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Sampling/Copyright Virtual Instrument Plugins
Old 6th September 2011
  #1
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Sampling/Copyright

I have one specific question about this. Are there any guidelines to go by as far as finding music to sample that is legal to do so? In other words I know that there is some law where 50 years or so after the artist dies the artists music can be re-recorded and put out without any royalties being due. I think there are ways the families of the artists can go around that though. So basically if you found an album of an orchestra that was recorded in 1949(for example) is that legal to sample without permission? Are there any strange laws/timelines that open up recordings? I know that the recording being protected and the song itself being protected is different. I'm wanting to know if there are any guidelines to go by when sampling recordings other than obviously getting permission and paying a fee.

I've never in my life used a sample in my music. However I just ordered a sampler today and plan on sampling my own ideas. But I thought that finding old jazz and classical recordings could be cool to mess around with and I just wanted to make sure how to go about it. I do hope to make some money with the recordings I do so that has to be taken in to consideration with the answers I'm looking for. Thanks
Old 6th September 2011
  #2
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There are two different copyrights relevant to music:

Publishing

Recording

Different lengths on each (after death of artist/time of recording)... and these differ from territory to territory.

Then, to complicate matters further, there are certain cut-off dates in some region whereby anything prior to that is not covered by the more recent addition of these time periods.
Old 6th September 2011
  #3
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copyright doesn't really take effect until you generate $$$$ with the protected material in the real world that the other party can go after you for

check out this page on Mechanical License re:copyright laws

Mechanical license - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia



in any case Better Call Saul!
Old 6th September 2011
  #4
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Think about it from the labels stand point. Are they going to hire a lawyer and spend 10k to sue you over 100 dollars. If you arnt going to make any money off it then it would be crazy for them to spend the money....
Old 6th September 2011
  #6
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Don't even bother worrying in the slightest about it at this point! Just get sampling, learning and having fun with your new sampler. If you find yourself working with some material that is recognisable (ie. you haven't mashed and mutated it beyond recognition) and it forms part of a finished piece that you think has commercial potential....well thats the time to look into it.

But consider this, there are artists and labels out there that have released albums that are stuffed to the brim with sampled material and there is no way they clear all that stuff!! If you end up sampling David Bowie then...well just offer his management 100% for that track cos thats probably what they would require.

I heard that the Verve had to give 100% for that track where they sampled the Rolling Stones....made commercial sense to just go for it though cos the album was huge for a while and that track made it huge.
Old 6th September 2011
  #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Morechips View Post
I heard that the Verve had to give 100% for that track where they sampled the Rolling Stones....made commercial sense to just go for it though cos the album was huge for a while and that track made it huge.
"We were told it was going to be a 50/50 split, and then they saw how well the record was doing," says band member Simon Jones. "They rung up and said, 'We want 100 percent or take it out of the shops, you don't have much choice.'" [sic] [6]

After losing the composer credits to the song, Richard Ashcroft commented, "This is the best song Jagger and Richards have written in 20 years",noting it was their biggest UK hit since "Brown Sugar".[6]


Bitter Sweet Symphony - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Old 6th September 2011
  #8
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wow.....they should have done minor changes to the melodic structure of their song and Verve probably could have keep all the $$$$$

there's standard ways to change harmony & melody to make the music OFFICIALLY another song
Old 6th September 2011
  #9
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Cheers for the link Simonator! so I heard right.....f...ing unbelievable really isn't it! bunch of tight old tossers.
Old 6th September 2011
  #10
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if it really mattered with low profile artists VAC could never have released anything on a label. Seems like it only matters if your famous and making money.
Old 6th September 2011
  #11
Quote:
Originally Posted by Morechips View Post
Cheers for the link Simonator! so I heard right.....f...ing unbelievable really isn't it! bunch of tight old tossers.
Not really, the whole song was based around the Stones hook.
Old 6th September 2011
  #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Morechips View Post
But consider this, there are artists and labels out there that have released albums that are stuffed to the brim with sampled material and there is no way they clear all that stuff!! If you end up sampling David Bowie then...well just offer his management 100% for that track cos thats probably what they would require.




