| Thursday May 26th 2016

Copying is not theft

Big Media has been producing (mis)educational videos since it’s early non-hit, “Don’t Copy That Floppy.” Most of us have seen those “Piracy: It’s a Crime” clips that incorrectly equate downloading with stealing. The Copyright Alliance offers a whole series of propaganda videos for school children. It’s no surprise that Big Media is ahead of ahead of copyright reform advocates in propaganda. Fortunately, one animator (me) and the nonprofit QuestionCopyright.org are addressing this imbalance with media of our own:

This first Minute Meme explains the obvious: copying is not theft, it’s copying. We first released it with a scratch track of my feeble voice singing a capella. We invited any and all to re-record the audio and redistribute freely. Some pretty great remixes emerged; among my favorites are Taro’s French version and Norman Szabo’s energetic quasi-Punk rendition, with an entirely re-animated bridge. All of these remain in circulation, but Nik Phelps’ bouncy, safe-for-work “party horns” arrangement is now QuestionCopyright.org’s “official” release. It will be interesting to see whether it accumulates more views over time than the first scratch track version.

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