new regime for DRM, every new use flows in a small, painful, spurting drip, right? Every time you press a button on your remote, that's another $0.03 out of your pocket for the new rewinding right, and the new pausing right, and the new watching this in your minivan right.
NARRATOR: And free speech isn't in this bill of rights. So forget fair use. That's forbidden. The only way I can make a mashup movie is to use software that breaks the locks put on these movies.
But under Canada's proposed laws, that's a $20,000 infringement. I've done a lot of that. And I even gave a copy of the vault cracking software to my editor.
Now he's on the hook for $20,000. Sorry Tony. And for giving him these tools, I could be fined $100,000, and go to jail for five years.
CHARLIE ANGUS: What we saw in the US, is that there was a real pressure to lock down every possible right. It becomes a question, are we talking about updating copyrights for the 21st century? Or are we talking about actually using this fear of copyright to bring forward a radical rewriting of copyright, so you actually have copyright in areas it would never be before?
So let's look at the American record-- lawsuits against 10-year-olds, subpoenas delivered at schools, against stroke victims, against dead people-- you can't put locks on your citizens.
RICK CAIRNS: When you're online, it's easy to find out who you are, OK? We have the date, the name, the address, and all the 2,000 songs that you had up on your computer illegally, OK? And you can get five years in jail and $250,000 fines for every single song you steal.
SPEAKER 14: Isn't that a little overboard?
RICK CAIRNS: No, the reason why-- because there's a thing called intellectual property. Intellectual property is the property of somebody's mind, OK? If I write a song about love, my unique expression of that love is my property, OK? I don't own the rights to the concept of loved-- I wish I did-- that becomes my property. I have a copyright that lasts for my life plus 70 years.
SPEAKER 15: How many of you guys here actually do download music off the internet right now? Tell the truth. Do you guys-- like, how many of you guys actually think that when you're downloading your music, that you're stealing it?
NARRATOR: Since the internet came along, the entertainment lobby in the United States has pushed the government towards tougher and tougher laws, leading to lawsuits being filed against more than 24,000 American citizens.
[? DAVE GREWEL: ?] My name is Dave [? Grewel. ?]
[? RAYJAY SCHWARTZ: ?] Rayjay [? Schwartz. ?]
SPEAKER 16: I live in Colleyville, Texas.
[? RAYJAY SCHWARTZ: ?] I live in New York City.
SPEAKER 17: And my family has been sued by the RIAA.
SPEAKER 18: We had about nine or so songs probably on there that we had electrically downloaded.
SPEAKER 19: They threaten you with a very large sum of money.
SPEAKER 20: And they wanted somewhere around $4,500 to settle.
[? RAYJAY SCHWARTZ: ?] A Hundred thousand--
SPEAKER 21: I could be charged, at a minimum, $750 per song, all the way up to $150,000 per song.
SPEAKER 22: Now they're going after my kids.
SPEAKER 23: They're going after people on welfare. They're going to people on disability. They're going after people that don't have anything.
NARRATOR: Most of these people were forced to settle. They couldn't afford to face the RIAA in court. So without being found guilty of anything, they lost thousands of dollars. And not a penny went to the artists that were supposedly being defended. But when Jammie Thomas, a single mom in Minnesota, refused to settle, she ended up in court accused of downloading 24 songs, the equivalent of two greatest hits albums. Let's listen to her playlist of shame.
[MUSIC - DESTINY'S CHILD, "BILLS, BILLS, BILLS"]
[MUSIC - GLORIA ESTEFAN, "RHYTHM IS GONNA GET YOU"]
[MUSIC - AEROSMITH, "CRYIN'"]
[MUSIC - SHERYL CROW, "RUN BABY RUN"]
JAMMIE THOMAS: The verdict was that I had infringed, that I was liable for copyright infringement for 24 songs-- $9,250 per song for a total of $222,000. And
[MUSIC - JOURNEY, "DON'T STOP BELIEVIN'"]
They can take up to 25% of my wages to try and pay back the amount. Mr. Gabriel, who is the lead attorney for the plaintiffs said it best in the steps after the verdict was read. The very first statement out of his mouth was this is what happens when you don't settle. It wasn't a matter of, well you know, we won, or this that and the other. That's the very first thing he said, is this is what happens when you don't settle. I was, like, thinking, oh my god I'm going to lose my house. I'm going to lose everything.
