While researching videos for Recut, Reframe, Recycle, I was often struck by the meta verse that exists in the user generated content world. Videos that remix are often being remixed, and the dialogue is ever expanding. The Dramatic Chipmunk meme, for example, is an interesting phenomenon. While conducting our research for Recut, we found that there were over 92 remixes of the "original video" (which was actually a remix of a Japanese television show.)
Here is the original video:
The meme is continuing. I recently came across the Dramatic Lemur:
The recent viral success of Will.i.am's "Yes We Can" video has also spurred remixes, recreations, and the dimensions of the video are expanding to include parodies of other copyrighted materials. The following video was created for Mad TV, but has become a viral success, and humorously attempts to apply the same mode of musicality to set off John McCain's words:
The following video also parodies the "Yes We Can" video, but claims "No, You Can't."
It is very interesting to see how user generated content is continuing to grow in the political sphere. Utilizing Fair Use when making these videos is vital to strengthening their impact. Here at the Center we are currently working on expanding our Recut, Reframe, Recycle project, and are in the midst of developing a Best Practices Statement for the usage of copyrighted materials in online video. Until that time, the Documentary Filmmaker's Statement of Best Practices in Fair Use is a great guide for implementing Fair Use without legal penalty or consequences.