- a documentary about the current state of copyright and culture

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Good Copy Bad Copy

Documentary film (Denmark, 2007)

The war over the ownership of creativity has been fought, sometimes literally, for nearly 1,500 years, but only since the dawn of the digital age has it come to be one of truly global scale. Making a copy of a piece of writing may have once been relatively laborious, but now an artist can mash up dozens of song samples in a few hours, riding roughshod over the efforts of the original creator. Or are they?

What is creativity and how much right can and should actually be held over work by those who have produced it? Is it legally or morally justifiable to share the work of others without paying them for it? In Good Copy Bad Copy, we attempt to embed with those on both sides of the trenches to find out the current state of play and if there is any hope of a truce in the future. Whether downloading movies from a college dorm room or filing cease and desist letters from a high-powered law office, it’s a conflict which affects billions of us.

We are grateful to the many contributors who have given their time to add their thoughts to our story. We didn’t want this venture to simply be an essay on modern copyright law but an open and objective discussion about the nature and future of creativity in our times. I can't do my essay. From Nigeria to Brazil and the US to Sweden, it is one of the key debates of the digital era and one that we believe everyone should be participating in.