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Thursday, January 7, 2010

Copyright Criminals: Is sampling art or theft?

As it stands, the answer to the age-old question is: both.

In the documentary Copyright Criminals, Atlanta filmmakers Benjamin Franzen and Kembrew McLeod revisit the argument that remains unsettled since the late ’80s when such hip-hop acts as Public Enemy and De La Soul became the first to get sued for copyright infringement due to their use of sampling.

Scheduled to air on PBS' Independent Lens Tues., Jan. 19, the documentary features a heap of former and current Atlanta-based artists on both sides of the coin — i.e. the originators and the innovators — including Danger Mouse, Chuck D of Public Enemy, George Clinton and Prefuse 73.

Other featured artists/DJs and critics included in the debate: Clyde Stubblefield (the original "Funky Drummer"), DJ Spooky, El-P, Greg Tate, Harry Allen, Bobbito Garcia, Pete Rock, Cibo Matto, Qbert and many more. See website for more details.

Stay tuned for an interview with documentary filmmaker Benjamin Franzen.

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