Music, sampling, copyright issues

Discussion of music production, audio, equipment and any related topics, either with or without Ableton Live
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akm
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Music, sampling, copyright issues

Post by akm » Sun Jan 05, 2014 1:51 am

Hi,

Is there some laws, I heard something. Say, I want to cut a 1 second sound from a, say, Britney Spears song and use it in my song. Is it legit? As far as I could remember there is some rules that if it is less then some time limits - then it is not restricted. If anyone know and can point to some references I'll be much appreciated.

ark
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Re: Music, sampling, copyright issues

Post by ark » Sun Jan 05, 2014 2:14 am

akm wrote:Hi,

Is there some laws, I heard something. Say, I want to cut a 1 second sound from a, say, Britney Spears song and use it in my song. Is it legit?
Nope.

akm
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Re: Music, sampling, copyright issues

Post by akm » Sun Jan 05, 2014 2:33 am

Ok, where is the border, if I purchase a song on a Beatport or iTunes and play it in my Dj session, the whole song then it is OK, but, what is the difference? I can call it a song, a a remix, a Dj set or whatever... Any broader reply then "nope" are much welcome. Ok, I remembered I heard it not about a song, but if, say, in video production you use an about 5 seconds reference to a song then it is absolutely legit. Please correct me if I'm wrong and please point me to some official references if you know them or have the idea how to Google them.

akm
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Re: Music, sampling, copyright issues

Post by akm » Sun Jan 05, 2014 4:09 am

I'm really interested to hear some specialist about it. I mean sure I can download a Michael Jackson song and tell my Mom it's me the producer and the singer of the song, but what is it legit to do say, in a club in a live electronic performance? Am I allowed to do anything I want playing the tracks purchased on a Beatport? The answer seems obvious, yes, but anyway? Cut, chop, process, is it OK since it is a live set? What happen if it is recorded, may I share it? What about pop music? Anybody who sure knows the answers please tell.


akm
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Re: Music, sampling, copyright issues

Post by akm » Sun Jan 05, 2014 4:43 am

Interesting reading. But what about Dj'ing? What are you allowed to play in the club actually? Or during a tour? I mean that you don't say it is your song, where you use someone's sample, but it is just your Dj mix, or, better, some kind of a live performance?

re:dream
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Re: Music, sampling, copyright issues

Post by re:dream » Sun Jan 05, 2014 7:29 am

Murky area as far as I can see. And there is a difference between what legal advisers will say and what you can get away with IRL.

In my work I deal with copyright issues all the time, tho not related to music, and it is my impression that more and more areas of ordinary decision making are being covered by the trail of slime and detergent the legal and audit profession leaves behind themselves. My impression is that if you ask a lawyer, almost every unauthorized or unpaid for use of someone's creation is not permissible. - and that companies and large organizations then end up adopting completely silly and restrictive IP policies. Our university lawyer recently instructed me to cut a shot out of a documentary we are making because the logo of a prominent supermarket appeared in the background of one of our shots. He said we were violating the supermarket trademark. 8O But there is a difference between that and the things someone is actually prepared to sue for.

My impression is that this is true for music too. If you use a copyrighted sample in a track, a publishing company may well decide not to touch it. (My one and only track that ever came within a sniff of being released contained a vocal sample from a commercial audiobook. Apparently this was an issue). Artists may still play such tracks live. Example is the progressive trance producer Phaxe, one of whose best tracks, Beatless, contains a sample from Eleanor Rigby. He will play it at festivals, and you can hear it on Soundcloud, but you won't get it on Beatport. And my money says that if Phaxe was silly enough to ask his lawyer's opinion on the matter, lawyer would say even this was not OK.

MusicIsMath
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Re: Music, sampling, copyright issues

Post by MusicIsMath » Sun Jan 05, 2014 10:44 am

When DJ'ing in a club or at a festival, the owners/people running the even pay a license fee which covers the people they have performing when using other people's tracks. So this means cabaret acts/cover acts/dj's are all covered to perform the songs in that venue. You are not however supposed to cover/remix/sample a track and then sell it without prior permission from the artists representative for the material that you are using ;)

Winterpark
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Re: Music, sampling, copyright issues

Post by Winterpark » Sun Jan 05, 2014 10:46 am

akm wrote:I'm really interested to hear some specialist about it. I mean sure I can download a Michael Jackson song and tell my Mom it's me the producer and the singer of the song, but what is it legit to do say, in a club in a live electronic performance? Am I allowed to do anything I want playing the tracks purchased on a Beatport? The answer seems obvious, yes, but anyway? Cut, chop, process, is it OK since it is a live set? What happen if it is recorded, may I share it? What about pop music? Anybody who sure knows the answers please tell.

Copyright laws do vary from country to country, but essentially there are two forms of copyright you need to worry about when dealing with sampling music.
1. The song; or the Intellectual Property that is in the chords, melody and lyrics.
2. The recorded work; that is the recording of the song that has been made.

Just because you have purchased the song does not grant you a license to sample that work and use it within your own musical productions, which you intend to commercially release. To do that, you need to clear the sample with the copyright owner/owners, who could be the songwriter, song writer's estate and/or record company.