Totally bad and wrong advice above.

There are thousands of albums that have sampled other tunes but you bet your bottom dollar that every one of the those samples was cleared and licensed before a major commercial release. Believe me, there isn't a record label out there that would risk loosing the huge amounts of money involved in advertising, promoting and plugging their new albums if there was even a sniff that one sample in a track wasn't cleared.

The simple way to look at samples of recording that you can use legally without any form of clearance is this: The composer/lyricists has to have been dead for seventy years. The recording of a piece by that composer/lyricist has to be over 25 years old. SO, you're looking at music by people who died before 1942 and recordings made before 1980. ( to be safe) - this is going to limit your choice because a lot of this music is either going to be early jazz, classical or folk. You could try looking at some 'traditional' tunes as they don't have composers as such...

Be careful as even with a lot of classical repertoire the composer of the music may be long dead but the arrangement of the work may be in copyright .... you need to check not only the composer, the recording date but also who's arrangement of the work.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Morechips View Post
Cheers for the link Simonator! so I heard right.....f...ing unbelievable really isn't it! bunch of tight old tossers.
Well if the song was yours and the best most successful song you'd ever written would you let others rip you off by using your song and pretending it was their own ?

I think it's much better to learn how to make your own music without having to rely on other peoples hard work and talent to support your lack of imagination and ability....
Old 6th September 2011
  #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Beermaster View Post
I think it's much better to learn how to make your own music without having to rely on other peoples hard work and talent to support your lack of imagination and ability....
Old 6th September 2011
  #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Beermaster View Post
I think it's much better to learn how to make your own music without having to rely on other peoples hard work and talent to support your lack of imagination and ability....
That's good - but music isn't composed in a vacuum.

A Whiter Shade of Pale - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

You're always going to borrow; it depends on how blatant you are about it. The fact that borrowing is done has existed for as long as we've been making music.

IMHO, It's kind of hypocritical that Bach is free game and Orff isn't - both are dead and can't produce any more creative works, so "encouraging creativity" isn't really the case here.

Why are you going to use a piano sample library instead of synthesizing one yourself? Because the piano is what you need; however, what most here would take offense at is the ease that is shown by people to just grab the thing that looks the most like what you need first before doing anything themselves.
Old 6th September 2011
  #15
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Bach and composers of his time were know for taking popular themes of the day and putting them into their own works....or basing variations on a theme etc
Old 6th September 2011
  #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Yoozer View Post
That's good - but music isn't composed in a vacuum.

A Whiter Shade of Pale - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

You're always going to borrow; it depends on how blatant you are about it. The fact that borrowing is done has existed for as long as we've been making music.

IMHO, It's kind of hypocritical that Bach is free game and Orff isn't - both are dead and can't produce any more creative works, so "encouraging creativity" isn't really the case here.

Why are you going to use a piano sample library instead of synthesizing one yourself? Because the piano is what you need; however, what most here would take offense at is the ease that is shown by people to just grab the thing that looks the most like what you need first before doing anything themselves.
You can't seriously compare the ability of organist in Procol harem understanding Bach two part inventions, being able to play them and more than that having the talent to extend and mould it as the basis of his own creation ...... to a guy with little talent and understanding who lifts an entire complete recording and dumps a preset beat over it in an attempt to call it his own creation ? ! They are lightyears apart and completely different. One example uses a complete musical understanding the other is brain dead.

Copyright of music beyond the death of the composer is quite an old thing and it was originally in place to support the family of the composer after his death - this was reflecting the fact that many composers were not successful in their own lifetimes - It also reflects as many here will probably realize too that making a living from writing your own music is extremely hard due to many different factors but if you are lucky enough, work hard enough, get enough breaks then the chances are that those pieces of music that make it are small examples out of a much bigger lifetime of struggle and work in trying to get somewhere. - These pieces and songs that make it deserve the recognition and struggle that the composer has had to endure to get them to the top.

