Welcome to 2001: A GIF Odyssey, one of the most courageous feats in GIF-making history. Digital producer and copywriter Jean-Baptiste Henri Franck Cyrille Marie Le Divelec, otherwise simply known as JB, has chopped up all of Stanley Kubrick’s sci-fi epic into a series of 569 GIFs. Using GIPHY as his platform, JB has uploaded this remarkably strenuous endeavor so you can watch the entire film in the image format.
You’re probably thinking, if the entire film is in GIF format, how are you supposed to hear it? Indeed the GIF series is silent, but JB hard-burned the subtitles into every GIF reproduction so you can read along as the film progresses. Plus, it’s not like there is a whole lot of talking, anyway.
JB’s motivation behind the project is carefully laid out in a trailer he uploaded to YouTube last week. The series acts as a sort of experiment in copyright infringement, meant to test the limits of the "Fair Use" doctrine and the vim and vigor of Kubrick copyright laws, so to speak.
For those who have yet to deal with a DMCA takedown, “Fair Use” is both a legal principle that delineates the limited use of copyrighted material without permission from rights holders, and an affirmative defense in place to help protect the author of creative works from exploitation and theft. JB tells the Creators Project, “I am trying to see where we can go in GIF-making while keeping GIF limitations. The fact that GIFs are soundless or contain only 256 colors gives me a little “buffer” against some pure copyright infringement arguments.”
In due time, JB hopes to embed the GIF series onto a standalone website of his own creation, which will also include the film’s classical score that he ensures us can be found on the internet, copyright-free. But for now, JB has decided to keep his GIF experience mute and “pure.”