As for 'how much' of a sample... there is no defined length... it's really about how much you want to get away with... a single drum hit probably isn't going to get picked up on, but a really obvious hooky part or vocal line will.

Doing a remix of a track, or mashing up songs to perform live in a venue is not going to get you into any trouble with copyright issues, because essentially the venue pays a license for music to be performed at that venue, that then goes to royalty collection agencies, which then gets passed on to the artist/label who own the copyrights to that song/recorded work.
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Khazul
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Re: Music, sampling, copyright issues

Post by Khazul » Sun Jan 05, 2014 12:38 pm

akm wrote:Ok, where is the border, if I purchase a song on a Beatport or iTunes and play it in my Dj session, the whole song then it is OK, but, what is the difference? I can call it a song, a a remix, a Dj set or whatever... Any broader reply then "nope" are much welcome. Ok, I remembered I heard it not about a song, but if, say, in video production you use an about 5 seconds reference to a song then it is absolutely legit. Please correct me if I'm wrong and please point me to some official references if you know them or have the idea how to Google them.
If you have a track that you are licensed to perform with, then AFAIK you can do anything in real time with it so long as the original is still being played in its original form (maybe through fx) even if only for a very short time. What you cant do is take samples and use them for some other purpose (for eg you own production, or as a standalone sample in a DJ set etc) except as can be argued by 'fair use' which is really vague and wont cover you own production or performance.

These days the distinction between real time play of a track and sampling is stupid as in live or traktor etc as you can hack a track to bits without changing the underlying audio as live can random access the audio and play it through fx anyway. So long as the track is being manipulated in real time from its original you have an argument to say you have not sampled the original track, only played it in a DJ set. The moment you bounce the set to audio however then you are in definite violation of copyright and have created a derived work.

I'm no lawyer, but this is my current interpretation of what you can reasonably get away with if you got challenged over it. The main way of getting challenged is to release a derived work in some form and publish it - youtube, soundcloud etc. Its unlikely you will be challenged due to doing a set somewhere unless its a major venue or you are just plain unlucky because the wrong person happened to be there (ie someone with a vested interest in the original work).

Also when it comes to DJing, then unless you are purchasing complete music specifically licensed for performance and are contributing to the appropriate performance right association for your country, then you cant use anything at all. For eg alot of stuff you may be tempted to buy via digital download from say amazon etc is probably not legit for performance (never mind that its mp3 anyway). AFAIK everything or at least nearly everything on beatport is, but you probably still have to pay for a digital DJing license as well from the countries performing rights association where you will be DJing.

With regard to length - there is no such thing - technically if you take 1 sample period (literally a single 1/44100 of a second) from someone else work, then you have violated copyright despite that it would be trivial to set the same signal level in a sample of you own creation. However it would be really hard to prove it. In the end what you sample is between you and your conscience over what you can get away with. Unfortunately when the like of most of us go to a record company and say can we please use a sample, it a ridiculous amount of paper work via various agencies or a clearing house at a massive prohibitive upfront cost - that is unless you happened to have gone to school with someone who is now an excutive of a big record company who happens to own the label that owns the track you wish to sample or remix - then thing are very different :)

That's if you want to be 100% legit.
Nothing to see here - move along!

jrhillma
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Re: Music, sampling, copyright issues

Post by jrhillma » Sun Jan 05, 2014 2:49 pm

http://www.nolo.com/legal-encyclopedia/ ... 30165.html

May be useful for US situations only, but IANAL and don't even play one on TV. From reading through that page, the primary differentiating factor seems to be performance vs. duplication/sale.

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Re: Music, sampling, copyright issues

Post by v00d00ppl » Sun Jan 05, 2014 4:18 pm

SSL X Desk / Apollo Twin Solo / Sherman Restyler / Ensoniq EPS Classic / Analog Keys / Handsome Audio Zulu

Tagor
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Re: Music, sampling, copyright issues

Post by Tagor » Sun Jan 05, 2014 6:08 pm

If you look through the Spectrasonics Soundlicense Agreement, you will see
where the difference is between using a licensed sample for your own production,
or selling the samples in a commercial product letting use other people who dot not owe
this license.

As long you just perform those stolen samples live, i think pratical nobody will care.
As soon you publish your Tracks or DJ`s start to perform your sound, there maybe will be problem.


This questions get an ethical range in the moment,
when you start making money or reveal it to the public audience via
Internet, Radio, TV, CD`s, Vinyl ect.

But get real, when i am looking through the RMX HiHat samples, how should one
proof that some samples maybe would have been taken from old reaggae LP`s from 70es, remastered
and just used in an VSTi they sell in 2013 ? Such a proof maybe possible, but practical nobody will care.

For example i working at the moment on a dubstep-remix of a popular song like this
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kqjw8HtIL8k

Me for myself i just fear will not be able to publish my remix without getting problems, because
indeed there is a familiar use of chords and vocals like in the track i posted above.

akm
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Re: Music, sampling, copyright issues

Post by akm » Sun Jan 05, 2014 7:32 pm

Cool topic, I got the answers more or less.

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