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Mystery Science Theater 2007

1:45 PM -- The premise behind Mystery Science Theater 3000 was simple: Some dude and his two robot companions crack on ridiculous old movies. The show was hilarious and it ran for over a decade. Were I a cornier blogger looking for places to shoehorn buzzwords, I would point out that one could say MST3K was an early appearance of "mash-up" culture, in which new artistic material is made by building on existing art. (Since I'm not, let me justify my existence by saying Andy Warhol, Run-DMC, and everyone that's ever made a collage were there first.) But anyway, as we all know, using someone else's work without proper licensing is problematic, and is one of the central dilemmas of the digital media revolution.

It's ironic that Mike Nelson (head writer for the bulk of MST3K) has found a way to carry the show's premise into the current day without blatantly violating any copyright laws. His latest venture is RiffTrax, downloadable MP3's of his (and others') commentary on new movies. You start the movie and the commentary at the same time and suddenly maybe buying the Star Wars prequels wasn't such a bad idea after all. Peruse the wares by viewing some snippets.

(Spotted over at RealPop.)

— A.L. Friedman, Editor at Large, Light Reading

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