Defend the Remix Culture

Sampling is Promotion not Theft!

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primary topic: Culture & the Arts
secondary topics:



Dear Ms. Pallante,

From high school students creating videos for classroom assignments to activists and journalists sampling videos for political commentary, remix videos offer creative ways to educate, empower, entertain, and politicize people around the world.

But this creative expression is threatened by legal uncertainty. Three years ago, the Copyright Office agreed to create an exemption to the Digital Millennium Copyright Act so that creators could break DVD encryption to sample video clips. But that exemption is about to expire, opening up the possibility of legal threats against video artists like us.

Please defend our right to remix videos and grant the exemptions proposed. Renew the exemption that lets video artists break encryption on DVDs in order to use video clips in primarily noncommercial videos. And please go one step further and extend those rights to cover Internet videos, like paid downloads and streaming videos not available on DVD. The Internet is fast becoming the major medium for video, and video often appears on Internet services long before -- or instead of -- a DVD release.

Over the last several years, the Internet has given birth to a whole new world of creative expression. I've used remix videos to teach the people about copyright law and educate Internet users about dangerous legislative proposals that would affect online speech. Other video artists have used video clips to create remix videos that are humorous, political, artistic, and educational. We couldn't do this important creative work without sometimes breaking encryption. Often, it's the only way to get access to video clips. And when other ways of excerpting video are available, they tend to be slower and lower-quality, which hurts the immediacy and impact of our work. We need the law to catch up with how people are using technology.

By creating these exemptions, you'll be ensuring that the Internet of tomorrow is full of creators, not just consumers.

Thanks for helping us keep the Internet interactive and safeguarding the rights of video artists everywhere.

Kirby Ferguson
Creator of Everything is a Remix

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