RIP: A Remix Manifesto defines a new creation as anything that gives new life to an old work. By new life, I mean to say that a remixed work can obviously be deemed as a substantially different creation from the original by simply noting the different rhetoric. For example, the Steam Boat Willie Mickey Mouse cartoon is a self-proclaimed rip off of the older Steam Boat Bill story, but the use of Mickey in the story changes the rhetoric of the cartoon. Mickey is a new character with a new personality, and a new character development, and therefore it’s an entirely new creation. The documentary also heavily focuses on Girltalk, who has been accused of ripping other people’s music, but the film is keen to expose the huge amount of creativity and effort that goes into a remix, which is a factor that makes it a new work on its own.
The film warns that “Our future is becoming less free” because “The past always try to control the future.” In other words, strict copyright laws that were created based on an ancient business model are being jammed down the throats of a society that has clearly changed in such a way that the out of date laws are not applicable to the needs and desires of the vast majority. This threatens our future ability to create because strict copyright laws limit our access to others’ work—work that is often a seed to a new idea. “Culture always builds on the past.” Using biological evolution as an analogy, limiting an organism’s ability to cipher through its history, trying new combinations, repeats and revisions of some qualities, and new versions of others would greatly limit its ability to evolve. The same is true about human innovation and creativity. A culture that is limited in the creative ideas that it can digest, rework, and reuse will also be greatly limited in its creative evolution.