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Parker Higgins @xor
, 12 tweets, 4 min read Read on Twitter
The delightful dancing video of AOC that is being circulated right now* is actually part of a pretty storied, if now mostly forgotten, remix culture phenomenon. If you'll allow me...

* apparently by numbskulls incapable of joy
A decade ago, somebody uploaded a video that mashed up an iconic dance scene from THE BREAKFAST CLUB (1985) with a current popular hit, Pheonix's Lisztomania
Shortly after that went viral, a group of Brooklyn let's-face-it hipsters did a shot for shot remake of the mash-up, which was pretty exciting at the time!
This was what (lol) we now call a meme. They used to be more sophisticated than top-text-bottom-text. Then a group in SF did it too and it was off to the races, with versions popping up from all over the place. AOC appeared in the Boston University take
Then some wild things happened! Larry @Lessig included this phenomenon in his videos on fair use, because it was a good fun example of fair use that brings people joy to watch. And then Phoenix ('s record label) got his talk taken down!…
Obviously it was fair use and he was Larry @Lessig so he didn't do what most people do in that situation, which is curse the fickle copyright gods and give up. Instead, he and my (former employer) @EFF sued over the improper takedown…
They settled, and the record label paid @Lessig an undisclosed amount and changed its takedown procedures…
It sure seems today like those "frivolous" decade-old mashups, and the context in which they arose, is pretty essential to have a grasp of media literacy and understand the disingenuous arguments put forth by the weird people obsessed with AOC!
Obviously nobody would have argue that the videos should stay up (in their original context, with comments and links intact) BECAUSE a future Congresswoman might be in them. But that sort of unforeseen conversation is exactly what fair use enables!
Sometimes copyright maximalists seem to live in a world where every use of culture can be enumerated, quantified, and licensed. But that's not how culture works. Not at all.
This too is an important element:

There is also (though it is not apparent from the Lisztomania videos, I concede) a very long history of crafting copyright policy specifically to devalue and/or police expression associated with underrepresented groups.
It turns out the original creator of the Lisztomania/Breakfast Club mashup had her YouTube account disabled. So if you want examples of overzealous copyright enforcement eliminating important historical context, you needn't look far
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