This Community Classroom educational module from Copyright Criminals teaches the basic foundations of copyright law and how the music industry began to respond legally to sampling as hip-hop grew in popularity in the 1990s.
For those of you who claim that copyright inspires no creativity whatsoever, perhaps you have not seen the following video, PandoHouse Rock: Copyright, explained, a collaboration between PandoDaily and Explainer Music's David Holmes:
Click headline to read more and watch the music video--
Copyright laws maintain some protection for Authors of creative works such as writings, video productions, music, visual arts or architecture and for the companies that paid for their creation. Although copyright law grants protections and rights to copyright holders, the system is far from perfect.
Some Pros of Copyright Law include:
Automatic Copyright Protection
Defends Intellectual Property Rights
Immediate Action that commands the Infringing party to cease and desist publication or performance of the work in question.
Some Cons of Copyright Law include:
Registration and Fees
Expensive for Owners to Enforce
Ambiguity meaning by the very nature of creativity, some areas are ambiguous and open to interpretation
Last year, when Universal Music issued a very questionable takedown of a Megaupload commercial -- which involved some Universal Music artists -- UMG suggested that it had extra special rights with YouTube in which it could take down videos that it didn't even have a direct copyright on. Google later said that UMG was greatly exaggerating the details of their deal, and all UMG could do beyond issuing normal copyright takedowns was to take down live performances.
So a bunch of folks are scratching their heads over a highly questionable UMG takedown of a song by a Florida-based rap duo, After the Smoke (who are not signed to Universal). The details are a bit complex, and to understand what appears to have happened, you first have to go back a bit. It seems that After the Smoke recorded an instrumental "beat" which they then shopped around to various artists to potentially rap/sing over. This is pretty common, and if someone likes the beat, they'll buy it. In this case, they offered the beat to Yelawolf, who they had opened for. Yelawolf claimed to like it, and apparently did record over it... but about the same time got signed to Universal Music and nothing happened with the track (and the beat was never paid for). However, about a month ago, the Yelawolf track over the ATS beat got leaked -- leading ATS to get upset about the lack of credit (and, one assumes, payment).
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