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January 27, 2012
Petition the Copyright Office - Remix Culture
Copyfight spent a lot of time in 2010 talking about remix culture. But even though the remix has now thoroughly soaked into the social consciousness it still needs legal reforms and exemptions to support it.
Boingboing pointed me to "Rip. Mix. Make" an online petition to the US Copyright Office. The petition is organized by Kirby Ferguson, known for "Everything is a Remix", and the EFF. The petition is approaching 2000 public signatures as I write this, and needs more voices to be heard.
The target of the petition is the Copyright Office's existing (but about to expire) exemptions allowing creators to break DVD encryption in order to sample video clips, and also a forward-looking request asking the Office to approve a parallel set of exemptions for "Internet videos" which would include online vids, streamed content, and other content that just happens not to have been burned down to a specific plastic platter.
One item that is included in this petition but that hasn't been talked about much is the importance of this sort of remixing as political statement and for teaching. From the Arab Spring to #Occupy, a tremendous amount of political action and information has been released solely in Internet video form. Anyone who wants to assemble any sort of educational, critical, or political-statement material on these topics will inevitably have to rely on these videos. I think it's extremely important that these forms of education and action not be barred by copyright laws that are lagging the times. I hope you agree and will join me in signing.
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