Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Court Reduces Shocking File Sharing Award

 "A federal judge on Friday reduced a $1.92 million file sharing verdict to $54,000 after concluding the award for infringing 24 songs was “shocking.”"

Posted using ShareThis

Monday, January 25, 2010

Soundtracks vs. Comebacks: Music Sampling Gets Scored

Interesting commentary about the reliance on and legal pitfalls of sampling in hip hop music.

I welcome your comments on the following question: Why do hip hop artists and producers prefer to sample the actual performance of a song (which includes rights in the musical composition a/k/a underlying work and and the actual sound recording) rather than just re-create the sounds in studio? Your thoughts?

Monday, January 18, 2010

Broadcast Premiere on PBS’s Emmy Award-Winning Documentary Series Copyright Criminals

Broadcast Premiere
January 19, 2010

This compelling Doc asks ...
"Can you own a sound?"

Copyright Criminals examines the creative and commercial value of musical sampling, including the related debates over artistic expression, copyright law, and (of course) money.

This documentary traces the rise of hip-hop from the urban streets of New York to its current status as a multibillion-dollar industry. For more than thirty years, innovative hip-hop performers and producers have been re-using portions of previously recorded music in new, otherwise original compositions. When lawyers and record companies got involved, what was once referred to as a “borrowed melody” became a “copyright infringement.”The film showcases many of hip-hop music’s founding figures like Public Enemy, De La Soul, and Digital Underground—while also featuring emerging hip-hop artists from record labels Definitive Jux, Rhymesayers, Ninja Tune, and more.

It also provides an in-depth look at artists who have been sampled, such as Clyde Stubblefield (James Brown’s drummer and the world’s most sampled musician), as well as commentary by another highly sampled musician, funk legend George Clinton.As artists find ever more inventive ways to insert old influences into new material, this documentary asks a critical question, on behalf of an entire creative community: Can you own a sound?

Support for Copyright Criminals provided in part by the Independent Television Service, Ford Foundation, MacArthur Foundation, and the University of Iowa.

"...an amazing documentary on the history of sampling" -Rob Sheffield. Contributing Editor, Rolling Stone

USA Today calls Copyright Criminals "...a compelling and insightful documentary illuminating both sides of a hotly debated issue."

Friday, January 8, 2010

Tonya Chats with Denise Turney on BlogTalkRadio this Saturday!


Be sure to tune in on Saturday at 11 AM (EDT) when I sit down with Denise Turney and talk openly about how entertainment, book and major motion picture movie contracts are written to profit record, book publishers and film companies ? not artists.

I will also examine how literary agents and attorneys help or hurt a writer?s career. Listeners who tune into the one-hour feature interview will learn key contract agreements to look for or request before they sign a record, book or major motion picture deal. Listeners will also learn what they can do to get their finances and product rights in order in the event that they have already signed a bad contract.

Plus, I will be giving away complimentary copies of my books!

More information and to tune in to BlogTalkRadio.com ...


First Annual "World Fair Use Day" Coming 1/12/2010!

World?s Fair Use Day (WFUD) is a free, all-day celebration of the doctrine of fair use: the legal right that allows innovators and creators to make particular uses of copyrighted materials. WFUD will take place at the Newseum in Washington D.C. on Tuesday January 12, 2010, and will be organized by Public Knowledge (PK), a Washington D.C.-based non-profit, consumer-advocacy group. PK works to ensure that communications and intellectual property policies encourage creativity, further free expression and discourse and provide universal access to knowledge. As part of its campaign to return balance to copyright law, PK hopes to use WFUD to educate the public about the importance of fair use in an information society.

WFUD will be widely attended and will provide attendees with a unique opportunity to network with policymakers, artists, academics, business innovators, media professionals, press, and consumer advocates.

To RSVP (events are free!) and for details visit http://wfud.info.