Regarding not synthesizing your own piano sound as a parallel to using a samples of a someone elses music - that doesn't work at all. Beethoven wasn't a carpenter nor a mechanic or a ironsmith..... Bechstein however was ! - one is a composer the other a instrument maker !
Old 6th September 2011
  #17
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Please correct me if I'm wrong but didn't the Rolling stones borrow/ jack/appropriate/steal from old blues guys in the same manner as The Verve did to them?
If so, then I find it ironic at best, their ire at the Verve song.
I know about the feel vibe and style that they immitated but I had also heard that they also REUSED(stole) some of the melodys, and lyrics from others as well.
This article gets at some of what I'm asking, though I realize that it's not the final word.

Music: White men sing the blues - Arts & Entertainment - The Independent

I do feel that people should be paid for their compositions but didn't the Verve add ANY lyrics to the song? If so then I don't see the justification for the %100 writers.
Old 6th September 2011
  #18
Quote:
Originally Posted by C//AZM View Post
Please correct me if I'm wrong but didn't the Rolling stones borrow/ jack/appropriate/steal from old blues guys in the same manner as The Verve did to them?
Not exactly.
They mimicked their heroes, and as such brought some obscure musicians to wider public attention.
If they covered a song (as did many artists back then) it was all done legally and paid for.
What we are talking about with the likes of The Verve, is taking an already hit record and reusing it to make a hit of your own.
Old 6th September 2011
  #19
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Led Zeppelin I is a massive ripoff of unknown black blues artists especially dazed and confused.

ELP didn't credit Mussorgsky on the Pictures At An Exhibition album.
Old 6th September 2011
  #20
Quote:
Originally Posted by Zombie H View Post

ELP didn't credit Mussorgsky on the Pictures At An Exhibition album.
I don't think that's correct.
Old 6th September 2011
  #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chrisso View Post
Not exactly.
They mimicked their heroes, and as such brought some obscure musicians to wider public attention.
If they covered a song (as did many artists back then) it was all done legally and paid for.
What we are talking about with the likes of The Verve, is taking an already hit record and reusing it to make a hit of your own.

Ok so they (The Verve) made a cover song and didn't credit the composer(The stones). yeah that's bad.

Also "legally and paid for" meant different things to different musicians, especially in this country prior to the 80s. Plus I wasn't talking about cover song, I was talking about a verse here and a half chorus there.

Last edited by C//AZM; 6th September 2011 at 02:14 PM.. Reason: extra info
Old 6th September 2011
  #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chrisso View Post
I don't think that's correct.
yea sorry wasnt pictures at an exhibition but from earlier stuff - I remembered reading about it when I was a kid, they did have a history of putting classical stuff in their records without giving proper composer credits

Keith Emerson - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Emerson has performed several notable rock arrangements of classical compositions, ranging from J. S. Bach via Modest Mussorgsky to 20th century composers such as Béla Bartók, Aaron Copland, Leoš Janá?ek and Alberto Ginastera. Occasionally Emerson has quoted from classical and jazz works without giving credit, particularly early in his career, from the late 1960s until 1972. The song "Rondo" by The Nice is a 4/4 interpretation of "Blue Rondo à la Turk" by the Dave Brubeck Quartet, originally in 9/8 time signature. The piece is introduced by an extensive quote from Bach's Italian Concerto, third movement. In fact, considering the Bach and Emerson's own improvisations, the Brubeck contribution is merely the anchoring theme.


