Saturday, January 10, 2009

Colbert, Lessig, and Remix! Recipe for FUN!!!

The other night, as is usual to me, I tuned in to The Daily Show followed by Colbert Report. Anyone who knows me knows I am a big fan of both shows. I even got to go to The Daily Show when I was in NYC on a trip. I got called out by the warmup comedian who said "You look like a little lady who makes apple pies all day and then drinks gin at night." I was thrilled! I do make a mean apple pie as a matter of fact. Anyway, Stewart's guest was a big name, Dana Perino, White House Press Secretary. She acquitted herself very well, and now that I think of it that may be a great verb choice on my part. Anyway, Colbert's guest was some guy named Lawrence Lessig. The name sounded vaguely familiar but did not really grab my attention.

Then Lessig came on and began talking about his book Remix, about copyright. My librarian sensors immediately started to tingle. His premise was that copyright laws are updated, impossible to enforce, and inadequate for today's media. In particular he wants us to "stop making criminals out of kids" for the mashups, remixes, derivations, and other cool things they do with publications today. Of course Colbert hogged the limelight, but their conversation was both entertaining and informative about the problem. And Colbert was once again daring viewers to take something from his show and make something more from it, as he has done in the past with his green screen challenges. Great stuff!

I immediately thought of all my cohorts on LM_NET and TLC who would love the sequence, and posted about it to both lists. Weirdly, the next day the clip had been TAKEN DOWN from the Colbertnation website "at the request of the publisher, Penguin Press." I got several messages about this the next morning from people who went looking for it. Good grief! I thought, this is rich irony if Penguin is blocking the clip about making material available. I still don't know the real story behind this, and it seems odd in view of the fact that the entire book will be available at Creative Commons. Anyway, you can go to the Colbert site now and see the entire episode, or if you just want to see the copyright part, move the slider over to the last part of the show. Doug Johnson, I know you are out there. This goes so well with your recent presentation about copyright!

And here is the best part! Go to YouTube and search for "Colbert Lessig" and you get the remixes of the clip about Remix! Someone emailed me about them yesterday, when I think there were two. Now there are at least three, all fun, and I am willing to bet there will be more. Colbert was clearly calling for them. The dance music one is probably my fave. Putting this all together you have A GREAT LESSON ABOUT COPYRIGHT AND CREATIVITY! Oops...I will be blocked from the TV sites and, of course, from YouTube as well. Still, go and see for yourself. I love it when you can laugh, learn, and think all at the same time.

1 comment:

  1. Great post-- thanks for calling attention to this clever episode and Colbert's strange way of supporting remix culture. I loved it when he drew a "snoopy" face on Lessig's book and said, "There, I've remixed it and now it's mine."
    Not transformative at all, Stephen! But funny!

    This was the first time I have seen a conversation about the concept of transformativeness, a critically important component in understanding the doctrine of fair use.

    You can learn more about how copyright and fair use apply to the work of media literacy educators: