Digital sampling/remix culture forum, workshop, film and showcase

The genesis of the Digital Sampling/Remix Culture Forum, Workshop, Film and Music Showcase was a chat some years ago that Dan Meagher, the convenor had with his friend, Darren Seltmann , founding member of The Avalanches. That conversation triggered an interest in the legal, creative and cultural issues of digital sampling and the remix culture and led, finally, to the event held on Friday, July 6 at the Deakin University Waterfront Campus in Geelong.

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The day began with the Forum. A range of speakers including audio/visual DJ's Naysayer and Gilsun, Australian Copyright Council Executive Director Fiona Phillips and Australian Law Reform Commissioner Professor Jill McKeough discussed the cultural, artistic, economic and legal implications of collage, homage and digital sampling. The Forum speakers and the ensuing public discussion made an important contribution to the wider public debate on the review of Australian copyright law being undertaken by the Australian Law Reform Commission. To this end, the ALRC published an issues paper, Copyright and the Digital Economy, 20 August, 2012.

The Forum presentations are captured in the video stream above.

The Forum was followed by a legal workshop run by Jules Munro, a partner at Simpsons, one of Australia's leading entertainment law firms with help from Darren Seltmann. The workshop explained in clear and simple terms the legal rights and obligations and the commercial and creative realities involved in digital sampling. A genuine highlight of the day was the Australian premiere of the documentary Copyright Criminals and the visit to Australia by its writer and producer Kembrew McLeod, an independent film-maker and Associate Professor of Communications Studies at the University of Iowa. Copyright Criminals traces the history of music sampling where for more than 30 years, hip-hop performers and producers have been re-using portions of previously recorded music in new, otherwise original compositions.

The day concluded with a Music Showcase at Basement 159 in Geelong. It featured local boys 1Fish, Two Fish, Lord Fitness, Bud Bounder and The Baroness featuring the brilliant Geelong female MC, Class A.

The aim was to get as many people interested in the whole area, whatever their angle might be. Dan was especially keen to hold the event in Geelong. All the program events; the Forum, Workshop, Film and Showcase; were free which allowed more than 120 people to attend and enjoy one or more of the day's events.

Thanks to the School of Law, Arts Victoria and the Victoria Law Foundation for making Digital Sampling/Remix Culture possible and to all those who attended and contributed to a fascinating and thought-provoking day. Thanks also to Caroline Coles and Glenn McNolty from Deakin Learning Futures for taking and making the accompanying videos of the Forum speakers freely available to all.

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