Copyright issues

Discussion of music production, audio, equipment and any related topics, either with or without Ableton Live
Chris J
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Post by Chris J » Sun Nov 13, 2005 12:45 pm

Submersible wrote:
Chris J wrote: So, any case of bass considered as central in a court case ?
The 2 Live Crew case is as close I think you're going to get. Supreme Court justices aren't exactly known for their golden ears, so the riff in Oh Pretty Woman is referred to as the "bass riff" by the Court. You can debate whether it really was a bass riff, but the Court thought that it was.
the court may have thought that it was a bass riff, but I think it's important to know that it's not :
It actually starts on guitar alone, the bass doubles it later on, as does another guitar, so that really is a guitar riff not a bass line. (a bass riff in the sense that it's in a low register)

So I insist again in saying that this is not a case of plagiarism of a bass line.
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louZ
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Post by louZ » Sun Nov 13, 2005 2:27 pm

Chris J wrote:
computo wrote:remember, Vanilla Ice used the bassline from Under Pressure?

Without permission?

there was a big stink about it?

Queen didnt sue, but its publicly accepted that they didnt sue, because Van Winkle agreed to pay them.

Basslines are definetly copyright-able.

I think you meant, hooks can be copyrighted, not chord structure. Basslines certainly are integral parts of songs, and can be considered the hook of a song.

Any characteristic that makes a song unique is copyrighted, its just the harmony that cant be.
Computo, we're talking about re-creating basslines and what are the risks, not sampling.


Vanilla Ice sampled the Queen/Bowie record. Whatever bit you're sampling off a recording needs a licence to use (in principle). interestingly here's what he says on how and why it was settled out of court :
Ice claims Suge Knight forced the issue at gunpoint: "He took me over to the balcony, and he had me look over. He says to me, 'You're gonna sign these papers'... I signed it. I gave millions away."
actually, this is how Suge Knight (Death Row Records) had Vanilla Ice sign over all rights to the song. Suge Knight had nothing to do with Queen or Bowie.

jahnlay
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Post by jahnlay » Sun Nov 13, 2005 8:26 pm

@ Chris J, I meant that Stuart Townsend should have been compensated, seeing as though he played the riff!
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Chris J
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Post by Chris J » Sun Nov 13, 2005 8:44 pm

jahnlay wrote:@ Chris J, I meant that Stuart Townsend should have been compensated, seeing as though he played the riff!
When a musician records something he hasn't written (created), the producer of the recording is paying the musician a flat fee. That's up to him to get a good deal, maybe getting % on performance royalties. (even more so if he created his part, but session musicians are required to do that without getting points in the writing most of the time)

The singer of a song written by someone else, gets performance royalties (although it differs hugely from countries to countries), but the big money is for the writers and their publisher.
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shlomo
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Post by shlomo » Mon Nov 14, 2005 2:54 pm

FaX-01 wrote: How many "original variations" can you have on a rolling 16th note bassline anyway.
countless if you're doing "microsound" ;)

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Post by rikhyray » Mon Nov 14, 2005 3:16 pm

Submersible wrote:Various courts have implied that taking a riff or bass line (simply playing it, not sampling) can infringe the copyright in a composition if the riff is central to the song. The classic example is the riff from Pretty Woman, though the Supreme Court declined to state if using the riff constituted excessive copying because it wasn't relevant to the issue of parody.

More recently, James Newton lost his argument against the Beastie Boys that a four note flute riff qualified as a protectible composition. I wouldn't bet on the outcome, though, if the riff to Satisfaction (for example) was at issue instead of four random notes taken out of context.
The newton`sad story has nothing to do with any rights or justice, just plain money power. Newton coudnt afford the lawyers the BB and label did. I never knew who was that Newton, till that scandal, these few notes indeed are amazing and he is no doubt musical genius. Mistreated by spoiled brats and the industry sharks
If those pricks tried to do the same to Rolling Stones or Sting they would be smashed. Might is right. in this line.

Chris J
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Post by Chris J » Mon Nov 14, 2005 4:29 pm

rikhyray wrote:The newton`sad story has nothing to do with any rights or justice, just plain money power. Newton coudnt afford the lawyers the BB and label did. I never knew who was that Newton, till that scandal, these few notes indeed are amazing and he is no doubt musical genius. Mistreated by spoiled brats and the industry sharks
If those pricks tried to do the same to Rolling Stones or Sting they would be smashed. Might is right. in this line.

