Copyright issues with Sampling?

Discussion in 'Production' started by parsons19, Jan 17, 2012.

  1. parsons19

    parsons19 Active Member

    Joined:
    May 15, 2011
    Messages:
    1,056
    Likes Received:
    14
    Location:
    UK
    Howdy all,

    Just wondered what the ball is with sampling? For Example:

    S.P.Y sampled pretty much a whole track from the "Terminator Salvation" movie for the intro of "By Your Side". He also sampled an old 90s dnb tune for the vocals. The name escapes me...

    Did he go around and get the permission to use these samples? Or did he just take them and get away with it?

    The reason I ask is because I have found some awesome samples I want to use in my music :) But I kinda don't want to get in trouble with any big companies! As I understand sampling has kinda just been a free for all and producers seem to go for it but I am sure there must have been some issues in the past?

    Jordan
     
  2. Mr Fletch

    Mr Fletch aka KRONIX

    Joined:
    Aug 6, 2009
    Messages:
    3,971
    Likes Received:
    227
    Location:
    Essex, England
    It's a really touchy subject that no one really knows the answer to. You'll get guys come in here and say, yeah go for it, others will tell ya not to. Some will give explanations for their answers with random wiki "copy n pastes" but in all honesty it's a real Black hole in the production industry!

    I'd say go for it if you dont plan on selling the tracks or getting a release for it. But if you want to make money from it, I'd suggest getting the artists permission 1st!
     
  3. mistasfx

    mistasfx MISTA SFX

    Joined:
    Oct 29, 2007
    Messages:
    2,217
    Likes Received:
    52
    Location:
    Near the Lake District
    dont worry bout it, just make them... if they get signed to a label, the label will take care of that side of things :)
     
  4. Attire

    Attire Last Winter

    Joined:
    Jun 8, 2011
    Messages:
    1,255
    Likes Received:
    69
    Yeh I was gonna say, most of the time a producer won't be arsed.
    If it gets sent to a label, I guess they might either ask you to remove the sample, or go and try to get clearance.

    I guess that's why a lot of tracks take such a long time to get a release...
     
  5. MARKLAR

    MARKLAR International Tracksuit Salesman

    Joined:
    Oct 1, 2006
    Messages:
    15,034
    Likes Received:
    650
    just make what you want an worry bout the legal side later
     
  6. T:M

    T:M Dusty Techno Workout

    Joined:
    Mar 30, 2009
    Messages:
    1,016
    Likes Received:
    13
    Location:
    St. Louis
    Just do want you want and give credit where it's due, if the usage becomes a problem then deal with it when you get there.
     
  7. parsons19

    parsons19 Active Member

    Joined:
    May 15, 2011
    Messages:
    1,056
    Likes Received:
    14
    Location:
    UK
    I like this response :)

    ---------- Post added at 21:23 ---------- Previous post was at 21:21 ----------

    But I think this one may be a better idea!

    I'm not sure :lol:

    Basically I have found an acapella of a tune but its a cover. So that should be ok :D

    I have sampled a lot of news stories (BBC and all that) in another tune. That one could be risky perhaps? BBC are big boys! Not that they will ever find my music I guess...
     
  8. motion audio

    motion audio Active Member

    Joined:
    Aug 16, 2007
    Messages:
    1,150
    Likes Received:
    6
    Location:
    Northampton
    If you're not making money from it, its unlikely to upset anyone.
     
  9. T:M

    T:M Dusty Techno Workout

    Joined:
    Mar 30, 2009
    Messages:
    1,016
    Likes Received:
    13
    Location:
    St. Louis
    Unless it turns out to be better than the original/source, in which case people get pissy :lol:
     
  10. miszt

    miszt BASSFACE Royale

    Joined:
    Dec 5, 2005
    Messages:
    2,945
    Likes Received:
    358
    Location:
    London
    that depends, most contracts that I have signed, with both major and indie labels, have all stipulated that it was my responsibility to arrange sample clearance and that liability lay entirly with me




    the issue only really matters if the song makes enough money to get the attention of the sample source, if it hits number 1 in the charts and you havent got clearance, then you are pretty much fuked, you will be sued, if it sells a few hundred copies in a niche genre market, then no one is likley to notice. wether its right or wrong is another matter alltogether. Take painting for eg, there are many many colors which are copyrighted by companies, which to me seems a bit mental, but technically, an artist could be sued by a company which owns the copyright for a particular color, simply because he blended two particular shades together and produced a copyrighted color on the canvas, which helped bring the painting together, just like producers do with samples. should they actually be sued for it? i dont think so, any more than dnb producers should be sued for ripping off the amen
     
  11. parsons19

    parsons19 Active Member

    Joined:
    May 15, 2011
    Messages:
    1,056
    Likes Received:
    14
    Location:
    UK
    Coolio, I may be charging a small price for an EP with some sampling (probably like £2 :lol:) Doubt anyone will even purchase it anyways!

    ---------- Post added at 21:49 ---------- Previous post was at 21:47 ----------

    Thats just crazy that there are copyrighted colours!

    Thats the thing though, Music to me is an art. In some cases art is just nice to look at (or in this case to listen to) but some peices of art have a meaning to the artist. I think to get this art across the artist should be able to do whatever is necassary. Be it sample a TV show or use a copyrighted colour!
     
  12. mr meh

    mr meh Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Oct 17, 2010
    Messages:
    1,075
    Likes Received:
    107
    Location:
    Hull, UK
    Most dnb is only selling in the hundreds these days, i dont think the sample owners would care unless your selling big numbers.
     
  13. lostnthesound

    lostnthesound Burns Easily in the Sun

    Joined:
    Oct 19, 2011
    Messages:
    1,397
    Likes Received:
    189
    Location:
    Washington DC
    Miszt is spot on.

