8 Chi.-Kent J. Intell. Prop. 1 (2008-2009)

handle is hein.journals/jointpro8 and id is 1 raw text is: Copyright  2008, Chicago-Kent Journal of Intellectual Property

A MIXTAPE DJ'S DRAMA
AN ARGUMENT FOR COPYRIGHT PREEMPTION OF GEORGIA'S UNAUTHORIZED
REPRODUCTION LAW
Jennifer Geller*
Abstract
The mixtape, a result of selecting and combining copyrighted sound recordings and
musical compositions, has become vital to the hip-hop world. In January 2007, the Recording
Industry Association of America in conjunction with Georgia police arrested mixtape artist DJ
Drama. After confiscating thousands of CDs, numerous vehicles, and various assets, the RIAA
pursued a state law action under the Georgia racketing statute based upon a violation of
Georgia's unauthorized reproduction law.
In order to demonstrate that the state law claims brought against DJ Drama are preempted
by federal copyright law, I will offer a background on the mixtape genre and the important role
mixtapes play in rap and hip-hop music. After setting up the basic requirements for preemption
under Section 301 of the Copyright Act, I will explain how mixtapes fall within the subject
matter of copyright and describe how, given the results in recent cases involving sampling,
mixtape artists are infringing the copyrights of both musical compositions and sound recordings
when they create their works without permission of those copyright owners. I will also compare
the state law claims against DJ Drama under Georgia law to recent California, Illinois, New
York, and Washington decisions and statutes on the issue of preemption. Finally, utilizing this
J.D. Candidate i\lay 2009), University of Georgia School of Law; B.B.A. (Risk Management & Insurance), University
of Georgia (Nlay 2006) summa cur /aude with honors. I would like to extend a thank you to my mentor and an intellectual
property scholar, Professor David Shipley, for his devotion to my success. A special heartfelt thanks to another mentor
and friend, Ms. Lisa Moore for providing constant wisdom. To my parents, words cannot explain how grateful I am for
your support.

8 Chi.-Kent J. Intell. Prop. 1

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