Talk about the music biz - marketing, promotions, contract law, copyright etc...
By surfandstuff99 Tue Oct 21, 2014 1:07 pm
Ok, so I've seen some guys/girls on bandcamp and soundcloud who sample stuff of vinyl and then put it out for free.

So my question is;

If you want to sample stuff off vinyl or CD by professional artists do you have to pay royalties to the said artists or their record labels if you aren't making any money of the songs you are selling containing their samples?

Thanks.
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By MPC-Tutor Tue Oct 21, 2014 2:17 pm
surfandstuff99 wrote: If you want to sample stuff off vinyl or CD by professional artists do you have to pay royalties to the said artists or their record labels if you aren't making any money of the songs you are selling containing their samples?


Answering your specific question - if you have sampled their work without permission then it doesn't matter if it's for commercial or non-profit use, they can certainly go after you. Not just royalties, they can also sue for damages.

You can try a fair use defence, but that generally applies to parody, critique etc and isn't always successful. Either way, going to court is going to cost you, even if you win.

Whether or not you are discovered in the first place is a separate issue, it depends on who and how many people hear your track and how obvious your use is.
By Clint Tue Oct 21, 2014 6:36 pm
Learn how to make music without sampling other songs? Or is that suggestion totally out of the question, after all thats how they [real musicians] do it...

I think a lot of producers hire real musicians to replay 'samples' and sidestep the legal issues, but that cost money too albeit a lot less than being sued.
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By jibber Wed Oct 22, 2014 8:15 am
Look at it this way:

As long as you are not making money from it, and as long as you are not a "big hit" and thousands of people download your music, nobody will even notice. And if they would notice, they still wouldn't care as long as you don't look to them like "we could make money if we sue him".

If you are a random beatmaker with average income, what is there to get from you (as a company who wants to sue you)? Exactly, nothing... you're not worth their time. So stop worrying about it unless you make it big.

There is a famous artist in switzerland (making **** commercial music). His first big hit copied pretty much the whole lyrics of a song that already existed... he got into the charts with that song and became famous. Some record company sued him. They took all the money he made from that first big hit, but he became famous in turn.

Unless you make money from it, nobody is going to care. Keep sampling.
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By MPC-Tutor Wed Oct 22, 2014 8:56 am
While the stock answer around here is basically 'Don't worry about it, you'll never get caught if you are small', just remember the OP was asking about the legality of the situation, not the likelihood of getting caught, so it's important to let him know that he can indeed be sued, as it is copyright infringement.

And if you do get big, the record companies are not limited to just taking the money you've made from the song, they can sue you for damages on top of that ($150,000 per incident in the US), plus the judge can make you pay all their legal costs (and of course you'll have your own legal costs). You could also be sued by other interested third parties.

Not preaching, not being a wet blanket, just informing of some of the actual legal possibilities in contrast to the more casual 'ahhh, don't worry about it' responses.

OP - just be aware of the facts and make an informed decision. :smoker:
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By jibber Wed Oct 22, 2014 10:41 am
I wasn't trying to say it's not an issue or it's wrong what you and Clint posted (it's certainly true). Just tried giving another perspective about the possibilities of OP actually getting into trouble.
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By Bugfix Wed Oct 22, 2014 2:14 pm
If you want to sample stuff off vinyl or CD by professional artists do you have to pay royalties to the said artists or their record labels if you aren't making any money of the songs you are selling containing their samples?


You should find them and ask for written permision (politely) by e-mail and state the part and kind of use etc. and they can say "NO, never" or they can say "go on, you have my permision for specific kind of use blah blah FOR FREE or for your photo.." :lol: OR $$$ and also more or less restricted use and agreement.

But for real if one "publish" as "anonymous profile" without asking.. who do you think will get knock on the door? IP holder? ??? ..hard to imagine but not impossible..

It's more like if you are officially signed to a label and they publish you even just digitally (track doesn't have to be popular worldwide, it just needs to be spotted by original rights owner) then they will have problems - publisher.

