One of the most fascinating and fun parts of the 2009 Future of Music Policy Summit was the screening of COPYRIGHT CRIMINALS -- a documentary by Benjamin Franzen and University of Iowa professor Kembrew McLeod. The free movie screening at Georgetown University in DC (where Summit took place from October 4-6) was incredible. Of course, so was the conversation with Kembrew and Tony Berman of Berman Entertainment and Technology Law, who is featured in the film.
COPYRIGHT CRIMINALS examines the creative and commercial value of musical sampling, including the related debates over artistic expression, copyright law, and money. The documentary traces the rise of hip-hop from the urban streets of New York to its current status as a multibillion-dollar industry. Sampling, or riffing, is as old as music itself, but as technologies developed in the 1980s and 1990s that made it easier to sample existing sound recordings -- and when record label company lawyers got involved -- everything changed. Years before people started downloading music off the internet, hip-hop sampling sparked a debate about copyright, creativity and technological change, and the debate still rages today.
If you weren't at the DC show (or any of the 13 other screenings that have already taken place), you may still be able to catch COPYRIGHT CRIMINALS at a venue near you.
Here's a list of upcoming screenings. For more info, click here. Remember, if COPYRIGHT CRIMINALS isn't playing in your town, you can still see it when it airs on PBS starting in January. Can you set a TiVo that far ahead?
10/15/2009 West Hollywood, CA: Aero 7:30 PM
10/15/2009 Tacoma, WA: Morken Center at PLU 6:00 PM
10/16/2009 Ithaca, NY: Henry St. John Building 7:00 PM
10/16/2009 Tucson, AZ: Miller-Golf Links Branch Library 4:00 PM
10/17/2009 New Orleans, LA: Antenna Gallery 6:00 PM
10/18/2009 Nashville, TN: Nashville Public Library 2:30 PM
10/18/2009 Tucson, AZ: Valencia Branch Library 2:00 PM
10/20/2009 Philadelphia, PA: The Rotunda 7:00 PM
10/20/2009 Boise, ID: BSU Student Union 5:30 PM
10/20/2009 Sheboygan, WI: John Michael Kohler Arts Center 7:00 PM
10/21/2009 Sheboygan, WI: John Michael Kohler Arts Center 12:30 PM
10/21/2009 Caldwell, ID: College of Idaho Albertson Intl 7:00 PM
10/21/2009 Houston, TX: Rice Cinema 7:00 PM
10/21/2009 Oakland, CA: Oakland Asian Cultural Center 6:00 PM
10/21/2009 Evansville, IN: University of Evansville/Smythe Lecture Hall 7:00 PM
10/22/2009 Kansas City, MO: Tivoli Cinema 7:00 PM
10/23/2009 Columbus, OH: OSU Mendenhall Labs, 4:30 PM
10/24/2009 Chicago, IL: Chicago Cultural Center 2:00 PM
10/25/2009 Indianapolis, IN: K.I. EcoCenter 4:00 PM
10/25/2009 Washington, DC: Jewish Community Center 3:00 PM
10/25/2009: Iowa City, IA: Bijou Theater 7:00 PM
10/26/2009 San Diego, CA: San Diego Public Library 6:30 PM
10/26/2009: College Station, TX: Texas A&M, Evans 204E, 7:00 PM
10/27/2009 Hayward, CA: Hayward Public Library 5:30 PM
10/27/2009 San Francisco, CA: San Francisco Main Library 5:45 PM
10/27/2009 Denver, CO: Starz FilmCenter 7:00 PM
10/28/2009 Washington, DC: Busboys and Poets 6:30 PM
10/28/2009 Miami, FL: Miami Dade/Wolfson Campus 5:00 PM
10/28/2009 Miami, FL: Florida Intl University/Madique 7:00 PM
10/29/2009 Charleston, SC: Charleston County Public Library 6:30 PM
We also wanted to remind you about Creative License, a book by Kembrew and FMC that includes interviews with nearly 100 participants in the sampling culture, and offers a thorough economic and legal analysis of the underpinnings of sampling. It will be published by Duke University Press in 2010.