legalities about sampling / sound usage

Discussion of music production, audio, equipment and any related topics, either with or without Ableton Live
Hau5beat
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legalities about sampling / sound usage

Post by Hau5beat » Sat Dec 24, 2011 9:05 pm

hey so all of these "packs" released and even sold, say the ones the producers are giving away for the anniversary of able10, wherever i get them, they talk about using the sounds, bettering the genre etc.

I feel like these people make the sounds for producers and people to use and play with in ableton and add to their work....

can we publish in any way these sounds/samples in our tracks without worrying about someone calling it "theirs" ?

I'm really talking about the packs of sounds like drum and bass etc...but then I'm curious of sampling. Say a remix of an a vicii track or deadmau5, without making money off of it can we play with it, call it our own mix of their track, and play live?

thanks guys.
merry xmas
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simmerdown
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Re: legalities about sampling / sound usage

Post by simmerdown » Sat Dec 24, 2011 10:40 pm

2 separate questions...if its given for re-use, then yes fair game

remixing/sampling to perform or sell, copyrighted material...technically, no you cant...but practically? ummm..look at soundcloud or youtube the bzillion rmx's....

Hau5beat
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Re: legalities about sampling / sound usage

Post by Hau5beat » Sat Dec 24, 2011 10:46 pm

haha basically what i assumed. i'll focus on my own things most of the time but if i ever work on someone else's track it'll be those who have inspired me so much and ill want nothing but to give them credit before anyone knows my name.

thank you!
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dreamwalker
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Re: legalities about sampling / sound usage

Post by dreamwalker » Sun Dec 25, 2011 12:01 am

In regard to the sampling part of your question I did a dubstep remix using a Madonna acapella. All the drum parts were 100% original. I never intended or tried to sell it. However, Warner Music sent Soundcloud a cease and desist letter, so Soundcloud forced me to take it down. To bad too, cause it had thousands of downloads. Bah. Generally though, unless you try to sell or make money from it or claim a sample as your own, I imagine you could probably get away with remixing a lot stuff.

I am not sure of the specific laws in America, but I think you are allowed to sample of to 5-6 seconds before you are "breaking the law".

Would love to hear more from someone who is in the know and has done real legal research.

spr1000
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Re: legalities about sampling / sound usage

Post by spr1000 » Sun Dec 25, 2011 6:56 am

dreamwalker wrote:In regard to the sampling part of your question I did a dubstep remix using a Madonna acapella. All the drum parts were 100% original. I never intended or tried to sell it. However, Warner Music sent Soundcloud a cease and desist letter, so Soundcloud forced me to take it down. To bad too, cause it had thousands of downloads. Bah. Generally though, unless you try to sell or make money from it or claim a sample as your own, I imagine you could probably get away with remixing a lot stuff.

I am not sure of the specific laws in America, but I think you are allowed to sample of to 5-6 seconds before you are "breaking the law".

Would love to hear more from someone who is in the know and has done real legal research.
I'm not a lawyer,but I know for a fact if you use even a millisecond of a sample it is considered infringement. The duration makes no difference. However a lot of producers get clever and disguise samples by chopping them or altering the pitch. If your not releasing music on a major label you most likely don't have to worry about clearing your samples. Unless your song get's popular.If your licensing your songs for commercial use,DON'T SAMPLE.

simmerdown
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Re: legalities about sampling / sound usage

Post by simmerdown » Sun Dec 25, 2011 7:14 am

watch this,

Copyright Criminals , a history of sampling...(and a nice hip hop history too)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AFm5PtxiIYU

a very fun and educational hour

and yes, it can be one second, one note, and its still considered infringement

so, for example, you should never do a track like this:

http://soundcloud.com/simmerdown-1/ssc2 ... -a-gun-rmx

:D

Z3NO
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Re: legalities about sampling / sound usage