On ELP's eponymous first album, Emerson's classical quotes went largely uncredited. "The Barbarian" is heavily influenced by "Allegro barbaro" by Bartók, and "Knife Edge" was virtually a note-for-note restatement of "Sinfonietta" by Janá?ek. Note-for-note extracts were taken from pieces by Bartók, Janá?ek and Bach, mixed in with some original material, and credited completely to Emerson, Lake, Palmer and roadie Richard Fraser. By 1971, with the releases Pictures at an Exhibition and Trilogy, Emerson began to fully credit classical composers, Modest Mussorgsky for the piano piece which inspired the first album, and Aaron Copland for "Hoedown" on the second. Emerson was adamant that he did not use Maurice Ravel's orchestration of Pictures at an Exhibition in developing his own version.
Old 6th September 2011
  #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Morechips View Post
Don't even bother worrying in the slightest about it at this point! Just get sampling, learning and having fun with your new sampler. If you find yourself working with some material that is recognisable (ie. you haven't mashed and mutated it beyond recognition) and it forms part of a finished piece that you think has commercial potential....well thats the time to look into it.

But consider this, there are artists and labels out there that have released albums that are stuffed to the brim with sampled material and there is no way they clear all that stuff!! If you end up sampling David Bowie then...well just offer his management 100% for that track cos thats probably what they would require.

I heard that the Verve had to give 100% for that track where they sampled the Rolling Stones....made commercial sense to just go for it though cos the album was huge for a while and that track made it huge.
It can be 100% as you said fabulous and just blaze got sued for the song "Breath" to the tune of 100% plus $100,000 up front.

And that's best case scenario,biz markie went to jail and the pulled biggie small album of the self and can no longer be sold!

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Old 6th September 2011
  #24
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Countdown: 10 Songs Led Zeppelin Stole From Other Artists

EAR FARM
Old 6th September 2011
  #25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by C//AZM View Post
Ok so they (The Verve) made a cover song and didn't credit the composer(The stones). yeah that's bad.

Also "legally and paid for" meant different things to different musicians, especially in this country prior to the 80s. Plus I wasn't talking about cover song, I was talking about a verse here and a half chorus there.
The amount one writer requests as a license fee for permission to use his tune is a variable then as it is today. One man with no success and no money might look at a scenario where is music could get to the masses and say to himself... hell this type of opportunity is a big chance to get me out to the masses... I'll let them have the sync for gratis ... but I'd like a 5% of the writers share of performance royalites. Another person might say " Hell, I want £10K as a buyout".....and either not get it or worse still get the 10K buyout but loose out on the multi-platinum success that the track later goes on to have..... so many different scenarios

The real crux of anyone trying to claim copyright on Blues based songs is that they are Almost Impossible to copyright because of the history of blues tunes that pre-exist before....... Take something that is a classic "St. James's Infirmary" .... the melody varies quite a bit depending on the version you listen to.... worse still tho is that it is almost exactly the same as 'Gambler's Blues' ....... which is almost exactly the same as .......

The Blues is nearly always the blues !
Old 6th September 2011
  #26
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Beermaster View Post



Totally bad and wrong advice above.

There are thousands of albums that have sampled other tunes but you bet your bottom dollar that every one of the those samples was cleared and licensed before a major commercial release. Believe me, there isn't a record label out there that would risk loosing the huge amounts of money involved in advertising, promoting and plugging their new albums if there was even a sniff that one sample in a track wasn't cleared.

The simple way to look at samples of recording that you can use legally without any form of clearance is this: The composer/lyricists has to have been dead for seventy years. The recording of a piece by that composer/lyricist has to be over 25 years old. SO, you're looking at music by people who died before 1942 and recordings made before 1980. ( to be safe) - this is going to limit your choice because a lot of this music is either going to be early jazz, classical or folk. You could try looking at some 'traditional' tunes as they don't have composers as such...

Be careful as even with a lot of classical repertoire the composer of the music may be long dead but the arrangement of the work may be in copyright .... you need to check not only the composer, the recording date but also who's arrangement of the work.



Well if the song was yours and the best most successful song you'd ever written would you let others rip you off by using your song and pretending it was their own ?

