Re: [Videolib] RIPped: a manifesto?

From: <>
Date: Sun Nov 01 2009 - 19:05:54 PST


Why the hell haven't you contributed more to this list. Brilliant.
Poetic. Cool.

Gary Handman

PS: In an age of media stupid, Larry D. is possibly the last sober and
intelligent guy around.

> Well, Lawrence, I take it you have never read (nor liberated) "Steal
> This Book," the glorious hack by Abbie Hoffman?
> I think this film is mostly about jouissance, sweaty pleasure, comunitas
> -- not about structure or even about quality. It doesn't really matter
> about the aesthetics or a fine-tuned politics, it's the edge of moment
> that is happening in those scenes. And the computers, they're used like
> primal tools, like lariats or hammers. I agree, it is anything but sober.
> Wake up in the morning and it's all vanished. Confetti on the street ...
> Beautiful ...
> Randal Baier
> Media Librarian Gone Walkabout
> Eastern Michigan University
> Lawrence Daressa wrote:
>> I find it deeply discouraging that a group of professional, media
>> librarians would name "RIP: A Remix Manifesto" best-of-show at the
>> recent National Media Market. As the name "manifesto" acknowledges this
>> is not a probing, sober documentary but an unabashedly propagandistic
>> screed, all too typical of the baseless assertion and hyper-ventilated
>> opinion which increasingly passes for truth on the internet. Were there
>> many Birthers at this years' NMM as well? I won't waste my time or yours
>> detailing the film's numerous obfuscations and oversights - only the
>> three most egregious.
>> 1. The film's fundamental confusion is revealed in its title. Ripping,
>> that is, breaking DRM to permit illegal copying, is by definition not
>> the same thing as remixing, that is, a "transformative" use of
>> copyrighted material. The film consistently and, I suspect, deliberately
>> conflates illegal "file sharing" (the polite term for taking someone
>> else's work without paying for it) with the tiny percentage of shared
>> files which are in fact remixes.
>> 2. Remix enthusiasts claim that producers deny them free access to
>> "their culture." But from the evidence in the film "their culture"
>> consists almost exclusively of the commercial effluvia of the
>> entertainment industry produced precisely to make a profit from them.
>> Why don't the remixers turn off their computers and televisions, pick up
>> their cell phones and digital cameras and make a visual culture of their
>> own, a true counter-culture?.
>> 3. Most damning, however, are the remxes featured in the film. They are
>> almost without exception devoid of visual imagination or political
>> acuity, the puerile products of minds besotted with mass media. Unlike
>> collage (from Braque and Heartfield to Cornell and Connor) these remixes
>> rarely rise above their meretricious material. They do not transform
>> their content so much as (to use their own term) mash it together. I am
>> reminded of the old acronym GIGO.
>> One can only hope that the remix zealots will grow up to explore the
>> democratic potential of digital technology to produce legitimately
>> original content in radically innovative forms. As for video librarians,
>> their apparent insensitivity to the nuances of the "fair use" doctrine
>> augurs ill for efforts to build a reasoned, equitable consensus around
>> the use of copyrighted material in academic contexts. In this regard, I
>> append my post from last month questioning certain aspects of the "Code
>> for Best Practices in Fair Use for OpenCourseWare."
>> From: Lawrence Daressa
>> Sent: Tuesday, October 20, 2009 1:52 PM
>> To: ''
>> Subject: FW: Code of Best Practices in Fair Use for OpenCourseWare
>> Videolib subscribers may be interested in new guidelines on fair use
>> prepared by the Center for Social Media at American University in
>> collaboration with the Washington College of Law, the OpenCourseWare
>> (their orthography) Consortium and MIT, with support from the Ford
>> Foundation.
>> practices_in_fair_use_for_opencourseware1/
>> In way of background, the Center for Social Media is an influential
>> advocate for the political promise of social networking, user-generated
>> content and open source ("free") on-line communities. It has worked
>> vigorously to "push (some have said, rip) the envelope" of fair use. The
>> Center serves as a "think tank" for major foundations, including Ford,
>> enabling their shift of funding from independent documentary to "new
>> media" projects and research.
>> These guidelines raise some provocative questions about "fair use" of
>> educational media in academic settings. I find it a bit unsettling that
>> the code appears to have been drafted by a committee of OpenSourceWare
>> directors and university attorneys, without the apparent participation
>> of educational content producers, copyright holders, publishers,
>> distributors, independent counsel or print and non-print librarians.
>> Hence, it has not benefited from the experience of the people who have
>> grappled with these issues on a daily basis for years. As a distributor,
>> I would counsel caution about adopting these guidelines since I think
>> many of my colleagues (the potential litigants) would not agree with
>> some possible interpretations of this code.
>> My confidence in the code was not increased by the drafters' candid
>> acknowledgement that it had been written explicitly to provide a shield
>> for what could generously be termed "creative" fair use claims. In my
>> reading, the code tends to equate any "appropriate" educational use of
>> a text as ipso facto a transformative use and hence a fair use. Im
>> hoping members of the list can show me that I've misconstrued these