Post by Z3NO » Mon Dec 26, 2011 1:08 am

spr1000 wrote: I'm not a lawyer,but I know for a fact if you use even a millisecond of a sample it is considered infringement. The duration makes no difference.
Not quite...
Lawyers can write whatever they like in a contract (within the legal realms). Until it makes it into a court of law and a dispute arises, it means nothing whatsoever.
Nobody will take you to court over a millisecond, a note or even a portion of a melody (but by writing a legal document they can try to discourage you from doing so). Unless you lift a clearly recognisable section of a song, and your sales are fat enough to wet the appetite of someone trying to seize an opportunity, you are pretty safe. Even if you did create an identical melody, it can be a lengthy battle proving you didn't come up with it on your own. At the end of the day, musicians are constricted by a certain number of notes, chords, scales and even sound timbres. Coincidences (or not) are bound to happen.
There seems to be quite widespread paranoia about being the victims of lawsuits, without an equivalent number of successful cases to support such fears.

So, sample away as much as you want. The only thing that should be stopping you is your own conscience.

dreamwalker
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Re: legalities about sampling / sound usage

Post by dreamwalker » Mon Dec 26, 2011 2:47 am

Hip hop is a whole genre that was based of sampling. Now they practically run the mainstream music industry.

simmerdown
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Re: legalities about sampling / sound usage

Post by simmerdown » Mon Dec 26, 2011 4:14 am

saying hip hop is based on sampling is like saying the blues was based on harmonica, know your history

but, lets not ruin this thread..haha,w/e

Hau5beat
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Re: legalities about sampling / sound usage

Post by Hau5beat » Mon Dec 26, 2011 4:27 am

Z3NO wrote:
spr1000 wrote: I'm not a lawyer,but I know for a fact if you use even a millisecond of a sample it is considered infringement. The duration makes no difference.
Not quite...
Lawyers can write whatever they like in a contract (within the legal realms). Until it makes it into a court of law and a dispute arises, it means nothing whatsoever.
Nobody will take you to court over a millisecond, a note or even a portion of a melody (but by writing a legal document they can try to discourage you from doing so). Unless you lift a clearly recognisable section of a song, and your sales are fat enough to wet the appetite of someone trying to seize an opportunity, you are pretty safe. Even if you did create an identical melody, it can be a lengthy battle proving you didn't come up with it on your own. At the end of the day, musicians are constricted by a certain number of notes, chords, scales and even sound timbres. Coincidences (or not) are bound to happen.
There seems to be quite widespread paranoia about being the victims of lawsuits, without an equivalent number of successful cases to support such fears.

So, sample away as much as you want. The only thing that should be stopping you is your own conscience.

thank you, i agree and feel you on this one
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bartend7
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Re: legalities about sampling / sound usage

Post by bartend7 » Mon Dec 26, 2011 9:16 am

simmerdown wrote:watch this,

Copyright Criminals , a history of sampling...(and a nice hip hop history too)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AFm5PtxiIYU

a very fun and educational hour

and yes, it can be one second, one note, and its still considered infringement

so, for example, you should never do a track like this:

http://soundcloud.com/simmerdown-1/ssc2 ... -a-gun-rmx

:D
awsome....thanks for posting

spr1000
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Re: legalities about sampling / sound usage

Post by spr1000 » Mon Dec 26, 2011 11:34 am

Z3NO wrote:
spr1000 wrote: I'm not a lawyer,but I know for a fact if you use even a millisecond of a sample it is considered infringement. The duration makes no difference.
Not quite...
Lawyers can write whatever they like in a contract (within the legal realms). Until it makes it into a court of law and a dispute arises, it means nothing whatsoever.
Nobody will take you to court over a millisecond, a note or even a portion of a melody (but by writing a legal document they can try to discourage you from doing so). Unless you lift a clearly recognisable section of a song, and your sales are fat enough to wet the appetite of someone trying to seize an opportunity, you are pretty safe. Even if you did create an identical melody, it can be a lengthy battle proving you didn't come up with it on your own. At the end of the day, musicians are constricted by a certain number of notes, chords, scales and even sound timbres. Coincidences (or not) are bound to happen.
There seems to be quite widespread paranoia about being the victims of lawsuits, without an equivalent number of successful cases to support such fears.

