Thursday, July 22, 2010

Behind The Sample: Copyright Criminals

“I've found you've got to look back at the old things and see them in a new light.”
-- John Coltrane

Last night, I got a chance to watch Copyright Criminals, an intriguing documentary about the history of music sampling.

The film takes a strong look at both sides of the argument over artistic license. Can you really copyright a sound? How many notes of a song can you use before you're "stealing" someone else's life's work?

Some would argue that there are few wholly-original ideas, and that everyone has borrowed from others to get where they are creatively. This is not a new argument. When white men began to play blues-inspired music, they called it Rock 'n Roll and many were left feeling used.

When poor, inner city youths couldn't afford guitars, they improvised on what they had: turntables. Remixing and rapping over layers of old funk records and breakbeats led to a major revolution in music. However, it wasn't until that music gained popularity and made money that anyone took much notice.

Today's legal system of acquiring samples is so expensive that it has created a new disparity. Anyone relying heavily on samples has to be rich enough to pay for them or continue to release the music illegally.

This documentary aired on PBS' Independent Lens some months back. If you're a lover of music history or law, it's really worth your time. You can sample the trailer below:

"Make it New!" -- Ezra Pound

Looking forward to...
This Is Hot Lyrics
Still A Weirdo Lyrics
KT Tunstall
The Truth Lyrics
Kris Allen
Strip Me Lyrics
Natasha Bedingfield
Gimmie Dat Lyrics
It Won't Be Long Lyrics
J. Cole
Night Nurse Lyrics
All Of The Lights Lyrics
Kanye West
One Life Lyrics
Sunrise Lyrics
Get tools for your blog here.

No comments: