Copyright Criminals

Independent lens on PBS hosted by Maggie Gylenhall was not at all what I had expected. Centering around the controversial sampling topic, this 56-minute video has opened my eyes to the world of copyright. Sampling is basically when you take one person’s idea and altering it one way or another. Independent filmmakers show how everyone is a modern DJ by cutting and pasting old material and how “digital snatchers” are able to use sounds and create their own special twist on it. In terms of copyright the people in the video state that if you sample one note of a sound recording that apparently is copyright. You can’t have a record with a bunch of other people’s records in it and not have them get paid for it. By ignoring these rules, people came up with an entirely new way. We live in a remix culture and the rules need to change in order to have that culture do what it has to do. By DJs playing old records, they are giving a reinterpretation of history for us today. This kind of sound sampling transforms the listener back to a specific action, kind of like an archive for real experiences. Sampling is pretty much-playing something awesome and putting ur name on it in lames terms. It’s using other people’s music and making it your own by altering the sound. Specifically, the video touched on singer James Brown which was very useful to a lot of hip-hop heads and influenced their work. Sampling originated through the DJ-ing culture. Doing is always a culture of borrow and take due to a lack of resources. Digitally sampling came in the 80’s which is now really popular with a more recent form of EDM. In the 90’s there were a series of lawsuits about sampling specifically speaking about De La Soul that had so many samples included in their songs that they went to court over it. Another was Biz Marquee that made a parody of a man named Gilbert O’Sullivans song. In the end, I think that all musical artists need to implement a rule where people have to be more cautious and original instead of ripping off other people’s ideas. People are still doing it, especially with new high-tech technology, but  there are rules against copyright. There are rules and people need to follow that. I understand that having a sampling law can create 2 classes- people are either rich enough to afford the law or you are a complete outlaw. Ultimately I think you should pay respect to the artist but it does not need to go as far as involving the law. Society is always changing and included in this is music. People can alter things around and make it their own, as long as it is not 100% the same. If that is the case, then it shouldn’t matter so much as long as the original artist is okay with it.

Creative Commons License
Copyright Criminals-Response by Prianka Patel is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.


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