Good Copy, Bad Copy

by Diana

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Music , Technology


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Good Copy, Bad Copy


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A documentary about copyright featuring Girl Talk and Dangermouse that you can never watch too many times.

Things are going crazy in the world of copyright, which is certainly no piece of news, yet frequently a recurring one. As technology and social media advance and laws do not, they can hold back the natural development of the society that instinctively wants to keep up with the digital age we live in. It seems a little absurd if you look at recent cases like Justin Bieber being threatened to go to jail for 5 years for recording himself singing Chris Brown's songs and putting it up on YouTube. Or the recent US Senate bill about shutting down our beloved social networks because they enable anyone to spread any copyrighted content - or even the case with Danish collective rights management society, KODA, which distributes performance royalties to their artists, recently imposing a threat to all the bloggers who post any copyrighted content on their blogs to pay a monthly fee to society if they wish to continue doing so.

Copyright has become one of the most controversial topics in the music industry because it concerns public performance, which is a term so broadly and obscurely defined, that it's hard to make out what exactly it embodies. Technically, according to law, you could be facing a lawsuit for singing any copyrighted song at work, in an office full of people, or any other public place, for that matter.

All the copyright stories making headlines here in Denmark, as well as abroad recently, made me get back to one of my favorite documentaries that was filmed a few years back that, even though a lot has happened since it was made, is still interesting and informative. Directed by three Danes, Andreas Johnsen, Ralf Christensen, and Henrik Moltke, “Good Copy, Bad Copy” is on a similar note as “RIP!: A Remix Manifesto” telling a story of today's copyright and the culture it breeds in the digital age. It includes interviews with a couple of insightful people and muses on the music industry and all the issues it's facing at present, while offering the idea that as much as copyright is important and good, it shouldn't be extended into dimensions where it starts impeding creativity.

In other words, it could remain an incentive without becoming a restriction. Check it out if you haven't yet, or check it out again if you already have. You can never watch these kinds of documentaries too many times.