The New York Times ponders plagiarism in the digital age, where films like Rip: A Remix Manifesto question traditional notions of copyright and fair use: At Rhode Island College, a freshman copied…

Culture-jamming or internet prank? Decide for yourself: call it “bullshit” or “it’s really f-d up” in the comments below.

WTFMany news outlets are confused exactly what is the point of this video (deal with the ’80s Nintendo video game sounds at your own risk).

I have tried to figure what the hell this is about, the site Know Your Meme did an exemplar job of why the internet media is even talking about this now, and Matt Zoller Setiz on Salon made a good connection where some of the video was sourced from:

Greenpeace UK held a rebranding contest to generate fresh new redesigns of the BP logo. That plain green flower was introduced in 2000, and ten years later … it’s time for an…

This definitely would have messed with my head as a kid. Thanks to Luke Plunkett for the post about Josh Cooley’s wonderfully twisted artwork. Luke Plunkett writes on Kotaku:

Most, if not all of you, will at some stage of your life been read to from a Golden Book. They’re a childhood staple. But what if there were Golden Books that, uh, weren’t exactly suitable for the little ones?

Golden Book: Godfather

They’d look like these! Josh Cooley, an artist at Pixar, has been whipping these up in his spare time for the past two years, and they’re amazing. Most are pretty self-explanatory — and if I have to tell you the movie, you won’t get the joke — but if you’re finding yourself lost by most of them, you might want to catch up on your ’70s movies…

Downfall ParodyNein! Nein! Nein! Gottverdammt YouTube! Gottverdammt Constantin Film! Es ist wahr! Mein Leben ist vorbei.

What the hell YouTube, you did this on Hitler’s birthday?!? WTF. Reports Mashable:

The movie studio responsible for the award-winning, German-Austrian film Downfall (German: Der Untergang) has asked YouTube to take down several videos from the massively popular subtitled “Hitler finds out…” meme, and the site has complied.Search YouTube and you’ll still find hundreds of Downfall parodies, but click through to some of the bigger ones and you’ll now get the message, “This video contains content from Constantin Film, who has blocked it on copyright grounds.”

Downfall No More...

Yep, all the ones we have on are gone…

Jason Kincaid reveals the details, at TechCrunch: Remember Google’s Hell-froze-over, critically acclaimed Super Bowl ad Parisian Love? The one that managed to use a series of basic search queries to tell a…

Nike Says Tiger Is SorryWow, those internets really move fast. Nike debuted Tiger Woods’ ad this morning, and only hours later, people already uploaded plenty of remixed goodness. The original Woods ad has already creeped out plenty of folks: it has a silent Woods gazing at the camera while the voice of his late father Earl gives him a lecture from beyond the grave.

My favorite of the remixed ads so far is this one with the final parole board speech from Morgan Freeman in The Shawshank Redemption:

Poor Count … One, two, three … via All That’s Interesting:

Fear and Loathing on Sesame Street

We were somewhere around Barstow on the edge of the desert when the drugs began to take hold. I remember saying something like “I feel a bit lightheaded; maybe you should drive…” And suddenly there was a terrible roar all around us and the sky was full of what looked like huge bats, all swooping and screeching and diving around the car, which was going about a hundred miles an hour with the top down to Las Vegas. And a voice was screaming: “Holy Jesus! What are these goddamn animals?”

— Hunter S. Thompson, Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas

Hmm … I tend to think this particular Founding Father would NOT be happy with Glenn Beck using his image … but he’s been dead for a long time. I bring that up for legal reasons, because helps to define what we call the “public domain.”

So actually, even though Shepard Fairey’s Obama art is legally problematic, I do wonder if Beck can do this under “fair use.”

Legal scholars, your opinion is welcome. (And those who have something to say about Glenn Beck…)

P.S. Glenn Beck “paints”?!?

At right, the cover for the first edition of Ian Fleming’s Casino Royale, which featured the first appearance of that martini-drinking secret agent with a license to kill. (Photo gallery of Casino Royale‘s various covers found on the Guardian). Here’s an excellent essay from Duke University’s Center for the Study of the Public Domain:

Casino Royale, Marilyn Monroe’s Playboy cover, The Adventures of Augie March, the Golden Age of Science Fiction, Crick & Watson’s Nature article decoding the double helix, Disney’s Peter Pan, The Crucible

Current US law extends copyright protections for 70 years from the date of the author’s death. (Corporate “works-for-hire” are copyrighted for 95 years.) But prior to the 1976 Copyright Act (which became effective in 1978), the maximum copyright term was 56 years (an initial term of 28 years, renewable for another 28 years). Under those laws, works published in 1953 would be passing into the public domain on January 1, 2010.

What might you be able to read or print online, quote as much as you want, or translate, republish or make a play or a movie from? How about Casino Royale, Ian Fleming’s first James Bond novel? Fleming published Casino Royale in 1953. If we were still under the copyright laws that were in effect until 1978, Casino Royale would be entering the public domain on January 1, 2010 (even assuming that Fleming had renewed the copyright). Under current copyright law, we’ll have to wait until 2049. This is because the copyright term for works published between 1950 and 1963 was extended to 95 years from the date of publication, so long as the works were published with a copyright notice and the term renewed (which is generally the case with famous works such as this). All of these works from 1953 will enter the public domain in 2049.

Garrison Dean writes on

Every so often I feel a film is just being marketed poorly. This is often laziness and misdirection on their part. Occasionally it is arrogance when they think there is more to their film than is actually there. So, in my own arrogance, I try to help them along. Last year I felt Hulk needed some help. Today my mission is one that blends swimmingly with my own love of Disaster.