Kembrew McLeod, whose book Creative License: The Law and Culture of Digital Sampling (with Peter DiCola ,Jenny Toomey, and Kristin Thomson) will be out in 2011,
writes an essay for The Atlantic about the need to change our laws
regarding music sampling. An album like Public Enemy's seminal Fear of a
Black Planet (1990), which sampled dozens of songs, would lose $5 an
album if forced to comply with today's rules. McLeod believes the
cumbersome and expensive laws are greatly inhibiting creativity. He advocates a move to a "blanket license" system like the one ASCAP uses to allow radio stations, bars, and live venues to broadcast music. McLeod has just made a documentary about these issues called Copyright Criminals. He is Associate Professor of Communication Studies at the University of Iowa.