Is Pogo a criminal?

I still remember hearing my first Pogo remix. I had just finished bombing a test in my history class and just wanted to go back to my dorm and relax. My roommate started playing music from his laptop to annoy me. I could hear the faint sound of the movie Hook. The rhythm was perfect and I could see the movie playing out in my head. It finally registered that it was a remix of the film. From that moment on I was “hooked.”  The remix was done by Nick Bertke, AKA Pogo.


Growing up in a culture of video game nerds and webaholics, remixes were nothing new to me. But I had never heard anything like Pogo’s mixes before. His mixes aren’t like those of Girl Talk, who has a more recognized form of remix. The article “Remix: The Art and Craft of Endless Hybridization” uses Danger Mouse’s Grey album as an example of music remix. However, Pogo uses sound bites from films to create a brand new song. I became fascinated with the incredible genre of remix. There are hundreds of artist like Pogo and Girl Talk all around the world. Some of my favorite songs and musicians are remixes or remix artist. But is this okay?

As a film student, a question that often pops into my head is “Is that stealing?” I remember the days of Limewire and Rhapsody. But now as an adult I am faced with the question of is it wrong. With hopes of one day making my own films, I have to wonder how I will make money. Is downloading that movie, song, or book okay? Did I steal from the creator? These questions have run through my mind for some time now, and I think I have come to an answer. I would rather see my film be downloaded online, rather than it not be seen at all. And while this is cliché, I find myself still slightly concerned. Then it hit me.

My fear is not in the theft of my art, it is in the quality of my work compared to someone else.I am my own worst critic in this regard. If an artist such as Pogo or Girl Talk were to remix one of my films, I wouldn’t know how to handle myself. To have such a talented artist use your original piece to create something new is amazing. While the fear of my competition will always be there, I look forward to seeing what kind of new creations can come of my work.

Are artist like Girl Talk and Pogo stealing other peoples work?

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