Friday, November 15, 2019

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reprinted from:  Not in Court cause I Stole a Beat : the Digital Music Sampling Debate's Discourse on Race and Culture, and the Need for Test Case Litigation, 2012 University of Illinois Journal of Law, Technology and Policy 141 (Spring 2012)(Student Note)(221 Footnotes Omitted).

He who receives an idea from me, receives instruction himself without lessening mine; as he who lights his taper at mine, receives light without darkening mine.
-Thomas Jefferson

 

In spite of the rich tradition of borrowing exemplified in a wide variety of art forms, and the benefits of sampling within hip-hop specifically, the copyright system continues to misinterpret the nature and goals of using digital technology to reinterpret existing sources. As a result, American courts create legally binding hierarchies of cultural forms that marginalize artists who borrow openly. Such cultural regulation is made even more troubling by the racial undertones underlying the copyright system's failure to recognize digital sampling as a valid art form.

Vernellia R. Randall
Founder and Editor
Professor Emerita of Law
The University of Dayton School of Law

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