Rip: A Remix Manifesto: FAIL!

I saw some references to Rip: A Remix Manifesto (probably on Lessig’s blog, I forget) and it sounded interesting and right down the line with my political beliefs. I went to the site and see they are doing an “open source film tour.” OK, interesting. You have to create an account to book a showing and download the film. Hmmm, OK, I created an account. Then I went to look around the site. I see the download page but it is always empty. I clicked around and at one point I got this message:

NOTE: You must accept the screening agreement in order to have your event approved and published. Please click the checkbox next to ‘I have read and agree to the terms of the B-Side Screening Agreement,’ and submit your event.

They want to approve my event? That is, I may have gone this far without a guarantee that I’ll be able to even go forward with this? This isn’t really fitting my particular vision of what an openness entails. In fact, about this point I realized that I have stopped giving a shit about this movie, I don’t want to hold a screening, I don’t want to download it and I’m not really interested in watching it or attending anyone else’s screening. My window of interest, that period where I was willing to grant this project of few hours of my very scarce time, has now closed.

You can talk the open talk all you want but when actions are out of line with that, I stop wanting to be involved. If you want the upside of “open source” you have to accept the loss of control that comes with it. What this looks like to me is a compromise that is the worst of all worlds.

Put another way, using the lyrics of the Clash:

But, you grow up and you calm down and
You’re working for the clampdown
You start wearing the blue and brown and
You’re working for the clampdown
So you got someone to boss around
It makes you feel big now

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Dave Slusher is a blogger, podcaster, computer programmer, author, science fiction fan and father. Member of the Podcast Hall of Fame class of 2022.

4 thoughts on “Rip: A Remix Manifesto: FAIL!”

  1. hip hop anonymous says:

    The screening and the download are two different things. If you just want to download the film you can go directly to the portal ( and pay however much or however little you like to download it, a la Radiohead’s In Rainbows.

  2. dave says:

    No, I can’t. I get an empty page with the background and the template but no links or any content on the page. It’s the same on both my work Linux computer and home OS X box.

    I figured that it had something to do with not being an approved user or the like, but I’ll accept that it is just plain broken and not a political statement.

  3. Brian says:

    I have almost no interest in this movie, but for kicks, I went and tried to download it

    I went to

    typed $0.00 into the paypal widget and clicked “pay now”

    and was able to download the divx version with no problems. I don’t plan on watching it.

    Although, now, I sort of feel like a freeloading doofus…

  4. dave says:

    Brian, I went back to the page after reading your comment. This is the first time I’ve seen that widget. Every other time I’ve been I saw the black “Rip it downloads” header with absolutely nothing underneath it, including a few hours ago from my work computer. Looks like they just fixed something.

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