>> guidelines and that, in fact, they prevent the interpretations I find
>> dubious.
>> For example, the code seems to accommodate any use of a text, in whole
>> or in part, if the purpose of that use is "to critique or analyze" that
>> text. It seems to me that most texts used in academic settings are
>> meant to be read or viewed analytically and critically, from "The
>> Iliad" to "On Grammatology." Most of the filmmakers I know, certainly do
>> not intend their work to be viewed absent-mindedly or credulously.
>> Similarly, the code appears to invite the unrestricted use of
>> copyrighted material if they "illustrate" curricular points. It only
>> excludes use to entertain or duplicate material already illustrated. Few
>> instructors, I believe, would ever claim to use a text merelyt to divert
>> their students or to repeat themselves. Most Newsreel films were clearly
>> intended to illustrate various social conditions and concepts - at
>> considerable expense and sometimes personal risk to their producers.
>> Would their incorporation into OpenSourceWare to illustrate the issues
>> they were intended to illustrate, constitute a transformative use?
>> Finally, the code permits "explanatory" use of copyrighted material if
>> it "furthers understanding by demonstrating or illustrating a process,
>> procedure or arrangement" and if there is no "readily available
>> substitute." But the intended use of many instructional materials is to
>> do precisely that - from how to rewind a firehose to how the profit
>> motive impacts healthcare delivery. In addition, it seems unlikely that
>> anyone would produce, let alone purchase, a film if a substitute were
>> "readily available."
>> The preamble to the guidelines reduces to two the four criteria for fair
>> use usually cited on this list.. One of these two appears somewhat
>> tautological,: namely that a use is a fair use if it is "appropriate to
>> its re-use." Again, I can't help but wonder if the code equates any
>> "appropriate" educational use (to analyze, critique, illustrate or
>> explain) with a "fair use?."
>> Content producers and rightsholders have long recognized that quotation
>> is a "fair use" of a copyrighted work but we have argued that a line is
>> crossed when a quotation is used as a substitute for the text. This has
>> in the past been excluded by the two criteria omitted from this "code:"
>> first, a comparison between the length of the excerpt and the length of
>> the text and, second, the financial damge to the copyright holder if
>> the use obviates purchase of the text. Use of a text or excerpt from a
>> text for the use(s) intended by that text or excerpt would, it seems to
>> me, be cause for careful scrutiny in making any "fair use" claim.
>> I invite readers of the list to weigh-in with their opinions with regard
>> to the treatment of "fair use" in this "code of best practices." Thanks.
>> Larry Daressa
>> California Newsreel
>> -----Original Message-----
>> From:
>> [] On Behalf Of
>> Sent: Saturday, October 31, 2009 12:46 PM
>> To:
>> Subject: videolib Digest, Vol 23, Issue 90
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>> Today's Topics:
>> 1. NMM favorites (Rosen, Rhonda J.)
>> 2. Re: NMM favorites (Ursula Schwarz)
>> ----------------------------------------------------------------------
>> Message: 1
>> Date: Fri, 30 Oct 2009 14:58:31 -0700
>> From: "Rosen, Rhonda J." <>
>> Subject: [Videolib] NMM favorites
>> To: <>
>> Message-ID:
>> <>
>> Content-Type: text/plain; charset="us-ascii"
>> Hi everyone,
>> Since I wasn't able to get to the Natl. Media Market this year, I'd love
>> to hear about the favorites from you all.....i'm way behind in my buying
>> these days...
>> Rhonda
>> Rhonda Rosen| Head, Media & Access Services William H. Hannon Library |
>> Loyola Marymount University One LMU Drive, MS 8200 | Los Angeles, CA
>> 90045-2659| 310/338-4584|
>> <>
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>> ------------------------------
>> Message: 2
>> Date: Fri, 30 Oct 2009 15:21:35 -0700
>> From: Ursula Schwarz <>
>> Subject: Re: [Videolib] NMM favorites
>> To: <>
>> Message-ID: <>
>> Content-Type: text/plain; charset="iso-8859-1"
>> Hi Rhonda,
>> Most of the 2009 exhibitors nominated two of their best works for a
>> chance to win the Best of Show Award. National Film Board?s RiP! A Remix
>> Manifesto won the award this year. The list of all submitted titles is
>> below. That should be a good start for your wish list!
>> Ursula
>> Save the Date!
>> The 32nd National Media Market
>> October 24 ? 28, 2010 ? Kansas City, MO
> VIDEOLIB is intended to encourage the broad and lively discussion of
> issues relating to the selection, evaluation, acquisition,bibliographic
> control, preservation, and use of current and evolving video formats in
> libraries and related institutions. It is hoped that the list will serve
> as an effective working tool for video librarians, as well as a channel of
> communication between libraries,educational institutions, and video
> producers and distributors.

Gary Handman
Media Resources Center
Moffitt Library
UC Berkeley


"I have always preferred the reflection of life to life itself."
--Francois Truffaut

VIDEOLIB is intended to encourage the broad and lively discussion of issues relating to the selection, evaluation, acquisition,bibliographic control, preservation, and use of current and evolving video formats in libraries and related institutions. It is hoped that the list will serve as an effective working tool for video librarians, as well as a channel of communication between libraries,educational institutions, and video producers and distributors.
Received on Sun Nov 1 19:06:43 2009

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