Jaime Lannister v. Eddard Stark Lightsaber Battle

I am fascinated by what happens when elements from different films (in this case Star Wars and Game of Thrones) are combined. I love mashups and remixes. The re-contextualizing in a remix often produces results that are new and valuable. But notice, these results are often independent of the intentions of the original artists - and under our copyright law (and international treaties like BTAP) creating a mashup or remix without permission can be illegal.

I believe artists should be compensated for their work, but I also think that artists who appropriate content (i.e., use it without permission under circumstances like those illutrated above) can be a very positive force. Great thinkers like Benjamin Franklin have observed that human culture only advances because we can look to prior work for ideas and inspiration: "[A]s we enjoy great advantages from the inventions of others, we should be glad of an opportunity to serve others by any invention of ours; and this we should do freely and generously."

For me, the power of remix is often "more powerful than you could possibly imagine." (Notice I just "took" language from Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope without permission to make a point.) I believe that audio mash-ups and video remixes deserve protection as novel transformative works. What do you think?

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Randy Finch's Film Blog:

Thoughts from a film producer about making and distributing films.