The Film | Hip-Hop and Sampling | Copyright and Legal Issues | Sources

The Film

Copyright Criminals
View a photo gallery of the artists featured in the film, get related event listings, listen to the winning entries for the Creative Commons COPYRIGHT CRIMINALS Remix Contest and more.

Freedom of Expression
Explore filmmaker Kembrew McLeod’s site for his book Freedom of Expression®: Resistance and Repression in the Age of Intellectual Property (University of Minnesota Press, 2007), the inspiration for COPYRIGHT CRIMINALS.

Hip-Hop and Sampling

Davey D’s Hip-Hop Corner
Hip-hop historian, journalist and community activist Davey D offers a comprehensive history of hip-hop, a daily news blog and interviews and articles, often with a political twist.

Hip-Hop Congress
The Hip-Hop Congress provides young people with the tools, resources and opportunities to make social, economic and political change on a local, regional and national level.

Hip-Hop DX
Get the latest in hip-hop news, reviews, interviews, unreleased audio, videos, mixtapes and much more.

Crate Kings: The 30 Greatest Hip-Hop Drum Breaks & Samples of All Time!
Listen to 30 classic hip-hop breaks. Also available: 300 Classic Hip-Hop Drum Breaks, Samples and Loops

AlterNet: How Copyright Law Changed Hip Hop
Kembrew McLeod interviews Public Enemy’s Chuck D and Hank Schocklee on sampling, copyright law and music.

NPR: On the Media: Transcript of “They Say That I Stole This”
Hank Shocklee, sampling artist Girl Talk (also known as Gregg Gillis) and Duke Law professor James Boyle discuss two decades of sampling in music.

Perfect Sound Forever: Sampling History
Read a 2007 article about the history of sampling in different genres of music. Independent Lens: HIP-HOP: BEYOND BEATS AND RHYMES
A self-described hip-hop head takes an in-depth look at masculinity and manhood in rap and hip-hop.

Copyright and Legal Issues

This online publication focuses on commentary and scholarship regarding copyright, licensing, intellectual property and digital media.

U.S. Copyright Office
Learn about copyright law basics, search copyright records and “take the mystery out of copyright.”

Copyright 101
This tutorial explains copyright and fair use in clear language, and includes the length of copyright and the public domain status of works based on year of creation.

Copyright and Public Domain Music
What is fair use? This site identifies public domain music and royalty-free recordings.

The Future of Music Coalition
The Future of Music Coalition works to ensure a diverse musical culture where artists flourish and are compensated fairly for their work, and where fans can find the music they want. Learn about related issues and research and read the FutureBlog.

Center for the Study of Public Domain
The Center for the Study of the Public Domain focuses on areas not protected by exclusive intellectual property rights. Its Arts Project ( includes a comic book that explores the impact of intellectual property on creativity.

Creative Commons
Dedicated to making it easier for people to share and build upon the work of others, Creative Commons provides free licenses and other legal tools that allow creators to decide what conditions they wish to apply to their work.


The following served as information sources for several pages on this site:


“Play It Again, Sampler; A Revolutionary Device Turns Pop on its Ear by Enabling Musicians to Beg, Borrow and Steal Sounds From All Over” by Guy Garcia; TIME Magazine, June 3, 1991

History of Sampling:


COPYRIGHT CRIMINALS Discussion Guide Dub Version Independent Lens: HIP-HOP: Beyond Beats and Rhymes

Facts about the Copyright Act of 1976 Funky Drummer

Soul Sides: All Roads Lead to Apache

Rolldabeats Forum: Michael Viner’s Incredible Bongo Band Planet Rock (song)

Perfect Sound Forever: Sampling history

Time Out New York: 3 Feet High and Rising by De La Soul 3 Feet High and Rising

Copyright Casebook: Biz Markie and Gilbert O’Sullivan

Biz Markie Gets the Copyright Smackdown Grand Upright Music, Ltd. v. Warner Bros. Records Inc.

Coolio Featuring L.V. – Gangsta’s Paradise How Copyright Law Changed Hip Hop DJ Shadow’s New Site Signals New Era of Creative Control

Rolling Stone: DJ Shadow: Endtroducing…. Trip hop

Suits, Lawsuits, and Art: Negativland Takes on the Man

Negativland Interviews U2’s The Edge

Swan Fungus: Negativland – U2

Copycense: Girl Talk as Fair Use Martyr

On the Media: Transcript of “They Say That I Stole This” Handsome Boy Modeling School



CNET Review: Glossary


Glossary – The Sonic Spot Break (music) Independent Lens: HIP-HOP

Vintage Synth Explorer: Akai MPC-3000 Sampler (musical instrument)

Vintage Synth Explorer: Roland - MC-303 Groovebox

Vintage Synth Explorer: Roland - TB-303 Bassline

Roland U.S. – MC-808: Sampling Groovebox Roland TR-808 Roland TB-303 Crate digging Dub Version

Stanford Copyright and Fair Use – Fair Use Funk Equalization

U.S. Copyright Office

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