..and they can sue publisher even if didn't earn a dime on it (track was for free).. why? some might feel ofended with the kind of use of a sample.. for others "just" taking it :) can be an offence.
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By Coz Wed Oct 22, 2014 3:03 pm
The legal case is open and shut so there's no point deliberating that too much.

There's just no real world cases that I know of where bedroom beat makers have been taken to court for copyright infringement, unless they go unreported? Why don't DJs get sued when they mash various tunes together and perform them live and put their sets on soundcloud?

I think copyright laws will just get slacker and slacker as time goes on. I forget the exact stipulation, but basically in the UK if you are a serial downloader of music and films you'll get multiple warnings but ultimately nothing will happen. No real consequences at all. That seems at odds with the law somehow. :hmmm:
By dr4track Wed Oct 22, 2014 10:34 pm
^there are also barely any cases involving commercially successful artists that actually see a courtroom. I find the whole discussion an interesting one as it s a topic that is rife with misinformation. What I personally am mostly interested in is the practical application of said laws in today's music landscape. I know what the letter of the law says and all but the letter of the law and actual courtroom application are often 2 different things. Since there is only a limited amount of actual cases that even see a courtroom its a difficult d isscussion to have. The only thing that I know for sure is there are tons of artists from electronic to hip hop that are still making sample based music that I am almost positive aren't clearing samples. For the most part these guys judging by frequency of release plus potential income are most likely not clearing stuff. Which is interesting, not that I ever will but would love to sit down with a couple of these cats in private to find out the philosophy. I know there is a q and a thread with rjd2 on GS where he speaks to this very topic, still would like to hear from others. Especially when we r talking about no profit from album music which is really where most music is headed these days.
By dr4track Wed Oct 22, 2014 11:17 pm
[quote="Coz"]The legal case is open and shut so there's no point deliberating that too much.

There's just no real world cases that I know of where bedroom beat makers have been taken to court for copyright infringement, unless they go unreported? Why don't DJs get sued when they mash various tunes together and perform them live and put their sets on soundcloud?

I think copyright laws will just get slacker and slacker as time goes on. I forget the exact stipulation, but basically in the UK if you are a serial downloader of music and films you'll get multiple warnings but ultimately nothing will happen. No real consequences at all. That seems at odds with the law somehow. :hmmm:

My question is , is the legal case that open and shut, nobody seems to actually want to go to court, it seems for the most part people are operating on the threat of what happened quite a while ago to the likes of biz and whatnot. I could be wrong but are there any recent cases that have actually seen a courtroom. has anyone actually ever been sued claiming just "damages" and i dont mean commercially successful people. it seems on one side or the other nobody wants to set precedence. The other thing i ve wondered about recently is those drum broker cats. They are selling drum packs with breaks that are from records supposedly and other various kits that are most likely composed of material that would need to be cleared. No way in hell they cleared all those breaks that are "supposedly" from records. Anyways....
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By Coz Thu Oct 23, 2014 1:06 am
dr4track wrote:^there are also barely any cases involving commercially successful artists that actually see a courtroom.



In a recent Aphex Twin interview he mentioned that Kanye West tried to rip him off over a sample he took.

“[Kanye] tried to **** rip me off and claim that he’d written it, and they tried to get away with not paying,” Aphex Twin’s Richard D James claimed in a new interview with Pitchfork. Although James insists he was “really helpful” following West’s enquiries, offering to send a polished version of the Avril 14th sample, “re-played” at a different speed, the MC’s camp was reportedly nothing but rude. He claims: “They totally didn’t even say ‘hello’ or ‘thanks’, they just replied with, ‘It’s not yours, it’s ours, and we’re not even asking you any more.’”


What a total lady's private parts. :roll:

The sample in that track is blatant and I'm sure Warp would have taken him to court if he hadn't paid up. At that level it's common decency to clear your samples, but unfortunately it's not financially viable and there's no incentive for a copyright holder to allow permission if you're a nobody in the industry.


http://www.theguardian.com/music/2014/a ... blame-game