Copyright Criminals 2010 NR CC

Amazon Instant Video

(6) IMDb 7.4/10
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A documentary examining the creative and commercial value of musical sampling, including the related debates over artistic expression and copyright law by tracing the rise of hip-hop from the urban streets of New York to its current industry status.

Starring:
Shock G, Bobbito Garcia
Runtime:
54 minutes

Copyright Criminals

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Product Details

Genres Music, Documentary
Director Benjamin Franzen, Kembrew McLeod
Starring Shock G, Bobbito Garcia
Supporting actors Chuck D., El-P., Sage Francis, Pam the Funsktress, Bobbito Garcia, Miho Hatori, Humpty Hump, Mr. Len, Mix Master Mike, Prefuse 73, DJ Q-Bert, Pete Rock, Hank Shocklee, DJ Spooky, Clyde Stubblefield, Saul Williams
Studio Copyright Criminals, LLC
MPAA rating NR (Not Rated)
Captions and subtitles English Details
Rental rights 48 hour viewing period. Details
Purchase rights Stream instantly and download to 2 locations Details
Format Amazon Instant Video (streaming online video and digital download)

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Andre S. Grindle TOP 1000 REVIEWER on February 21, 2010
Format: DVD
Honestly this is a movie that has been waiting to be made for over twenty years. Ever since the rise of sampling and most recently downloading the concept of what constitutes for "music" and what constitutes for "stealing" has been debated again and again. Usually when I've witnessed the discussion or it's baught up it's usually the anti group. This movie elegantly gathers together people from all side. Hip hop sample artists/scrachers themselves,recording engineerers,entertainment lawyers and even those musicians who've been sampled most all show up here to discuss the situation head on. You'll hear about people such as De La Soul,Biz Markie and Danger Mouse,all of whom had wounded up on the wrong side of the sampling question legally at one point or another and all of whom had different results for the ware. The anti group,most of whom happen to be lawyers do have a very concise opinion on sampling: that it's very lazy musicianship and that even an unidentifiable fragment of sound used for someones recording is plagerism. Through the use of overlapping visuals you also get great examples of the sampling process-hearing how everyone from James Brown,Led Zeppelin to The Jackson 5 would sound sampled or mashed up,as they call it for mixtapes. Sometimes the ears really do have it;by the time you finish hearing this and seeing the visuals of the individual acts presented as "visual sampling" as it is here you'll agree not only can you see how dancable,funky and creative it all sounds but individual as well-hardly sounds like outright plagerism at all. You also see how jazz musicians borrowed riffs and sound freely from eachother and how even The Beatles themselves were early samplers with many of their post 1967 musical experiences with tape loops and such.Read more ›
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6 of 8 people found the following review helpful By vinyl cooker on March 8, 2010
Format: DVD
Given the people that the film-makers were interviewing, I had pretty high expectations for Copyright Criminals. In fact, I bought it based on the trailer and the interview subjects.

However, the film is ultimately only a good introduction to the issues around sample culture. It offers very little new to the discussion, and only lightly touches on considerations like Creative Commons or Negativland's experiences with copyright infringement.

Even the interviews with Stubblefield (from James Brown's band), while interesting, are bizarrely divided - he introduces himself and discusses being sampled, and then he does so again about a half-hour later. The "video sampling" that makes the film look cool in the first 15 minutes grows tiresome after a short while - mostly because the interviews are so insubstantial.

This is my first review on Amazon, but I felt compelled to provide it because, while the trailer suggests a great deal of interesting, toothy discussion, Copyright Criminals ultimately does not live up to its promise. I felt like the film-makers left a LOT of questions unasked and a lot of content still sitting on the table.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Kathie B. on May 2, 2010
Format: DVD
I teach Writing & Rhetoric at a private arts college and showed this documentary to my students to start a conversation about proper citation, fair use, and intellectual property rights. I feel that this documentary does a good job presenting the sides of both samplers and remixers, and those who want credit and compensation for their original work. Plus, it has lots of great music in it, which both I and my students loved.
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