Good Copy Bad Copy

andreas johnsen

Good Copy Bad Copy is a documentary about copyright and culture in the context of Internet, peer-to-peer file sharing and other technological advances, directed by Andreas Johnsen, Ralf Christensen, and Henrik Moltke. It features interviews with copyright lawyers, producers, artists, and filesharing service providers.

A central point of the documentary is that ‘creativity itself is on the line’ and that a balance needs to be struck, or that there is a conflict, between protecting the right of those who own intellectual property and the rights of future generations to create. Artists interviewed include Girl Talk and Danger Mouse, popular musicians of the mashup scene who cut and remix sounds from other songs into their own. The interviews with these artists reveal an emerging understanding of digital works and the obstacle to their authoring copyright presents.

‘Good Copy Bad Copy’ documents the conflict between current copyright law and recent technological advances that enable the sampling of music, as well as the distribution of copyrighted material via peer-to-peer file sharing search engines such as The Pirate Bay. MPAA (Motion Picture Association of America) CEO Dan Glickman is interviewed in connection with a raid by the Swedish police against The Pirate Bay in 2006. Glickman concedes that piracy will never be stopped, but states that they will try to make it as difficult and tedious as possible.

Gottfrid Svartholm and Fredrik Neij from The Pirate Bay are also interviewed, with Neij stating that The Pirate Bay is illegal according to US law, but not Swedish law. In Nigeria, the documentary interviews individuals working within the Nigerian film industry, or Nollywood. In Brazil the Tecno brega industry and its unique approach to copyright and sampling is documented, featuring interviews with Ronaldo Lemos, Professor of Law FGV Brazil. Lemos explains that CDs or recorded music is treated merely as an advertisement for parties and concerts that generate revenue.

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