Rip!: A Remix Manifesto

Rip!: A Remix Manifesto

2008, Performing Arts  -   23 Comments
Ratings: 8.00/10 from 25 users.

Rip!: A Remix ManifestoJoin filmmaker Brett Gaylor and mashup artist Girl Talk as they explore copyright and content creation in the digital age.

In the process they dissect the media landscape of the 21st century and shatter the wall between users and producers.

Creative Commons founder, Lawrence Lessig, Brazil's Minister of Culture, Gilberto Gil, and pop culture critic Cory Doctorow also come along for the ride.

Immerse yourself in the energetic, innovative and potentially illegal world of mash-up media with RiP: A remix manifesto. Let web activist Brett Gaylor and musician Greg Gillis, better known as Girl Talk, serve as your digital tour guides on a probing investigation into how culture builds upon culture in the information age.

Biomedical engineer turned live-performance sensation Girl Talk, has received immense commercial and critical success for his mind-blowing sample-based music.

Utilizing technical expertise and a ferocious creative streak, Girl Talk repositions popular music to create a wild and edgy dialog between artists from all genres and eras.

But are his practices legal? Do his methods of frenetic appropriation embrace collaboration in its purest sense? Or are they infractions of creative integrity and violations of copyright?

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6 years ago

Glue,screw or nail together things that exist on their own and call it new or art.Wannabe a real musician?learn to play an instrument or sing,then learn to use the tools of actual musical artistry(harmony,melody,tempo),then combine these with the ability to use these tools to musically notate and actually compose.Don't discount the efforts of all else involved in bringing to fruition these recordings,these remixers aren't just using the artist's.Obviously everything IS derivative yet a true musician(artist) develops the ability within their influences to be unique.Just because another thief got away with it doesn't give anyone else license.Actual musical talent takes time,effort, discipline to achieve,these remixers need only to manipulate software with mouse clicks: LAZY WANNABE'S

10 years ago

Does anyone else find it hilarious that this video has been taken off of youtube due to "Copyright Infringements" claimed by the creator of this documentary?? I was very interested in watching this documentary but after witnessing the hipocracy of the video's creator, I won't take the time to download it for free from piratebay.

11 years ago

Technology always predates the artist.

11 years ago

Sampling whole loops from peoples songs and recontextualizing is more collage than song writing. Taking someone's studio engineered mixed and mastered tracks and claiming that they are your songs isn't right. Does it have artistic merit? sure whatever you want to believe. The is just the vanilla ice bs all over again. dun dun dun dun dun dun dun tsh.... Remixing for profit and claiming songs as yours is theft. Do you need the fathers blessing before you bang his daughter? no...would it be nice? Its easy to say from a fan's point of view as i love sample based music and make sample based music but cats live and die for their sound and their music and the engineering literally. I am also down with the free trade and information however chopping someones mixed and mastered tracks and layering looping and effecting is more collage than songwriting and its more borrowing than creating. Why wouldn't you want to pay respects to the people who allowed you to create music. Hip hop in its time with sampling grew from the struggle for resources... It is effortless to see an apple on a tree snag it and say you created apples. It is not easy to take a seed from idea conception and execute and grow the fruit perfect. No one is saying don't make the remix/collage/mash or whatever the **** ever...But if you are going to blatantly rip whole chori' hooks and multi bar loops to make a song and not give the original artist credit you have no respect for what it takes to produce an album from start to finish. Just pay your respects stay free and do what you do but don't expect to charge people money to see you playing loops from other peoples songs and the people who created that not to hunt you down you are as good as your samples...the guy who made this is a fan and while he loves girl talk it may just be the first music a girl giggled his d*ck to and now he feels the need to to defend it...if that is how you want to "make" "music" do it! but don't expect the people who brought it to your ears in the first place to not want their cut...

11 years ago

Being a musician and producer I have a hard time imagining making music without some sample based technology. Layering samples, using midi keyboards to map them out and now even simple cut and paste methods. I personally was thrown off by girltalks over use of extremely popular music to create mash-ups but being also a DJ for the last 10 years it comes to my attention that he feeds dance music culture in a really HOT way. Yeah sure its pop music and full of hooks but he is definetly gonna rock the house with all that history to back him up. I though this "documentary" gave a good overview on other artists that have used sampling. I wish he would have explained william burroughs "cut outs" for the masses instead of just playing it in the background from time to time. Over all I have no mercy for people who think that their art is so damn special that no one else can touch it. Personally I would never listen to pop music if someone was not paying me to or remixing it on a record. Art+Industry = Death of Creativity

Keep your fingers off my buttery mash-ups for the club and keep the funk flowing

11 years ago

You may be a part of the "Copyleft" until you're robbed of something you created completely by yourself and: 1) not get credit 2) not get paid. It's easy to appear cool and "creative" when you're just riding the coat-tails of people that really did something, and created real art. There's no revolution here, there's only creative laziness. This generation creates nothing original, even the "Mashup" idea is an old one; remember Andy Warhol?

12 years ago

PS. I do mashups all the time but its with music I've 
written and recorded myself. I don't have a problem 
with the process just the mentality of appropriation. 

