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University of Iowa News Release


April 15, 2008

Events focus on free speech, copyright law and creativity April 25-26

Jon Langford and Sally Timms -- members of the legendary British punk band The Mekons -- will perform a free concert at 8 p.m. Friday, April 25 at The Picador, 330 Washington St. in Iowa City. The performance is part of a University of Iowa-sponsored series of events related to free speech, copyright law and creativity.

Related events at the UI will include:

--"Freedom of Expression®: Resistance and Repression in the Age of Intellectual Property," a documentary by UI Communication Studies Professor Kembrew McLeod, will be screened at 4 p.m. Friday, April 25 in 101 Becker Communication Studies Building on the UI campus. The screening will be followed by a discussion.

--After the film, a reception and art show featuring Langford's paintings will be held at 5:30 p.m. at Chait Galleries, 218 Washington St. in Iowa City. Langford is known for his portraits of musicians including Hank Williams, Johnny Cash and Elvis Presley. Visit to view his work.

--"Folk Music and the Public Domain," a roundtable discussion with Timms and Langford and moderated by McLeod, will begin at 9 a.m. Saturday, April 26, in Room E105 of the Adler Journalism Building on the UI campus.

Langford, a guitarist and singer who also plays with the Chicago-based band Waco Brothers, blends folk and country music into punk rock. He hosts a Chicago-based weekly radio program, "The Eclectic Company," and contributes regularly to "This American Life." Timms is a singer-songwriter whose musical style has been called "alternative country." Her solo albums include "To the Land of Milk and Honey" and "Cowboy Sally's Twilight Laments for Lost Buckaroos."

McLeod, who trademarked the phrase "Freedom of Expression" in 1998, asserts that intellectual property law can -- when overzealously enforced -- restrict creativity and the expression of ideas. The documentary explores the battles being waged in courts, classrooms, museums, film studios and the Internet over control of our cultural commons. It is based on McLeod's award-winning book with the same title. The film also features a version of Woody Guthrie's "This Land Is Your Land" recorded by Langford. For more information on the book and documentary, visit

The events, all of which are free and open to the public, are sponsored by the UI College of Liberal Arts and Sciences Harry Oster Folklore and Folk Music Fund, the Department of Communication Studies, the Center for the Book, the Sound Research Seminar, the Office of the Vice President for Research and the Obermann Center for Advanced Studies.

Individuals with disabilities are encouraged to attend all UI-sponsored events. If you are a person with a disability who requires an accommodation to participate in these events, contact McLeod in advance at 319-621-4620.

STORY SOURCE: University of Iowa News Services, 300 Plaza Centre One, Suite 371, Iowa City, Iowa 52242-2500

MEDIA CONTACTS: Kembrew McLeod, Department of Communication Studies, 319-621-4620; Nicole Riehl, University News Services, 319-384-0070,