Copyright Criminals

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Copyright Criminals


A really great 10-minute exploration of the legal threats against sampling in contemporary musich, which features tons of great DJ's and hip hop artists.

URL = http://www.archive.org/details/criminal02mov

1. Description of the Webcast

"Sampling, copyright and collage, these are the research fields of the Copyright Criminals: this is a sampling sport documentary, conceived as a work in progress, and shot by Benjamin Franzen, a Changing Image video-journalist, and Kembrew Mcleod, researcher in Communication Studies at the University of Iowa. They made more than fifty different interviews with musicians, artists, and people form the worldwide recording industry, trying to give a detailed picture of the sampling practice. What is described is the state of the art of it and its current discourse, actually in the eye of the storm, because of the flamming controversies carried on with copyright laws strokes. Thanks to that during recent years some of the most interesting works have been composed in the international music survey. The voices mostly belong to hip hop representatives, a historical sampling mainstay, and promote the creative sound transformations opposed to the slavish copy, claiming the right to use the freedom of expression. The clearly underline the actual legal restrictions as a mere economical interests protection tool, as well as a blind interpretation of the phenomenon. As a matter of fact if it's evident that "it's absurd pay for a James Brown's 'yeah'", as states Public Enemy's Harry Allen, the new imperative must be to research what does it mean to be creative in the digital era, when sometimes the mere technical reproducibility is disguised as a work of art." - reviewed by Francesca Tomassini, Neural.it (http://www.neural.it/nnews/copyright_criminalse.htm)


2. A Podcast interview about the Webcast

URL = http://smallworldpodcast.com/?p=341

"Interview with Kembrew McLeod, producer of the documentary Copyright Criminals: This is a Sampling Sport. We discuss what Copyright Criminals is about; why he and co-producer Ben Franzen decided to do a documentary about sampling; why some regard sampling as a lazy way to create a song; sampling throughout the ages; how contemporary copyright laws would have prevetned jazz classics from being created; how copyright laws stiffle creativity; when did copyright laws start to throttle the creative commons; The Turtles‘ lawsuit against De La Soul; Gilbert O’Sullivan’s lawsuit against Biz Markie; sample clearance; Kayne West; Woody Guthrie’s “This Land is Your Land“; the Run DMC/Aerosmith collaboration; Stetsasonic’s “Talkin’ All that Jazz"; Eric B and Rakim; James Brown; George Clinton; when will Copyright Criminals be completed; editing with Final Cut Pro; how they chose who to feature in the documentary; Prince Paul; Public Enemy’s Chuck D, Harry Allen and Hank Shocklee; including opposing views in the documentary; drummer Clyde Stubblefield; DefJux Records‘ LP; N.W.A.; his book, Freedom of Expression; electronic voting; why he trademarked the phrase “freedom of expression"; sending a cease and desist letter to AT&T; Stanley Crouch of The New York Daily Times‘ outrage over Daman Wayans‘ attempt to copyright the word “nigga"; Creative Commons and the Electronic Frontier Foundation." (http://smallworldpodcast.com/?p=341)