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News Posted on June 27, 2011

Professor Joo Comments on Sampling and Copyright for The Guardian

Professor Thomas Joo commented for The Guardian on copyright issues related to the practice of "sampling" or using snippets of previously existing, copyrighted recordings in producing contemporary music.  Contrary to many people's assumptions, sampled artists are often paid for their work, Professor Joo told the UK newspaper.

"People who purport to be defenders of hip-hop say that hip-hop is based on appropriating things without paying and without permission," he said. "There is a strain of thinking that, frankly, I think is racist: that African-American culture consists of a lack of ownership and a lack of authorship, and everybody just does things together - a noble savage kind of deal. But in fact, there seems to be a very strong strand in hip-hop culture that you're supposed to pay respect to the people that you took from."

The article also mentions Professor Joo's forthcoming article "A Contrarian View of Copyright: Hip-Hop, Sampling, and Semiotic Democracy," which examines sampling and copyright issues.

Joo, a professor at UC Davis School of Law, specializes in the areas of corporate governance and race and the law.

The Guardian article

"A Contrarian View of Copyright: Hip-Hop, Sampling, and Semiotic Democracy"