The April release of Creative License: The Law and Culture of Digital Sampling marked the collaborative effort between the book’s authors and the team at Future of Music Coalition. Co-authored by Kembrew McLeod and FMC board member Peter DiCola, with contributions from Jenny Toomey and Kristin Thomson of FMC, Creative License is a significant contribution to the debate surrounding the law of digital sampling.
Peter DiCola kicked off a book tour with two stops in our hometown of Washington, D.C. FMC, Words Beats and Life and Duke University Press hosted a panel discussionat Busboys and Poets on April 16th, 2011. Casey-Rae Hunter, Deputy Director of FMC, along with members of the DC hip-hop and DJ community, Roddy Rod and DJ 2-Tone Jones, talked with DiCola about the book and their experiences with sampling. The video footage of Casey’s interview with Peter and the full panel discussion is included below.
FMC’s Kristin Thompson also conducted a five part interview with the authors on the motivation for writing the book and the issues that make it such a compelling read. Peter and Kembrew spent over five years compiling material for the book, detailing the development of the sample license clearance process through the experiences of musicians, rightsholders, attorneys, clearance experts and historians.
We at FMC believe that Creative License is an important and incredibly well crafted text, not to mention a wonderful read. But you don’t have to take our word; check out praise from all ends of the music-tech sphere:
“A very readable layman’s guide to the legal framework underpinning the American sampling regime … A great addition to the growing library of works showing that the endless addition of expanded property rights does nothing to ‘promote the progress’ of music, stifles expression and serves only to let Jimmy Page buy another Aleister Crowley first edition.”
-Peter Shapiro, The Wire
“Kembrew McLeod and Peter DiCola unpick the complexities of the laws that surround the issues of sampling and bring them to life through investigation of their impact on creativity and wider music-related cultures.”
-Martin James, Times Higher Education
“Creative License is a collaboration of the Future of Music Coalition that is intended to advance and inform the debate around sampling issues. The book wouldn’t work if it didn’t have something to say to lawyers and industry executives. But McLeod and DiCola always keep an eye on the bigger picture. They are as interested in the cultural as the legal, and the book succeeds greatly in broad terms as a history of music sampling.”
-John McLeod, Flagpole
“Kembrew McLeod and Peter DiCola have written a masterful exploration of the complex creative, financial, and legal issues raised by digital sampling. Their book should be required reading for anyone with a serious interest in music copyright.”
-Jessica Litman, author of Digital Copyright
“The fact that a seemingly simplistic artistic notion — of collecting, meshing, and arranging previously recorded sounds — would eventually result in a sharp and comprehensive book, Creative License, and companion film, Copyright Criminals, is mind boggling. This study is a work of art in itself, so solid that it may leave no other choice but to be sampled as well.”
-Chuck D, co-founder of Public Enemy