The past and the future are delicately intertwined. I see the relationship as a cycle, successes in the past inspire creations in the future. The creators add and subtract elements to make something new, maybe even better. Is that a crime?
In the beginning of the documentary, they really drive the point home about what remixing means and its ramifications. Especially when you apply this to today’s popular culture, this is definitely a point that hits home. Today, a lot of music, predominantly the music I listen to, is made of samples or uses music samples in some way. They discuss how the Girl Talk’s songs, that sample the music of popular artist such as The Jackson 5 and Queen, are examples of awesome music, but are totally illegal.
The reason they are illegal is because the popular songs that are being sampled are copyrighted. Meaning, that if the works are used without giving royalties to the owners of the copyright, the owners can sue the makers of the new song. The documentary discusses how the royalties of ONE Girl TalK song could cost up to $4,000,000. THis obviously can stifle creativity and close the doors on the idea sharing. This has lead to a type of war, one battled on the internet. It is a battle over what orginal really means.
Original, according to the people who want the royalties paid, means something that is completely your own, totally unique idea. Anything else should be credited and reimbursed to the creator, the person who put the idea out into the world. On the flip side, the people who do not think the royalties should be paid, believe that the exchanging of the ideas should be free and open. They believe the motivation of making the music should be making the most amazing, beautiful piece. Even if the piece uses samples from other popular songs, the art of the music should be more important the motivation of money.