[MUSIC - JOURNEY, "DON'T STOP BELIEVIN'"]
FRANK: Heather, what's the reaction like up there?
HEATHER BROWN: Well the record companies, Frank, are very happy.
RICHARD GABRIEL: This does send a message, I hope, that downloading and distributing copyrighted recordings is not OK.
NARRATOR: You know, I love Journey as much as the next person. But seriously, how far should industry be permitted to go to protect two dozen songs that you can buy for $8.99 at Safeway?
CORY DOCTOROW: Why shouldn't they be wiretapping this apartment? After all, here we are talking about means by which music may be stolen. You know, before the radio and the record came along, the only way that people made money from making music was by standing in a hall and being charismatic. The fact is technology giveth, technology taketh away. What was a business model in 1909 may be the business model in 2009. What was a business model in 1939 may not be the business model in 2007. That's how it goes.
[MUSIC - AMPLIVE, "NUDEZ (RADIOHEAD REMIX)"]
In 2007, the business model of music was completely rewritten. Radiohead, the biggest band in the world, left the record label EMI to release their next album on the internet. And they let their fans decide how much to pay for it. Within a matter of weeks, a San Francisco DJ named AmpLive started remixing the album. But the moment he put the songs on his website, AmpLive got a cease and desist letter threatening a lawsuit.
AMPLIVE: In Rainbows is one of the top Radiohead albums. I'm a big Radiohead fan. And it was all done in celebration. Maybe it's not even Radiohead, you know what I'm saying? Maybe it's some company that's involved with them, that's mad because they put their music out free, being innovative. And the company is not making any money right now.
NARRATOR: Radiohead didn't send that letter. It was the company they sold their publishing rights to, Warner Chappell, the same people who own "Happy Birthday." But Radiohead was now independent, and they called the shots. They told Warner to back off.
AMPLIVE: Big, big, big, big, big thanks to all the people who are sending in those YouTube clips.
SPEAKER 24: I love Radiohead!
SPEAKER 25: No, I love Radiohead more!
SPEAKER 24: I love AmpLive!
NARRATOR: And Radiohead kept going, releasing the raw studio sessions of their singles, and then their videos, so fans could make their own Radiohead songs. And just like that, the wall fell down between musicians, remixers, and fans. The music industry had refused to evolve. So we evolved for them.
GREGG GILLIS: Hello, my name is Gregg Gillis in this cubicle. And outside of here, everyone knows me as Girl Talk. It is Friday, and I'll be leaving in a few minutes to play in front of 400 kids who like my sample-based collage music.
SPEAKER 1: It's Friday night, and we're going to see Girl Talk.
SPEAKER 2: Show these hot-- these titans, these music titans, these big-ass companies-- show them where the real power lies at, man. It lies with us. Don't buy that shit.
GREGG GILLIS: I know there's a lot of cameras in the audience. This shit is not about me. It's about all of us because we're the same motherfucking person.
GREGG GILLIS: So take a picture of your god-damn self, because we're all the same dude!
Things like my album I don't think would get heard that well without the internet and Myspace. I think we're living in the greatest period of time for music ever, because anyone can be popular. Anyone's music can be heard. No one's controlling anything. It's back in the people's hands for the first time in a long time.
NARRATOR: If Girl Talk is any example, then it looks like the battle for the future of music will only escalate, because now he's sharing the stage with the pop stars he grew up sampling.
GREGG GILLIS: Coachella, are you all right tonight? Coachella, are you all right?
[INAUDIBLE] there's a ton of [INAUDIBLE] in the building. Appreciate you coming out to the best band known to man. This is going to be-- [INAUDIBLE] where you have sex at Coachella.
NARRATOR: Sorry. I'd love to keep playing this music, but I can't. My fair use argument has expired. Remember the fair use game? The reason I get to play illegal mash-up music is because I'm invoking free speech to make a comment. But I've already made my points about this music, so I can't legally justify showing any more. So I guess I'll have to play something from the public domain instead.
[CLASSICAL MUSIC PLAYING]
It's too bad, though, because this was a pretty sweet show. This one really got them going. He dropped AC/DC in the middle of the Black Eyed Peas. People were blogging about it for weeks.
[CLASSICAL MUSIC PLAYING]
Look, there's Paris. It's official. Copyright infringement is hot.
GREGG GILLIS: This is my girlfriend, Kendall.
PARIS HILTON: Hi, how are you?
PARIS HILTON: I'm Paris.
GREGG GILLIS: Did you get footage of that? Unreal. I just want to go home just post that as my blog right now. No words.
Seems really symbolic that it's like almost you won an award by being at Coachella. You know, it's like, this is the 50 bands this year who got to do it. You know, it's just nuts to be able to play at the same time as the Chili Peppers, or with-- at the same show as you playing, while you're playing. It's a pretty weird situation, you know. I'll probably play more proms than I'll play at Coachellas in my lifetime. I think the decision to put out a next album or not changes completely for me. I'm still up in the air on whether I openly want to put out an album, or whether I want to try to give it away for free, or however we're going to do it. I never thought about that before, you know.
But now-- now I'm not as quick to just put out an album because there's such focus on it. And I'm not-- I'm just again, I'm just trying to make the music I like to make. And if-- I'm not trying to get sued. I don't want to lose-- I'm just about to quit my job, so I think it would be the perfect downward spiral for me to quit my job and put out an album and get sued out of existence. So, you know, I don't want that to happen. I just kind of want to keep-- right now it's great. Put out an album, people like it. Get to tour. I just wish I could continue that without having to worry about law.
NARRATOR: Girl talk has more to worry about than just music and the law, because in his day job, ideas are definitely not free. There are patents. Corporate secrets, guarded like gold.
GREGG GILLIS: My technical title is biomedical engineer. I test devices and analyze data. In science and in my music, it's really trial and error for me. We just dabble in so many things. And that's the same way. I mean, with samples, I just sample things all day long then I see what works. And doing science, I'm really looking-- I mean, you just read journals. Take notes. That's just collecting the data. To look into a million different things to make something new. And then there's the actual processing of the data, where you're saying, all right, now I have to get results.
You know, the first thing you do is research it and see if there's patents for it. And a lot of time, very broad ideas are patented. But it is an experimental division, so, you know, we keep a notebook and they want us to propose three ideas per year. And I think if it were a bit more open, to the point where the whole point of medicine and science were, let's just do the best we can. Let's just build on all the ideas and see what we can make happen. I think the progress of medicine would move, you know, incredibly fast. All the time, you know, you come up with something, and you do the research, and it's been patented. And maybe your idea is slightly different, but they might hold a patent on a core, you know, part of your idea. So, you know, a lot of times it's just--
--that's out of the question. You know, it holds back knowledge exchange very clearly. You know, so many things just aren't developed because people are holding a patent onto it. The cure for cancer could be a step away, but, you know, it's off limits. They might sit on that idea forever and do nothing with it.
NARRATOR: When I say culture is threatened, I don't just mean music and movies. I really do mean everything.
The concept of intellectual property is addictive. Once you realize that ideas can be more profitable than oil, or gold, or even land, then there's no limit to what can be thought of as property.
In 1980, the US Supreme Court ruled that living organisms could be patented. Soon after this decision, Ayahuasca, a plant from the Amazon rain forest, was patented by an American entrepreneur. The plant has been used for generations by Amazonians for medicinal and spiritual practice. Now that you could patent life, the race was on. The 20th century had been the century of property, of land. The 21st century was to be the century of intellectual property. Of ideas.
In the 1990s, the United States hatched a plan to trade the economy of things for the economy of ideas. And the man who would protect these ideas was Bruce Lehman.
BRUCE LEHMAN: In the Clinton administration, my job was to being in charge of the intellectual property policy of the United States, both domestically, and in terms of our diplomacy. In a modern economy, I think wealth is in the products of the mind. It's really in intellectual creations. In much of the world, we live in a sea of piracy. And, you know, you can have sympathy for developing countries, but we made a deal. You know, if you go to a shopping mall in this country, you cannot buy anything made in the United States anymore. It all comes from China or some other place like that. Well, the reason for that is that we've completely opened up our markets. It was a conscious decision to basically abandon low-wage manufacturing jobs. And the idea is that we would compensate for that with higher wage, high-tech information, more intangible-based jobs.
