January 15, 2010

Copyright Criminals: A documentary on the history of sampling

Copyright Criminals airs January 19th on PBS and the film will be available from indiepixfilms.com on January 26th.

Copyright Criminals examines the creative and commercial value of musical sampling, including the related debates over artistic expression, copyright law, and (of course) money. This documentary traces the rise of hip-hop from the urban streets of New York to its current status as a multibillion-dollar industry. For more than thirty years, innovative hip-hop performers and producers have been re-using portions of previously recorded music in new, otherwise original compositions. When lawyers and record companies got involved, what was once referred to as a “borrowed melody” became a “copyright infringement.”The film showcases many of hip-hop music’s founding figures like Public Enemy, De La Soul, and Digital Underground—while also featuring emerging hip-hop artists from record labels Definitive Jux, Rhymesayers, Ninja Tune, and more.


14 Responses

  1. TV Guide says it’ll be on Tuesday at 11pm on channel 22 in Edmonton for those who are interested.

  2. Hooray, didn’t think I get PBS here in ON. Thought I was gonna have to wait until the 26th INDIEPIX (no TV) But NO, Thanks for making it easier NUTLEY.

  3. Loved the bit about covering up samples or manipulating them to the point where they’re not identifiable. Would of loved to see more about this. That’s the way I make sample based music.

    Fuck looping.

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