All samples cleared? Copyright Criminals documentary

January 21, 2010 at 10:08 Leave a comment

This looks like a promising documentary, not just because of the people that feature in it: Copyright Criminals takes a fresh look at performers and producers who have sampled other people’s music in their own original pieces. It also deals with the creative and legal ramifications you have to deal with as a musician, writer etc.

The film was done by Benjamin Franzen who interviewed many of hip hop’s originators, including De La Soul, Chuck D and Digital Underground, as well as newer artists from record labels such as Def Jux and Ninja Tune. It’ll also give you more background on musicians who have been sampled, such as ‘Dr Funkenstein’ George Clinton and  James Brown’s drummer Clyde Stubblefield, the world’s most sampled performer.

Things have changed drastically in the past two decades, especially what publishing of music, pictures and words  is concerned. The underlying question of the film is:  how did a musical style get turned into a billion-dollar industry? Expect plenty of insight from industry figures, musicians/DJs who explain why every recording artist has to stay up on the dos and dont’s of copyright infringement.

From the official page: “Copyright Criminals examines the creative and commercial value of musical sampling, including the related debates over artistic expression, copyright law, and (of course) money.”

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Another classic: El da Sensei / The Creators Lagos mashed up: Débruit track

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