The University of Iowa

Sampling nation: Questioning copyright laws

January 20th, 2010

by Sarah Larson

Can one person own a sound?

Benjamin Franzen and Kembrew McLeod ask that question in their new documentary, Copyright Criminals, which will première nationally tonight on “Independent Lens,” a PBS documentary series. The film will be shown on IPTV World at 8 a.m., 2 p.m., and 7 p.m., Wednesday. Iowa Public Television will also air it at 11 p.m. on Jan. 24.

The film examines the current debate in the music industry over copyright laws that inhibit remixing and music sampling. It also observes the way in which freedom of expression and money play a part in the ongoing dispute. Franzen is a UI alumnus, and McLeod is a UI associate professor of communication studies.

They began work on the film in 2003. The project started out as a documentary about music and grew into a social commentary on the recent remix culture that developed in the past few years.

Read the full story here.

Contributed with permission from The Daily Iowan.