Copyright Criminals: Can You Own A Sound?

Copyright Criminals: Can You Own A Sound?

Copyright Criminals is a documentary that examines the use of sampling in hip-hop.

Kyana Gordon
  • 18 january 2010

Copyright Criminals, a documentary examining the use of sampling in hip-hop, is scheduled to make its broadcast premier on PBS this week. The film features luminaries on both sides of the sampling debate, including Public Enemy, De La Soul, DJ Spooky, George Clinton and funky drummer Clyde Stubblefield (James Brown’s drummer and the world’s most sampled musician). The film traces the roots of hip-hop from the streets of New York to a multibillion-dollar industry. For more than thirty years, innovative hip-hop performers and producers reused portions of previously recorded music in new, otherwise original recordings. When lawyers and record companies got involved, what was once referred to as a “borrowed melody” became copyright infringement. As artists search for original ways to fuse old influences with new material, this documentary asks the pointed question, on behalf of an entire creative community: Can you own a sound?

Access this article for free
Fill in your email below and you'll gain access to this article while also receiving a number of membership features as part of a special 30-day trial.
*Already a member? Log in here

Learn About Our Membership Services

Need Research Help?
As a member you can ask us any research questions and get complimentary research assistance with a 4-day turnaround. Reports inclde stats, quotes, and best-inclass examples on research topics.
Remain Informed & Strategic
We publish several trends reports each month. By becoming a member you will have access to over 100 existing reports, plus a growing catalog of deep topical analysis and debrief-style reports so you always remain in the know.
See Trends Come To Life
Meet your peers and immerse yourself in monthly trend and innovation webinars and discounted conferences.
No search results found.