Sampling, mashups, ripping and remixing — in an age of infinitely accessible and increasingly malleable digital audio, the question of who’s allowed to do what with someone else’s original music is becoming ever more heated. If you use a piece of software such as Traktor to ironically suture “Singing in the Rain” to the riffs of “Enter Sandman,” does this constitute a brand new creation? Or just two well-known tracks playing in sync? Are you a genius or a plagiarist?

Joining the conversation with admirable open-mindedness is Tokyo’s Remix Film Festival, two days of films and panel discussions to be held at Shibuya’s perennial center of artistic activism, Uplink Factory, on June 21-22. The minifest is the brainchild of 5th Element, an ad-hoc group of event organizers interested in the intersection between youth culture and politics.

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