First thing you might be thinking when you read that title on a movie blog is that this is a movie about how there isn’t much originality when it comes to movies. You’d be partly right as this documentary shows, but Everything is a Remix covers more than only movies and in three parts it looks at inventions, music, movies and patents to prove that new inventions might not always be original, but it is the combination of ideas which can lead to breakthroughs.
Using ideas others had isn’t something new, but it’s only in more recent times that patents and copyright started to cause issues if you look at true innovation. The idea behind them is solid, but in practise these rights are often used to earn money. There are companies who only buy a music catalogue or specific patents in order to go to court. Although they are doing what is allowed by law this movie makes clear it can really go against progress or innovation. Some albums which were made in eighties which used heavy sampling (like Beastie Boys Paul’s Boutique album) could simply not be made anymore because licensing fees would be too high. Which really is a shame.
Everything is a remix makes a good case for a different way of protecting rights and gives a quick but good overview of them in various forms. Because of its short length it is a nice documentary to check out if you want to get up to speed on the issues. It uses a lot of copyrighted material to make its case, which should be allowed if used for educational purposes.