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Copyright Criminals, Benjamin Franzen
Copyright Criminals, sampling art documentary.
Sampling, copyright and collage, these are the research fields of the Copyright Criminals: this is a sampling sport documentary, conceived as a work in progress, and shot by Benjamin Franzen, a Changing Image video-journalist, and Kembrew Mcleod, researcher in Communication Studies at the University of Iowa. They made more than fifty different interviews with musicians, artists, and people form the worldwide recording industry, trying to give a detailed picture of the sampling practice. What is described is the state of the art of it and its current discourse, actually in the eye of the storm, because of the flamming controversies carried on with copyright laws strokes. Thanks to that during recent years some of the most interesting works have been composed in the international music survey. The voices mostly belong to hip hop representatives, a historical sampling mainstay, and promote the creative sound transformations opposed to the slavish copy, claiming the right to use the freedom of expression. The clearly underline the actual legal restrictions as a mere economical interests protection tool, as well as a blind interpretation of the phenomenon. As a matter of fact if it's evident that "it's absurd pay for a James Brown's 'yeah'", as states Public Enemy's Harry Allen, the new imperative must be to research what does it mean to be creative in the digital era, when sometimes the mere technical reproducibility is disguised as a work of art.
Francesca Tomassini