Hip-Hop Fridays: Whose Art Is It Anyway?

Today's L.A. Times has a fascinating article Whose Art Is It Anyway?, regarding the historic relationship between artists and intellectual property rights. The article is very timely in light of the fact that next week the Recording Industry Association of America's (RIAA) lawsuit against Napster heads to the 9th Circuit Court Of Appeals. The article should be of particular interest to the Hip-Hop community as it demonstrates that the current struggle over copyright ownership and infringement is not a new one.

A review of this age-old argument can be instructive to today's artists that are contemplating the most appropriate relationship between the Internet and their creative works. Such history lesson also could have saved a lot of artists a lot of heartbreak and cash over the last decade in legal disputes over the use of samples in Hip-Hop tracks.

The address, for future reference, is http://www.latimes.com/business/reports/musicweb/

Cedric Muhammad

Friday, September 29, 2000