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The State of Things

From Beethoven To Chuck Berry: A Look At Music Copyright’s History

Writers and artists: James Boyle, Keith Aoki, Jennifer Jenkins
Creative Commons
A spread from the new comic book, "Theft! A History of Music".

For centuries, musicians have borrowed and sampled from each other, creating musical evolution as they advance their own styles and careers. However, with each cycle of musical cross-fertilization comes attempts to police it.

A new comic book, “Theft! A History of Music” (James Boyle and Jennifer Jenkins/2017), dissects 2000 years of music history and its legacy of copyright and control.

Host Frank Stasio talks with James Boyle, co-writer of the book, and William Neal Reynolds, Professor of Law at Duke University, about the evolution of musical control from Gutenberg’s printing press to Kanye West’s hip-hop samples.​

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