Hip-Hop Beyond 50: Protecting and Promoting Culture


On February 21, 2024, at 1:00 p.m. eastern time, the U.S. Copyright Office hosted the online event "Hip-Hop Beyond 50: Protecting and Promoting Culture" in recognition of Black History Month. Hip-hop, a uniquely American art form rooted in African American culture, marked its official fiftieth anniversary in 2023. The musical genre has been popularized all over the world, encompassing MCing, DJing, breakdancing, graffiti art, beatboxing, and more.


In this sixty-minute session, attendees learned from the Copyright Office, industry experts, and practitioners about how hip-hop has influenced creators worldwide and about the Office resources available on sampling, interpolations, and beat stores.


Guest speakers include:

  • Dae Bogan, Head of Third-Party Partnerships at The Mechanical Licensing Collective
  • Jamila Sams, Founder and CEO of We Do it for the Culture™ and Go to Ms. Sams
  • Bruce Waynne, Grammy Award–winning music producer, publisher, and label executive; President of Vyre
  • Junious Brickhouse, Director of Next Level, Hip Hop Diplomacy Program

The Copyright Office aims to broaden public awareness of what the copyright system encompasses and how to participate. A cornerstone of our current strategic plan is Copyright for All, and the Office dedicates itself to making the copyright system as understandable and accessible to as many members of the public as possible.





Session 1 - Welcome


Introductory remarks provided by:

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  • Frances Gurry, Director General, World Intellectual Property Organization
  • Maria Strong, Acting Register, U.S. Copyright Office
  • Andrei Iancu, Director, U.S. Patent and Trademark Office

Session 2 - The Relationship between AI and Copyright

This discussion is an introductory look at what AI is and why copyright is implicated. Explaining these issues is an expert in AI technology, who discusses the technological issues, and the U.S. Copyright Office’s Director of Registration Policy and Practice, who explains the copyright legal foundation for AI issues.

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Session 3 - AI and the Administration of International Copyright Systems

Countries throughout the world are looking at AI and how different laws should handle questions such as copyrightability and using AI to help administer copyright systems. This panel discusses the international copyright dimensions of the rise of AI.

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Session 4 - AI and the Visual Arts


Creators are already experimenting with AI to create new visual works, including paintings and more.

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Session 5 - AI and Creating a World of Other Works

Creators are using AI to develop a wide variety of works beyond music and visual works. AI also is implicated in the creation and distribution of works such as video games, books, news articles, and more.

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Session 6 - AI and Creating Music


Music is a dynamic field and authors use AI in interesting ways to develop new works and explore new market possibilities.

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Session 7 - Bias and Artificial Intelligence

Works created by AI depend on what creators choose to include as source material. As a result of the selection process and building algorithms, AI can often reflect intentional and unintentional bias. Acknowledging this issue and learning how it happens can help make AI-created works more representative of our culture

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Session 8 - AI and the Consumer Marketplace

Companies have recognized that AI can itself be a product. In recent years, there has been a wave of development in this sector, including products like driverless cars. Find out how many AI-centered products are already out there, what is on the horizon, and how is copyright involved.

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Session 9 - Digital Avatars in Audiovisual Works

How is the motion picture industry using AI, and how does that impact performers? This session reviews how AI is being used, including advantages and challenges.

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