I'm afraid this is not the case rikhyray. Have you studied the case ?
I'll quote myself from this link in which you participated http://www.ableton.com/forum/viewtopic. ... c&start=45


Regarding the Beatie Boys case VS james Newton being sampled on pass the mic, I used to think, because of the little info i had, that the beasties had ripped him off, but the truth is that they cleared the sample before hand and paid his record company a fair amount of money. His record company didn't tell Newton, and according to the law they should have asked him too. Something nobody does because the record company is in the best position to do it.
So 8 years later he's sued the beasties, they offered him money but he refused. And he's not the blues or jazz ripped off musician you might imagine, he's doing allright.
So the Beasties won and have hit him back asking him to pay the 500 000 dollars they've had to pay to defend themselves...

Personally i think he should have blamed his record company rather than the BB that in my opinion did the right thing (ie cleared and paid and offered him money )
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Anubis
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Post by Anubis » Mon Nov 14, 2005 4:59 pm

Chris J wrote:
computo wrote:remember, Vanilla Ice used the bassline from Under Pressure?

Without permission?

there was a big stink about it?

Queen didnt sue, but its publicly accepted that they didnt sue, because Van Winkle agreed to pay them.

Vanilla Ice sampled the Queen/Bowie record. Whatever bit you're sampling off a recording needs a licence to use (in principle)...
I remember Ice's version of the story. He claimed that his bassline was slightly different(one extra note or sumthin'), implying that it was played and not sampled.
Although it sounds like a sample to me :roll:
I knew Ice in the early nineties. For a while he was a pro Jet Ski racer, and a darned good one too. I was in the novice class :oops:
In spite of all the 'bleeding' of cash he made sooo much money off of that one song that he lived extremely large for many years.
Although with the new laws that went into effect this year, you couldn't get away with that nowadays.

Then again- There is one more-recent example of (undocumented?)sampling. There's a bit that Theivery Corp. has sampled off of the Moody Blues classic Nights in White Satin, and they seemed to have gotten away with it 8O
It's on the Outernational CD. I forgot the name of the track now. They cite extensive credits on the CD liner notes except for that track. Strange, prolly an oversight. I think they used the London Festival Orchestra back then. Maybe they released them as samples? Has anyone else noticed this?
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Anubis
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Post by Anubis » Tue Nov 22, 2005 2:20 am

I just heard this song again (Under Pressure) in still a different incarnation. This time fueling a TV advert for a diamond retailer. It's amazing how much mileage you can get from a song once it's permeated the public psyche. And how it can be exploited by multiple entities. (Queen, then Vanilla Ice, now... Madison Ave.)
When intellectual property becomes a commodity, does it take on an identity of it's own?
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Johnisfaster
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Post by Johnisfaster » Tue Nov 22, 2005 2:38 am

look at the amen break. it's still currently copyrighted by the amen brothers. and it is somehow also copyrighted by Gforce who make sample cd's and software i believe. so the strange thing is that it's become in a way public domain through so much use but it still retains TWO copyrights by TWO seperate entities which is actually not possible. but it's true.
It was as if someone shook up a 6 foot can of blood soda and suddenly popped the top.

Johnisfaster
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Post by Johnisfaster » Tue Nov 22, 2005 3:10 am

correct myself, zero-G not G-force
It was as if someone shook up a 6 foot can of blood soda and suddenly popped the top.

Anubis
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Post by Anubis » Tue Nov 22, 2005 6:56 am

So if what you're saying is correct, then there are potentially thousands of tracks out there that are already in violation of copyright law?- without even getting into the sampling issue? That's staggering.
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Johnisfaster
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Post by Johnisfaster » Tue Nov 22, 2005 7:23 am

thats exactly what I'm saying. Unless my source was totally wrong but it was a short video documentary I watched on the amen break and it's origins and the dude seemed well educated :)
It was as if someone shook up a 6 foot can of blood soda and suddenly popped the top.

Johnisfaster
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Post by Johnisfaster » Tue Nov 22, 2005 7:25 am

the strange thing is, how did 2 seperate entities copyright the same thing? how did zeroG get away with copyrighting something that the amen brothers already own the rights to? I'd love some light on that subject.
It was as if someone shook up a 6 foot can of blood soda and suddenly popped the top.

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Post by Machinate » Tue Nov 22, 2005 7:38 am

Johnisfaster wrote:the strange thing is, how did 2 seperate entities copyright the same thing? how did zeroG get away with copyrighting something that the amen brothers already own the rights to? I'd love some light on that subject.
It must be a license, then...
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