12 years ago

There is quite a bit of sampling culture which has never sat well with me. The act of creation is not merely an act of making something but of inventing something
Chuck D explained in an interview once that he sampled off of a rock record because of the way it sounded meaning the engineering and mastering; he admitted he didn't want to work out how to make that sound from scratch. My biggest issue with sampling is exactly that mindframe. As a musician I spend a lot of time crafting the sound of my recordings; it annoys me that someone with a laptop will just take what they want from my labor and arrogantly say "its my culture so I can do what I want". Its near-art. I think Girl Talk 
supported my opinion when he used the analogy of tweeking a 
Beatles melody then calling it your own. I know people who do that and its a complete cop-out. 

12 years ago

The only criticism I have of this film is that Girltalk is just dance music for the masses. AND it's very commercial. Not what I would call great art that challenges us. My proof? Paris Hilton likes him!

12 years ago

Nobody- thanks for the information about using samples as notes. That's cleared things up for me and I detract my previous statement. I'd like reaffirm my belief that people should be allowed to use as many samples as they like. I didn't say anything against that. You say that the documentary is completely unbiased because these corporations are in the wrong... I think you need to remember what unbiased means. I prefer documentaries that let you form your own opinion instead of presenting their own opinion and nothing else. Peace.

12 years ago

Another take:
By far the majority of people interested in freeing content are not artists, they just want free stuff. So, to what extent is the debate just a reinforcement of the underlying addiction to consumption as a substitute for greater goals for most of those involved on either side.

12 years ago

Excellent doc!! It really opens your eyes about our culture, and how we express ourselves. I never knew mash ups and remixes were redefining art in the 21st century. It's good to be witnessing it first hand. Later generations to come will thank us for pushing these boundaries.

12 years ago

@Victor Dasher

Check out the "Connection" documentary on this site for an abstract on how things are connected......

Victor Dasher
12 years ago

This documentary changed the way i see everything, if you think about it, all the stuff we've created and invented is a mix of something else.

I belive that genuine stuffs doesnt exist, everything is created using a mix of things and thats what keeps it interesting, because you can't imagine what people will come up with. And sometimes artists mixes things that seem impossible to put together and somehow they manage the way to make it beautiful.

12 years ago

I visited a public domain movie site and was taken back by how ludicrous a few of the movie picks were described. At the end of a movie description was "While the movie is in public domain, this description is copyrighted and any copying, reprinting' or other use without the consent of the author is strictly prohibited unless permission is granted by the author."

According to this guy, anybody that utters any words that may sound close to his and if he hears about it, he will seek prosecution...

12 years ago

that was for Adi btw

12 years ago

if you program a sample to play with a keyboard as its "controller," that sample will appear on every key, in every key's difference in pitch. so if you play the ones on c and e at the same time, you'll have a harmony. this, added with limitless imagination, and samples are notes my friend. entire new compositions and arrangements can be made that no one would've ever heard before. as soon as something becomes something new that you wouldn't have heard if not for an artists sentience, it owes credit but not it's existence to the original, cause believe me the artist coulda used any sample.

i'm a person who can say something about this, as i actually make music. i use a few samples and i play it for real too. i give my album for free online. completely. you follow that link and you get it free. but i don't care if you do or not, i'm not plugging my music, i'm saying a real artist (even a less established one like me) is gracious to even be given a minute of someones precious time. and i'm fine with my music being sampled as long as i get credit. and i don't mean credit=money.


a good doc should be completely unbiased, and this one is. because once the blinders are taken off from these corporate giants (who control most of media, and even the opinion that you think you think[but were just thought-policed to think]), it's all complete crap. all of it. and even the most conservatively applied logic states it.

an example is a starving artist, maybe a painter. society craps on them their entire lives, disparity and depression sometimes till their last breath. then when they're finally dead, fat guys in business suits get rich. do you think music artists even own their music in the first place? and what do artists make in relation to their labels?

welcome to earth. i hate to be the bearer of bad news, but there's a slight possibility you've been lied to. and so well that after a while you yourself took over the thought-policing.

course i could be wrong. hope so...

go make some music, it's the best thing on earth.

12 years ago

(No other comments? When was this posted? Attn Vlatko - post dates?)

1) If you don't want your ideas to enter culture you should just shut up.
2) Why can't it go both ways? If corporations impose dead zones in the cultural real estate around their product, the people are entitled to compensation for the loss.
3) To what extent does assailing people with non-negotiable semiotic constructs violate their mental health and social interaction?

12 years ago

firstly, I'd just like to say that I think sampling and mash ups ARE a new and original art form. I've made videos to songs myself using cut up bits of other people's video clips (although I tried to use mostly stock footage or home video). The trouble I have with this video is that it's very biased in favour of the artists that use these mash up techniques. A good documentary should at least TRY and be unbiased. Presenting the argument as 'Past'versus 'Present'shows no grey areas inbetween. The documentary also stated that the only people trying to protect their copywrite are big corporations, but this can't be the case. What about new less established bands whose opinion is that they don't want their stuff sampled? Also, referring to these samples as 'notes' in a song is a little misleading.