I think it's much better to learn how to make your own music without having to rely on other peoples hard work and talent to support your lack of imagination and ability....

Beermaster, do your homework on the Verve track! they didn't rip off the whole song....they used a 'sample' from the stones track.

Regarding sampling in general, perhaps i should have been more specific in my advice to the OP, but actually probably not! I advised to not get too hung up on legality with your first foray into sampling...ie. have some fun, and develop skills. I also advised that if he chooses to use well known and 'naked' samples then he be prepared to pay! pay a lot!

I seem to remember a post of yours where you advised someone to copy other works as a means to learn! and it is common when writing for TV, film etc to get directions in the form of previously recorded material....which leads to another form of 'ripping off' doesn't it? you will no doubt disagree! as that is your bread and butter....

Check out Prefuse73 for an example of heavy sampling which certainly is not all cleared! Coldcut sampled extensively and would just list sources and wait, often never hearing anything from the owners of the material.

I propose you just don't like much sample based music and this informs your stand point on my post and others who advocate a similar approach.
Old 6th September 2011
  #27
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Beermaster View Post
The real crux of anyone trying to claim copyright on Blues based songs is that they are Almost Impossible to copyright because of the history of blues tunes that pre-exist before....... Take something that is a classic "St. James's Infirmary" .... the melody varies quite a bit depending on the version you listen to.... worse still tho is that it is almost exactly the same as 'Gambler's Blues' ....... which is almost exactly the same as .......

The Blues is nearly always the blues !
....So Led Zep didn't copyright their "versions"? I'm sure they did.

Not always the case. There are dozens of examples where the originator is known and he still got screwed. Can't think of anything but Tutti Fruitti By Slim Sam(sic?) but there are dozens of examples.

Also I think we're talking about two different thing here in this post. The OP was talking about Samples and we startd talking about The Verve's non credited COVER. I'm mostly to blame for this drift I'm afraid.
Old 6th September 2011
  #28
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Morechips View Post
Beermaster, do your homework on the Verve track! they didn't rip off the whole song....they used a 'sample' from the stones track.
Huh? That wasn't sampling, it was the Guy from the Verve singing (with his own voice) the words and melody of a Stones song. It's a cover... even if the entire feel and all of the instrumental is different it's still the lyrics plus melody of the Stones song. They didn't record the stones song into a sampler and trigger it. Perhaps it's called an interpolation but even that's not correct.

Unless I'm missing something.
Old 6th September 2011
  #29
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Although the song's lyrics were written by Verve vocalist Richard Ashcroft, it has been credited to Keith Richards and Mick Jagger after charges by the original copyright owners that the song was plagiarized from the Andrew Oldham Orchestra recording of The Rolling Stones' 1965 song "The Last Time."
Originally, The Verve had negotiated a licence to use a sample from the Oldham recording, but it was successfully argued that the Verve had used "too much" of the sample.[5] Despite having original lyrics, the music of "Bitter Sweet Symphony" is partially based on the Oldham track, which led to a lawsuit with Abkco Records, Allen Klein's company that owns the rights to the Rolling Stones material of the 1960s. The matter was eventually settled, with copyright of the song reverting to Abkco and songwriting credits to Jagger and Richards.
"We were told it was going to be a 50/50 split, and then they saw how well the record was doing," says band member Simon Jones. "They rung up and said, 'We want 100 percent or take it out of the shops, you don't have much choice.'"

Just in case anyone can't be bothered to read on wiki.
Old 6th September 2011
  #30
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DOH! ok I got it now. I appologize for my stupidity.

The Verve samples an Andrew Oldham Orcestra instrumental version of a Stones song. and The Stones get 100% writers credit despite there being NONE of the Stones work in the sample nor in the lyrics. But the melody is the Stones' .

perhaps- since they knew they were going to make good money- they should've dropped the sample and made a big money attempt at recreating a similar orchestral part and then changed a few notes in the melody. wouldn't have been the same but still...
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