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 » Thu Nov 10, 2005 6:18 pm

an impression of dejà vu on this forum ...

first of all it's not a sample.
You can tell it's been inspired by it but it is different
chic's bass line is a 4 bar cycle, queen is a 2 bar.
the first bar is similar but what is it ?

3 quarter notes of the same note...

Captain sensible's WOT is much closer.

Rapper's delight IS a sample
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palimpsest73
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Post by palimpsest73 » Thu Nov 10, 2005 6:46 pm

jeskola wrote:
Chris J wrote:
jeskola wrote:surley "another one bites the dust"
thats what makes the track - the bassline.

the sample is blindingly obviuos.
not that one again.

what sample ?
good times - chic

Technically it wasn't a sample as The Sugarhill Gang had session musicians to play the backing tracks. For Rapper's Delight it was actually the band Positive Force. On some later tracks the Sugarhill house band included some of the core members of Tackhead; Doug Wimbush, Keith LeBlanc and Skip McDonald. Rapper's Delight was actually recorded some years before the widespread availability of sampling technology.

Chris J
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Post by Chris J » Thu Nov 10, 2005 7:16 pm

palimpsest73 wrote:
jeskola wrote:
Chris J wrote: not that one again.

what sample ?
good times - chic

Technically it wasn't a sample as The Sugarhill Gang had session musicians to play the backing tracks. For Rapper's Delight it was actually the band Positive Force. On some later tracks the Sugarhill house band included some of the core members of Tackhead; Doug Wimbush, Keith LeBlanc and Skip McDonald. Rapper's Delight was actually recorded some years before the widespread availability of sampling technology.
Ah ok, I thought it was 2 vinyls looping the bass, but the strings are from the original, no ?
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computo
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Post by computo » Fri Nov 11, 2005 12:24 am

jahnlay wrote:There's no copyright on basslines, only on the melody or lyrics of songs.
Are freaking DAFT?

ever heard of Vanilla Ice?

Queen?

:roll:

Chris J
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Post by Chris J » Fri Nov 11, 2005 10:10 am

computo wrote:
jahnlay wrote:There's no copyright on basslines, only on the melody or lyrics of songs.
Are freaking DAFT?

ever heard of Vanilla Ice?

Queen?

:roll:
explain (without giving us your usual marx brother's in jail example please) ?
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Chris J
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Post by Chris J » Fri Nov 11, 2005 3:20 pm

jeskola wrote:surley "another one bites the dust"
thats what makes the track - the bassline.
Particularly because the vocal on the chorus (the title phrase) is the same as the bass line, hence it is considered as the melody
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Chris J
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Post by Chris J » Fri Nov 11, 2005 6:32 pm

While on the subject of plagiarism and similarity, has anyone felt a ressemblance between Gorillaz " feel good inc" and the Kinks "sunny afternoon" ?

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Hold on, checked the web on this subject and it's old news. it's so obvious...
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computo
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Post by computo » Fri Nov 11, 2005 7:27 pm

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.

Chris J
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Post by Chris J » Fri Nov 11, 2005 7:45 pm

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."

Recreating a bassline doesn't require licencing. All you risk is being accused of plagiarism, but because like I said, tons of complaints are filed each year for plagiarism, only the ones with a similar melody are considered and not all of them (mostly none) are won by the plaintiff.

It often takes years over the rip-off of a melody, imagine for a bass line...
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Submersible
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Post by Submersible » Sat Nov 12, 2005 8:20 pm

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.

Chris J
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Post by Chris J » Sat Nov 12, 2005 8:34 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.
but again the Pretty woman riff is bass AND guitar, and the guitar is playing the melody. (and if you're talking about the same case I'm thinking of, they had credited Orbison and the other writer in the first place, it was a case of prejudice as it was a parody,)

And the newton case proves like I said that even in the case of a melody, the plaintiffs not often wins.


So, any case of bass considered as central in a court case ?
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Submersible
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Post by Submersible » Sun Nov 13, 2005 2:53 am

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.

Further, it's pretty clear that the Court did not consider the bass riff to be any part of the "melody" of the song. It's absolutely clear that the appeals court did not consider the bass riff to be the melody, but nonetheless thought it was the "heart" of the song.

You're right that the Supreme Court did not use that conclusion (because it's not germane to the issue of parody), but they didn't reject it either. This leaves open the possibility that a riff can be protectible even if it is not the melody.

Bottom line is that I would be cautious when recreating a bassline that a non-musician could easily recognize as being part of a copyrighted song. I wouldn't want to be a test case.

FaX-01
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Post by FaX-01 » Sun Nov 13, 2005 3:06 am

I wouldn't be particularly worried as you have programmed it yourself and aren't using sampled "loop material".
I mean how many psytrance or trance tunes have virtual identical bassline structures.
Let alone 4 bar boogie progressions for blues or certain similarites between basslines in D'n'B , Reggae , Dub and pop music for example.
How many "original variations" can you have on a rolling 16th note bassline anyway.
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jahnlay
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Post by jahnlay » Sun Nov 13, 2005 11:16 am

The same reason that basslines aren't copyrighted is given for Sting receiving the royalties for the guitar line (Every Breathe You Take) sampled for the Puff Daddy B.I.G. tribute. It's completely played by Stuart Townsend and yet Sting gets the royalties because he wrote the song. Contentious, yes, should it be changed, yes, but that's how it is!
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Chris J
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Post by Chris J » Sun Nov 13, 2005 12:29 pm

jahnlay wrote:The same reason that basslines aren't copyrighted is given for Sting receiving the royalties for the guitar line (Every Breathe You Take) sampled for the Puff Daddy B.I.G. tribute. It's completely played by Stuart Townsend and yet Sting gets the royalties because he wrote the song. Contentious, yes, should it be changed, yes, but that's how it is!
why should it be changed ? It's his song, (chord changes, and the arpeggio pattern) it was totally ripped off, why would somebody else take the credit (and $$$) ?
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