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Scenes from The University of Rhode Island

Brett Gaylor to speak, screen RiP: a remix manifesto at URI, Nov. 23

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KINGSTON, R.I. --November 13, 2009—Canadian documentary filmmaker Brett Gaylor, will screen his film, RiP: a remix manifesto, and answer any questions his film raises at the University of Rhode Island Monday, Nov. 23 at 7 p.m. His talk, free and open to the public, will be held in Swan Hall, 60 Upper College Road, Kingston.

“The film is both fun and provocative for anyone interested in music, cinema, contemporary culture, copyright law, and larger issues of who owns cultural history or intellectual property,” says Jean Walton, URI professor of English who teaches a course on movie manifestos. “The film has hit it big. Gaylor is traveling with it to festivals all over the world --so we are lucky to have snagged him for a visit to our campus.”

In addition to the English Department, URI’s Film/Media Program, Department of Communications Studies, and Humanities Center are sponsors of Gaylor’s visit.

His documentary explores the issue of copyright infringement and argues that the copyright law has become an outdated model that profits big entertainment businesses that own the art rather than to the artists themselves. Furthermore, he suggests that this antiquated system produces commerce but blocks creativity and knowledge by attempting to keep everything at status quo, when, in fact, everything is rapidly changing around them.
Are copyrights becoming copy wrongs?

RiP: A Remix Manifesto focuses, in part, on Greg Gillis, an increasingly mainstream underground mixing artist, better known as Girl Talk. Gillis specializes in sample-based remixes, in which he uses at least a dozen elements from different songs to create a new song, without obtaining copyright releases. Is he a pirate or a captain of change?

As a participatory media experiment, Gaylor shares his raw footage at opensourcecinema.org for anyone to remix. This movie-as-mash up method allows these remixes to become an integral part of the film.