Posted on October 8, 2009
Producing Partners are local community organizations that co-present Community Cinema screenings across the country. Last night, Producing Partner Reeltime screened the Independent Lens film COPYRIGHT CRIMINALS in Evanston, IL. The film examines the creative and commercial value of musical sampling, including the related debates over artistic expression, copyright law, and (of course) money. Reeltime Director Ines Sommer gives an overview.
COPYRIGHT CRIMINALS was our first Community Cinema screening this season at Reeltime––Evanston’s independent film and discussion series. Even in the darkened theater, we could tell the audience was fully engaged as silhouetted heads were moving rhythmically to the sounds of this terrific history of sampling and hip-hop music. Our guest speaker was Northwestern University law professor Peter DiCola, who co-authored the forthcoming book Creative License: The Culture and Law of Digital Sampling with filmmaker Kembrew McLeod. We could not have asked for a better guest speaker when it comes to questions of copyright. DiCola was able to give in-depth answers that helped the audience understand legal issues in a clear and engaging manner. Since there were several local musicians in the audience, some of the questions dealt with their own composing practices and use of sampled music. Other questions had to do with historical copyright lawsuits, what “fair use” means and how copyright issues relate to visual arts and documentary filmmaking. Several audience members thanked us for showing the film and hardly anyone left before the discussion ended––surely a testament to how audiences love to connect, discuss and learn more after seeing a documentary. Ines Sommer, Reeltime Director and Community Cinema Producing Partner Find screenings near you >> Learn more on the Community Cinema Blog >>


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