Good Copy Bad Copy, A documentary about the current state of copyright and culture, is a documentary about copyright and culture in the context of Internet, peer-to-peer file sharing and other technological advances. It features interviews with many people with various perspectives on copyright, including copyright lawyers, producers and artists. The general thesis of the documentary is that a balance must be struck between protecting the rights of those who own intellectual property and the rights of future generations to create.
Artists interviewed include Girl Talk and DJ Danger Mouse. The interviews with artists reveal an emerging understanding of digital works and the obstacle to their authoring copyright presents.
The interviews featured in Good Copy Bad Copy acknowledge a recent shift towards user-generated content, mashup music and video culture. The documentary opens with explaining the current legal situation concerning sampling, licensing and copyright.
Good Copy Bad Copy documents the conflict between current copyright law and recent technological advances that enable the sampling of music, as well as the distribution of copyrighted material via peer-to-peer file sharing searchengines such as The Pirate Bay. MPAA (Motion Picture Association of America) CEO Dan Glickman is interviewed in connection with a raid by the Swedish police against The Pirate Bay in May 2006. Glickman concedes that piracy will never be stopped, but states that they will try to make it as difficult and tedious as possible. Gottfrid Svartholm and Fredrik Neij from The Pirate Bay are also interviewed, with Neij stating that The Pirate Bay is illegal according to US law, but not Swedish law.
The interviews document attitudes towards art, culture and copyright in a number of countries, including the US, Sweden, Russia, Nigeria, and Brazil.
The situation in Nigeria and Brazil is documented in terms of innovative business models that have developed in response to new technological possibilities and changing markets.
In Nigeria the documentary interviews individuals working within the Nigerian film industry, or Nollywood. Charles Igwe, a film producer in Lagos is interviewed at length about his views on the Nigerian film industry, the nature of Nigerian films and copyright in the context of digital video technology. Mayo Ayilaran, from the Copyright Society of Nigeria, explains the Nigerian government's approach to copyright enforcement.
In Brazil the Tecno brega industry and its unique approach to copyright and sampling is documented, featuring interviews with amongst others Ronaldo Lemos, Professor of Law FGV Brazil. Lemos explains that CDs or recorded music is treated merely as an advertisement for parties and concerts that generate revenue.
Good Copy Bad Copy also includes interview segments with copyright activist and academic Lawrence Lessig.