RIP: A Remix Manifesto is now a pay-what-you-like download

The celebrated "open source documentary" RIP: A Remix Manifesto has found a progressive, forward-thinking distributor that is making the film available as a download on a pay-what-you-want basis (alas, the offer is US only, due to the insanity of the film industry):

It's been a peculiar road to get to the point where we could release the film as a download, because obviously this is something we wanted to do right from the get go. But since we have so many partners that helped us make the film, including theatrical and television distributors, it was a delicate balancing act to make sure the good faith they showed in making the film would be rewarded, that we wouldn't undercut their efforts to promote and recoup on the film by giving it away. So we waited a while before launching the various online permutations. The National Film Board [of Canada] put up a chaptered version during our U.S. premiere at South by Southwest in March, and we embedded calls to action into each chapter.

Around SXSW, we partnered with two American partners -- Disinformation for our DVD release, and BSide for the theatrical side of things. And at the first meeting I had with them, it became clear that we needed to go down this road. We knew the film would appear on file-sharing networks immediately and we knew the audience for the film wanted and expected it to be online. So knowing that, we wanted there to be a method for those who wanted to pay to do so.

RIP Remix

Update: Director Brett Gaylor adds, "Anyone anywhere in the world can watch it for free at, and also at it can be watched and remixed.

Want a Remix Manifesto? Name Your Price, Says RiP Director


  1. Yes, very nice. Link for the movie does not work outside the USA.

    THIS is why people RIP stuff in the first place.
    Irony is too light a word.

  2. Excellent link; thank you. I teach a class in Electronic Music, and the topic of mashup as a creative act and as a legal issue are being discussed right now. I will certainly mention this film in class today. Once I’ve watched it, I will likely assign it as a required download.

  3. Man, how spoiled are we as a culture to think that- because it’s really easy to do , we have some sort of right to use the product of other peoples labor in any way we just happen to want to. It’s not enough that the means by which we can create and distribute our own material have become widely availabl;, no, we want to use yours.
    There are millions of creative people out there who depend on maintaining sovereignty over their own creations.
    I suggest these milquetoast cubicle “creatives” stop for a moment and think about the implications of their message in a real way. That, or they could just move on to something that’s actually important and might help others less fortunate in a real way.
    Besides, I always thought the real point of the info/personal technology revolution was that you could CREATE YOUR OWN MEDIA.

  4. @Uland (#4):

    I don’t think that anyone who is opposed to copyright (such as myself) believes that the ease of copyright infringement is what makes it O.K.. We believe that the world is fundamentally better off allowing the free distribution of knowledge, ideas, and media. We believe that sharing and remixing knowledge is a fundamentally important right, and that ‘owning’ ideas or media which can be built on and added to is wrong. It’s different.

    If you’re interested in understanding this point of view more thoroughly, I’d recommend starting with, by Richard Stallman.

  5. Please don’t encourage the application of the term “open source” to things other than software, as it is invariably misleading.

    This film is distributed under terms that prevent commercial use. Software distributed under such terms does not meet the Open Source Definition ( section 6).

    The film is also distributed streamed via Macromedia Flash, or downloadable in a number of multimedia formats, all of which are patent-encumbered, so it cannot even be played on software legally distributed under an Open Source Initiative approved license (in countries that recognise software patents).

  6. @#7, please don’t falsely exclude non-program software from the term “software”.

    Digital information, called “software” as opposed to whatever hardware contains it, is malleable and works often simultaneously fill the role of “program”, “documentation”, “data”, etc. It’s all software.

    More importantly, every recipient of such works deserves to have all the freedoms that the FSF demands for recipients of software.

  7. #7, “Open source” *might* be applied to a movie–but only if all the original film data and sound files prior to editing are made available. This movie certainly doesn’t qualify.

  8. @#9 Lee Daniel Crocker:

    “Open source” *might* be applied to a movie–but only if all the original film data and sound files prior to editing are made available. This movie certainly doesn’t qualify.

    You are correct, “open source” is bandied about way too easily these days, in a way that waters down what “open source” means.

    I’d add to your list “the software that was used to create/edit the material” to your list.

    Here is a truly “open source” movie, by your criteria.

  9. Kyle- First off, I wasn’t saying the easing of copyright laws is the cause for making it “ok”; it’s the availability of cheap technology that has suddenly made most of the uses in question possible. For some reason, it wasn’t seen as some sort of fundamental “right” before it became so easy to do.
    I have a hard time swallowing hug abstractions like “the world” being “better off”. How, exactly? Will people stop making music, or writing, or sharing ideas, as they have been for ever, because they can’t use party a or party b’s copyrighted material?
    It’s far easier for me to understand the direct benefits I’ve experienced, and friends of mine have experienced due to copyright ownership, which I see as nothing more than a civilized way of making formal claims to the benefits of our labor. We’re not rich. We’re not saying we don’t value creative expression, or the transmission of important ideas, it’s precisely because we do value those things that we believe the products of our labor ( intellectual property) should be protected; copyright, intellectual property laws- this is what makes it possible for many individuals to actually contribute in a concertd way to a greater cultural good.
    What do you think will stop Pepsi, or Frito Lay, from using your material? What stops it now?

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