SPEAKER 4: The idea was that they would convince the world's economies to adopt laws that prohibited the copying of American ideas without American permission. And, in exchange, it would require all the countries that wanted to manufacture stuff and export them here to adopt American copyright laws. And if they didn't, they wouldn't be allowed to sell their goods-- their physical goods here in America. And the World Trade Organization would be the teeth.
BRUCE LEHMAN: And the difficultly in the global trading system is that we had-- we met our part of the bargain, but these other countries didn't meet theirs.
NARRATOR: This knockoff of the happiest place on earth highlights a problem with the American plan. For better or for worse, the information age is all about copying ideas.
BRUCE LEHMAN: I have to say that we're now more than a decade-- I guess we're 12 years-- into our policies on digital copyrights, I feel that it also has not achieved the results that we wanted.
BRUCE LEHMAN: And so I'm thinking, you know, well, maybe we should have forgotten intellectual property rights internationally and gone for labor standards and the environment.
NARRATOR: Well, that would have been a good idea. But instead of pushing for fair trade policies, the US is trying to build an economy that can't be built. Since enacting these policies, the US trade deficit has nearly tripled. To top it off, the whole world is now stuck making criminals out of its citizens to enforce laws that can't be enforced. I don't know about you, but I'm ready for number four. To build free societies, you need to limit the control of the past.
SPEAKER 4: When America was a developing nation, after the revolution and for its first 100 years, it did not honor any copyrights, save those that were generated by American authors. So foreign authors like Charles Dickens were widely and enthusiastically pirated by the American presses. We used the proceeds from this to subsidize the printing of Mark Twain, a local author. And so the idea that Burundi or Brazil or India needs a copyright law like America's in order to compete with America is absolutely wrong. What history-- what American history-- has shown us is that what they need is a copyright law like America had in 1776.
NARRATOR: Listen to this latest remix of our favorite bittersweet song. It was created by the same country that defied United States intellectual property laws by breaking multiple international patents on HIV medication, producing their own copies of the drug for a fraction of the price. Free universal access for citizens was their mission. The drug industry saw this as an act of war. Brazil saw it as an act of life.
INTERPRETER: Brazil is fighting for access to drugs to fight AIDS for all its people. This policy has resulted in controversy at international forums, so we put our case to the world, and we fought for it.
NARRATOR: Remixing the art, science, and knowledge of the world's culture is second nature to Brazilians. And now, it's government policy.
SPEAKER 5: Professor.
NARRATOR: Lawrence Lessig traveled to Brazil in 2004 for inspiration and imagined an alternative global copyright system-- Creative Commons.
LAWRENCE LESSIG: Creative Commons was born to set culture free. A license that says, I, as a musician, give you the right to sample my work. Take and build. Create. Remix. And the most important place where that conversation began was here in Brazil. I come from the land where we talk about being free. I come from a land where we are lost. You are our brother in this debate, and you must remind us of what we have lost.
NARRATOR: Lessig found an ally in Gilberto Gil, one of the country's most famous musicians, who is also the Minister of Culture. He's devoted his entire life to creating a society based on sharing.
[RAPPING IN PORTUGUESE]
GILBERTO GIL: We are always finding ways to give people-- give young people opportunities for them to access. [SPEAKING PORTUGUESE]
NARRATOR: The modern sound of Rio is called baile funk. A music created in the city's favelas using samples from around the world. You can listen to this music in two ways. You can count the samples and calculate how much these kids might owe to American corporations, or you can marvel at a new art form being created based on the universal language of remix in one of the poorest neighborhoods in the world.
NARRATOR: I heard a story before I came to Rio that when the first Portuguese bishop arrived in Brazil, the natives were so impressed by the word of God, that they ate the bishop in order to digest the power of the Catholic Church.
NARRATOR: From a re-mixer's point of view, Brazil is leading us into the digital age. Here's a country fighting to overcome a legacy of violence, corruption, and inequality, through innovation, based on universal access to human knowledge, and the freedom to build with. With a balanced view of intellectual property and its relation to the public domain. What could humanity accomplish if we all played the game like Brazil? What diseases could be cured? What voices might be heard? What songs could we sing? Given the chance, this could be what the whole world would look like. Or the world might look more like this.
