After catching COPYRIGHT CRIMINALS at the Toronto International Film Festival this past September, it was great to have a chance to see it again at STF last night. Yesterday’s screening was introduced by POV series producer Yance Ford. She discussed the Community Cinema screening events that are taking place all across the country in support of COPYRIGHT CRIMINALS national broadcast on Independent Lens in January 2010. To learn more about these nationwide screenings, click here.
The film was followed by a lively 30 minute Q&A that delved into many issues surrounding copyright, including the creative and commercial value of musical sampling. Yance was joined on stage by director Benjamin Franzen, executive producer Kembrew McLeod and DJ/musician/producer Mr. Len. Benjamin and Kembrew spoke about the complex legal process that has governed even their own filmmaking – working with a lawyer, they are in the midst of clearing all referenced clips – either by presenting a “fair use” argument or by licensing the material. Unfortunately, the “fair use” clause that has recently emerged as a savior in documentary filmmaking has yet to be accepted in the music world. When the panel was asked by an audience member whether they would mind their own film or music being sampled in the future – they said the details were still being worked out, but that was the spirit of the project.
(Photo – L to R: Mr. Len, Benjamin Franzen, Kembrew McLeod and Yance Ford)