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When Does Fair Use Become Theft and Viceversa

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Who really owns ideas, and how long should they hold them? When does Fair Use become Theft and vice versa?

Those are the question raised in Brett Gaylor's documentary RiP: A Remix Manifesto, raises alarms for those who think copyright holders have become too aggressive about protecting their intellectual property.

The documentary highlights the popular music artist known as Girl Talk. Girl Talk consists of one man named Gregg Gillis and he takes parts from different songs (usually popular ones) and creates new music of his own. He doesn't use any of his own materials at all. A lot of people consider his work stealing and what is known as Copyright infringement; even though he changes the music so much, you can’t even tell what all of the songs he uses are. Girl Talk is known as a mash-up artist, and according to the documentary, mash-up artists have stirred up quite a controversy with both the Copyright Company and the other artists they take their material from.
Copyright problems arose with the advent of the free availability of information on the Internet. It was easy for people to steal music, movies and images from the internet and use them to create their own mash-up piece. Prior to the internet copyrighting actually encouraged creativity. Once music sharing websites like Napster began, musicians and other artists began suing and copyright laws became more rigouous in their scope and enforcement.

As sample-pop star Girl Talk (AKA former biomedical engineer
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