A completely private, incorporated domain. A world where, in order to create, you need to beg permission from those who are powerful enough to lock up the ideas from the last century.
Is this where we're headed? Well, not if the Mouse Liberation Front has anything to say about it.
SPEAKER 6: So, what's your favorite number?
SPEAKER 6: OK. So 0 0 one and two sevens, and then anybody you add on has to go on after the sevens, and then after that. But nobody knows. No way to break it.
NARRATOR: This is how you got-- this is what all the MLF members would do?
SPEAKER 6: Yeah. We had 10,000 deep. The federales wanted the names of the MLF. They're only numbers, and they're gone. Who knows. There you go.
LAWRENCE LESSIG: And that's the movement that's necessary to change this world where Girl Talk is a crime. That's this world.
That's-- what's the word? That's fucked.
SPEAKER 7: Thank you guys for coming out. There's going to be a brief intermission on the fucking street right now. Are you guys all right with that?
NARRATOR: So here's the deal. The rules of this game are actually up to you. This is not a world made up of passive consumers anymore. That era is over. This world is made up of collaborators. We can create and share. We can change laws. We can act.
LAWRENCE LESSIG: This is remix. This is not piracy. If this is a crime, then we have a whole generation of criminals.
[MUSIC - DJ STROM, "BONUS TRACK"]
Keep your heart, three stacks. Keep your heart. Hey, keep your heart, three stacks. Keep your heart. Man, these girls are smart, three stacks. These girls are smart. Play your part.
NARRATOR: So take this movie. Rip it. Remix it. And help remake it. Put me in a headlock and pour a beer on my head. This is only the beginning of this movie. Build on the past. That's the future.
[MUSIC - AMP LIVE, "RAINYDAYZ REMIXES]
When I'm at the Pearly Gates, this will be on my videotape--
STEVEN COLBERT: So what's the future? Nobody's going to own anything? It's just going to be you and Barack Obama saying that the tractor belongs to everybody.
[MUSIC - AMP LIVE, "RAINYDAYZ REMIXES]
The Pearly Gates, this will be on--
MIKE DOYLE: Hi, I'm Congressman Mike Doyle from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, and I've got Girl Talk on my iPod.
[MUSIC - AMP LIVE, "RAINYDAYZ REMIXES]
Flashlights report the lies, just like life flash before your eyes. Touch right through to the soul, illusions exposed right here on a reel in the theater of real occurrence. You're in box with the top popped open, like the soldiers in a Trojan. Unexpected, one direction. Can't go both ways, that's what the Pope say. Every known play in your soundtrack is based around fact how you get down and act. The end of the cinema into the darkness the usher escort you to your fortune. Morphing into the final solution might be gruesome, depending on your contributions. The vision gets clear and translucent, witnessing your own video revolution. When I'm at--
SPEAKER 8: If nobody has gone after him so far, I mean, he's--
MARY BETH PETERS: He can count his blessings.
[MUSIC - AMP LIVE, "RAINYDAYZ REMIXES"]
Gate, this will be on my videotape. Eye pictures moving fast, quick time. Format more than I ask, the big time. Transmit the past and it's a glance, here on a reel in the theater of real appearance. I'm in a place where the space makes way for wars like Obi Wan and Vader. Play for a private screening, I've been dreaming--
STEVEN COLBERT: I'll be very angry, and possibly litigious, if anyone out there take this interview right here and remixes-- remixes-- remix-- remix-- remixes-- remixing is OK.
[REMIX MUSIC PLAYING]
You can totally remix this, I'm fine with it.
I do not give you permission. Just to make sure my point gets across, let me say it more rhythmically. I don't want you to remix my words in a song to play in a club that will make you grind, OK? Make you grind.
[REMIX MUSIC PLAYING]
I'll be very angry, and possibly litigious. I was so enraged, that I made a video-- jaw-dropping, ear-popping fresh. Jaw-dropping, ear-popping fresh. Jaw-dropping, ear-popping fresh. Jaw- dropping, ear-popping fresh. Well, within 24 hours, some DJ jazzy jerks out there had overrun the internet with video of remix. Overrun the internet-- video remix. Overrun the internet. DJ jazzy jerks. Copyright laws. My lawyers sue by the syllable. Re-- mix.
[REMIX MUSIC PLAYING]