So, sample away as much as you want. The only thing that should be stopping you is your own conscience.

Me using a millisecond was a bit of an exaggeration and your right about most things but there was a case where George Clinton's publishers tried to sue various producers,publishers,and even film companies for the unrecognizable samples of his music. They didn't win however the defendant's still had to hire lawyers which can cost as much as clearing a sample.

Z3NO
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Re: legalities about sampling / sound usage

Post by Z3NO » Mon Dec 26, 2011 6:15 pm

spr1000 wrote: They didn't win however the defendant's still had to hire lawyers which can cost as much as clearing a sample.
Not so. If the case is lost all charges (including those of the defendant) are footed by the prosecution.
There have been many high profile cases which had inconclusive results, including a notable one involving M. Jackson and italian singer Albano, where the uncanny similarities between the two songs can hardly be denied. (skip towards the end)...

Music, like other forms of intellectual property which cannot be patented, is exposed to threats of exploits on many levels and the only form of defence often consists of nothing more than a long winded threatening legal document, which in a court of law can more often than not prove of little or no value.
Larger companies draft long legal documents in order to protect themselves from being taken to court, rather than in the interest of prosecuting those in breach of their terms and conditions.

1-up
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Re: legalities about sampling / sound usage

Post by 1-up » Mon Dec 26, 2011 8:17 pm

simmerdown wrote:saying hip hop is based on sampling is like saying the blues was based on harmonica, know your history

but, lets not ruin this thread..haha,w/e

Hip hop IS based on sampling, and I say that in reverence to hip hop and the art of sampling as I am a hip hop head who samples myself.

But lets break it down:

Kool herc: started beat juggling breaks which Mc's eventually rapped over - certainly a live act of sampling.
Beastie boys: Pauls boutique - Groundbreaking album for hip hop and sampling with samples layered upon samples.
De La Soul: 3 feet high and rising - Prince Paul's Paul Boutique.
Public Enemy: It takes a nation - Soul and Funk loops in the background chuck's political ramblings.
Wu tang: RZA sampling asian culture.
Q-tip: Took the jazz loop and made it hip hop like the soul and funk loop was already being used.
Dilla: started sampling Jazz, like q-tip, then ended up sampling anything and everything that made a dope beat.
Madlib: similar to dilla and q-tip. Heavy on the jazz loops, but samples anything from obscure brazilian tracks, to john cage, to bluenote, etc...

I know I jumped around a lot here.... but i think you get what I am saying.

Z3NO
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Re: legalities about sampling / sound usage

Post by Z3NO » Mon Dec 26, 2011 10:15 pm

1-up wrote:
simmerdown wrote:saying hip hop is based on sampling is like saying the blues was based on harmonica, know your history

but, lets not ruin this thread..haha,w/e

Hip hop IS based on sampling, and I say that in reverence to hip hop and the art of sampling as I am a hip hop head who samples myself.

But lets break it down:

Kool herc: started beat juggling breaks which Mc's eventually rapped over - certainly a live act of sampling.
Beastie boys: Pauls boutique - Groundbreaking album for hip hop and sampling with samples layered upon samples.
De La Soul: 3 feet high and rising - Prince Paul's Paul Boutique.
Public Enemy: It takes a nation - Soul and Funk loops in the background chuck's political ramblings.
Wu tang: RZA sampling asian culture.
Q-tip: Took the jazz loop and made it hip hop like the soul and funk loop was already being used.
Dilla: started sampling Jazz, like q-tip, then ended up sampling anything and everything that made a dope beat.
Madlib: similar to dilla and q-tip. Heavy on the jazz loops, but samples anything from obscure brazilian tracks, to john cage, to bluenote, etc...

I know I jumped around a lot here.... but i think you get what I am saying.
It's a different question where samples are deliberately used with the intention of them being recognisable.
In such cases (like the ones you mention above), the original artists are credited and royalties are paid by the publishing labels.
If you look at the CD cover, it usually features a 'Used with permission' disclaimer.

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