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Political Remixers and Fair Use Best Practices

I just had an invigorating talk with amazing New York remix artist Jonathan McIntosh, who is rapidly circulating the Code of Best Practices in Fair Use for Online Video to fellow artists. (He was in Chicago working with high school kids at Mindy Faber’s Fair Use Remix Institute, who were the first–ever group to put the Code to use. I also got to speak with them, via Skype.) Jonathan, who curated a section on political remixes for the DIY conference, believes that political remixers badly need the Code of Best Practices, because they want their work to circulate widely as a form of criticism with some impact in the world. They also don't want to be hostage to DMCA takedowns (which is when a copyright holder asks a provider like YouTube to take down a video, because it infringes their copyright), or at least they want to have good arguments for a counter-takedown. "As well, many non-profits and other organizations really want to make political remixes, but they’ve been afraid to try, because they’re worried about incurring legal expenses," he said. "This Code will make it much easier to know when you’re going to be within the law." Want to see more of the burgeoning phenomenon Jonathan’s talking about? Check out his best-of blog, Political Remix, or just watch one of his recent works (A hyper-responsible remixer, McIntosh includes the sources of his remix material as well on the site):