    My big boy job has to deal with the issue of copyright quite often, and as originally posted–it's a very gray area.

    What makes it a very gray area is that the ultimate decision is based upon factors such purpose & character, how the work was copied, how much was copied, the effect on the value, and whether it falls under "Fair Use," more-so, how the court interprets Fair Use. What factors determine whether or not something is of "Fair Use?" The court looks at how the infringement was used in context, the amount/value of the use, and the "standards and practices" of the professional communities where the case comes from. That italicized line is the kicker. One can argue that in our "professional community" sampling is viewed as part of the art form itself. However, the decision rests in the hands of those deciding the case and their own interpretation of the law.

    One of the more recent examples of a case involving copyright: Kraftwerk sued (and won...at first) a copyright infringement suit over another artists' unauthorized use of a two-second sample...literally, 2 seconds (a drum sample if I remember correctly). However, the verdict was later over turned because the German Civil Court declared that "sampling music" did not count as copyright infringement-a decision that is quite historical in the electronic music.

    If you want to learn more, here's some Landmark U.S. Supreme Court Cases. Yes, I know a couple are Wiki links, but most of the information is quite accurate. Though most of you will be interested in the third link from Stanford.

    2 Live Cru (Campbell) v. Acuff Rose Music
    Sony Corp. of America v. Universal City Studios, Inc.
    A Summary of Historic Fair Use Cases

    Cheers.
     
    Last edited: Jan 18, 2012
    jimjimjim likes this.
  14. parsons19

    parsons19 Active Member

    Joined:
    May 15, 2011
    Messages:
    1,056
    Likes Received:
    14
    Location:
    UK
    Wow lostnthesound, you sure know your stuff! I will check out the links when I am back on my computer :)

    Cheers!
     
  15. lostnthesound

    lostnthesound Burns Easily in the Sun

    Joined:
    Oct 19, 2011
    Messages:
    1,397
    Likes Received:
    189
    Location:
    Washington DC
    Thanks m8, glad I could help out. After all, what good is knowledge if it can't be shared with others? :)

    Cheers!
     
  16. ThePapa

    ThePapa Suffragette City..

    Joined:
    Aug 19, 2010
    Messages:
    8,307
    Likes Received:
    659
    Location:
    West London
    Not sure why 'fair use' gets trotted out when people discuss music copyright as it's really to do with academic or worthy type exemptions. In the UK it doesn't exist at all when it comes to music if you at what 2 Live Crew did with Pretty Woman they would have got hammered by the judge over here.

    Thankfully like Miszt said nobody gives a shit so long as you're not making any money from it so stay out of the charts Parsons.


    On another note what's the deal with SOPA Lost? Never heard so much whining about freedom of speech in all my life.
     
  17. lostnthesound

    lostnthesound Burns Easily in the Sun

    Joined:
    Oct 19, 2011
    Messages:
    1,397
    Likes Received:
    189
    Location:
    Washington DC
    Yes, Fair Use deals with exemptions. However, the reason I "trotted" Fair Use into the discussion is that it has been an essential factor in deciding cases involving sampling (and defining the view of recording a sound verses taking the same 3 notes from the actual composition) Bridgeport Music, Inc. et. al. vs. Dimension Films et. al.

    Basically, I included it in the discussions because of its historical significance with regards to the use of using another's work, and that it's ultimately a gray area as demonstrated with cases involving music, film, literature, as well as cases where a samples of a song have been used in a different medium, such as film in the case of Bridgeport Music, Inc. et. al. vs. Dimension Films et. al. People who don't know much about copyright should at least be informed about Fair Use because of its significance.

    The general guidelines viewed regarding music copyright is that the owner of the copyright maintains all the rights of the protected piece of music, including the ability to reproduce, distribute, rearrange and perform the music. Hence, Fair Use is what protects individuals and organizations from facing legal backlash when using sample of someone's music. However, the gray area comes from the courts deciphering and laying the groundwork for defining Fair Use as it differs on a case to case basis.

    You're right in that it typically is aimed at protecting educational and public institutes within certain circumstances, but it also saved 2 Live Cru's ass since the Court found that Parody was protected under Fair Use.

    And you make a crucial point in the copyright is not Universal and is defined per country.

    SOPA is a loosely written bill by our "brilliant" U.S. Government who apparently have nothing better to do (like stabilize our shit economy) than be fuck buddies with the RIAA and MPAA. SOPA basically would give the government the right to block/shutdown any website found to be in violation of copyright, piracy, theft of IPs etc. While this may seem like a good idea on paper in order to protect intellectual properties and whatnot, the bill lacks in several areas in terms of definition and essentially places all power in the governments hands allowing them to act immediately when they're aware of a SOPA violation--there's no "checks and balances" system for lack of a better phrase.

    A simple example: a girl who sings a famous song and posts it on youtube can not only face immediate fines/imprisonment, but if youtube were to fail to remove the video in a timely manner the government could/would essentially shut down youtube without warning and without a trial/hearing.

    I have no problem with laws that protect IP/Copyright owners. However, when a bill is written that enables the government to have that much unmonitored control, nothing good can come out of it.

    Just my .02.

    Cheers.
     
    Last edited: Jan 18, 2012
  18. parsons19

    parsons19 Active Member

    Joined:
    May 15, 2011
    Messages:
    1,056
    Likes Received:
    14
    Location:
    UK
    I can confirm I will be! :lol:

    Went to take a look at the links and bloody Wikipedia is shut down today! Will have to wait... :lol:
     
  19. Harry3

    Harry3 Chuki

    Joined:
    Jul 11, 2009
    Messages:
    8,045
    Likes Received:
    739
    Location:
    Canada
    Anyone who sues a small time dnb producer over a small sample is a proper grade A cunt