Intellectual Property

The Remix Manifesto documentary was eye-opening to someone like myself who is not well-versed in the intellectual property laws. The Girl-Talk debate is interesting because it is based on what the law considers “creativity” and  “art” to be. In the video, Greg Gillis justifies his side of the argument by explains that by putting two completely different kinds of songs together and editing the way they sound, he is creating a completly new listening experience. 

My personal opinion of whether or not this type of music is considered art or theft would be that these new forms of artistic creativity is that it should be considered art because the artist is completely changing the way the song sounds and mixing it with other music. I think having such strict intellectual property laws can act as a disservice to artists by not promoting the constant building off of past work. This means that these types of artist should also have the same rights as other artists, therefore allowing them to record and make money off of the songs they create. Brett Gaylor made a fantastic point when he compared how Walt Disney used already existing fairy-tales or story-lines and updated them to fit the time, which ended up making him millions of dollars and one of the most well-known names in the world,  to the new “mixing” trend that Girl-Talk uses when creating his music.

I would imagine Girl-Talk has yet to be sued because he has taken such a creative license on the songs he has created that they sound completely different than what they originally were. Additionally, based on the video, he seems to be very vigilant and aware of what he does, as to not bring negative attention to what he is doing. It is surprising to me though that he has yet to be sued. In the video, people around the country who just downloaded a song illegally were prosecuted and paid thousands of dollars, yet Girl Talk uses a dozen or more songs illegally to make his own songs.

When analyzing the net neutrality issue, I believe one of the most important implications is the concept of idea sharing and innovation. Since before the Internet, people have always found a way to share ideas with one another and built upon those original concepts to make an even better way of doing things. The idea of net nuetrality is to help preserve that idea by ensuring an equal playing field for consumers and creators to share their ideas. In the article Obama’s Plan for a Free and Open Internet , Obama discusses the importance of a free internet on the economy. By cultivating an economy that supports and levels the playing field for small business, it strengthens the economy and creates new jobs. According to JPMorgan , within the past two decades, small businesses have accounted for 64% of all new jobs. Therefore, supporting issues such as net neutrality are important to ensure a free and equal internet use for all. Without these laws in place, big corporations will invade and take over the Internet, just as they have in television, radio and print advertisement.


2 thoughts on “Intellectual Property

  1. I loved your article on intellectual property! I completely agree with your point about Girl Talk’s music not necessarily being “theft”. His samples as a whole create something completely new and I feel like the majority of “original” content these days works on the same principle.


  2. I totally agree with you saying that the music that Girl Talk produces is NOT theft. IT really isn’t. Yes, he uses someone else’s content, but the he completely changes the music and it does sound different. I think Net Neutrality is very important. The internet is am amazing things and I think it really does allow everyone to show you they are. The internet should be a fun place where everyone wants to go.


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