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hiphopasia 24th November 2010 08:22 AM

Should I really clear samples?
 
Hi guys I'm new to posting on these forums, but I've been reading the gearslutz forums for years n years now. Strange that I only just registered but oh well..

I wanted to ask advice on clearing samples. Obvisouly from a legal standpoint it should be done, but for an independent hip-hop artist the budget that's needed to clear samples is almost impossible to deal with. I have my full album ready to be mastered and pressed, but the last step of finishing it is clearing these damn samples..I've been given various advice such as 'your not famous so dont worry', 'you have to clear it otherwise itll come back to bite you in the hindparts'.

What do you guys think? There aren't too many avenues on the net to find sample clearance services either.
I know that to press cds on places like diskmakers you have to get samples cleared on an album. And the alternatives are to just take out the sampled songs or replay it, but it would change the whole feel of the song and the album..Another issue is that I love to sample japanese soul/jazz songs, and thats the feel of my album. So clearing these again brings more difficulties. Does anyone here have ne experience clearing samples from Japan or Asia?

beat you down 24th November 2010 09:53 AM

if you're mc hammer sampling rick james... yes.
if you're not... no.

phillysoulman 24th November 2010 03:33 PM

Anytime you have your product released to the pubic,by all means YES,not unless you want a major lawsuit.

C-wealth Music 24th November 2010 04:14 PM

Should I really clear samples?
 
I don't have any experience clearing samples but I'm in the exact same boat with you. The tracklist of the album I'm doing is made up of about 80% samples.

It WILL eventually come back to bite you but probably not until your actually a prominent artist with lots if radio airplay. A good recent example of this scenario is the Drake song "Best I Ever Had". Drake had been out for a long time before and the song had been on the radio for a good while. It wasn't until he shot a video for it (and that ran on TV for almost a year) before the copyright holders for the sample filed a lawsuit. So, I would think that the level he has attained from releasing the song is well worth whatever he'll pay in lawsuit damages.

Even if they find out your using the sample before you get drake status, their probably not gonna sue you unless you have significant income trackable by the IRS. There more likely to send you a cease an desist order to stop using the sample.

That's why I just look at it like, i sample whatever and eventually, if and when they come looking, you know that your gaining some kind of noteriety.

godphaser 24th November 2010 04:38 PM

Quote:

Anytime you have your product released to the pubic
If the audience is made of dickheads, be careful.

MrMeek 24th November 2010 05:18 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by godphaser (Post 6041428)
If the audience is made of dickheads, be careful.

heh

terrytee 24th November 2010 05:38 PM

If it's a underground project and you don't expect to make much money out of sales then don't. If you add up the cost of clearance to the money invested in recording alongside your expected return clearing samples on a underground project just isn't gonna be worth it and will only leave you with a huge bill that your simply not going to be able match next to the return of the project. If you trying to go mainstream then yes. No ones really going to go after a small project as they are most likely not even going to know of it's existence & a major lawsuit would be foolish against a shoe string budget with very little sales, I.E. the individual suing you is going to end up losing money against a company that may only be worth less than the issue fee make the claim pretty pointless.

L-Fire 24th November 2010 06:07 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by terrytee (Post 6041624)
If it's a underground project and you don't expect to make much money out of sales then don't. If you add up the cost of clearance to the money invested in recording alongside your expected return clearing samples on a underground project just isn't gonna be worth it and will only leave you with a huge bill that your simply not going to be able match next to the return of the project. If you trying to go mainstream then yes. No ones really going to go after a small project as they are most likely not even going to know of it's existence & a major lawsuit would be foolish against a shoe string budget with very little sales, I.E. the individual suing you is going to end up losing money against a company that may only be worth less than the issue fee make the claim pretty pointless.

I agree 100%. However, please keep in mind that nowadays your record could potentially be heard by more people than you think.

substance810 24th November 2010 06:36 PM

no
 
i say no, i am a artist as well and i look at it like this. if you end up gaining enough attention (revenue/profit in currency) that you get sued by the original artist for whatever sample it may be. by the time that happens and if you are at that point when you get the attention of these people the money from the lawsuit will not be a worry for you to pay (at that status). unless you are talking about huge artists such as elvis,prince,the beatles,johnny cash, micheal jackson etc) in which case it still will not bite you in the rear until later, but you can bet the cost will be beyond hefty no matter what level you have reached by the time you gain that much attention from your music.

long story short , why spend all your hard earned independant money clearing samples that you probably wont gain the HUGE amount of profit or attention from anyway. not saying the songs won't do well or be great songs, i am saying there is a different between a song being good/great and people liking it and a song being HUGE on the charts, receiving magazine/tv press etc...

hope this helps, but still this is just MY opinion

illacov 24th November 2010 06:42 PM

Its really about what you consider your time and effort to be worth.

I'm pretty sure if someone took something from your house even if it was temporarily and you knew how to reach out and get at them, you'd try to get your stuff back or be compensated for your inconvenience.

I would never underestimate the natural human instinct of domain.

You could definitely perceive yourself as nobody special and say that's your excuse, but use is use. If a guy takes 5 cents or 5 million illegally its theft.

The concept of being underground clouds the fact that you are still RELEASING your material, whether or not its to people in your local vicinity for free at your shows or on your blog/twitter account, you actually made the effort to actual present it to the public.

Everything that has a valid standing copyright requires that you OBTAIN permission to display it, perform renditions of it etc...EVEN if you make NO money from your performance of it. You have to obtain permission.

I recall when I taught college courses, how I couldn't photocopy text books because we didn't have permission to reproduce it. The school wouldn't condone such a thing. Now just to put it in perspective I could be teaching in a free community center and face the same legal snares.

I would always advise never to take risks with your career. If you this is what you really want to do with your life, then play by the rules, don't linger on the edge unless you're prepared to pay the consequences. I'm not against sampling as an art or a means to an end, however I am against people playing russian roulette with their careers based on "advice."

No disrespect to anyone here intended but I only recommend what I really would be willing to do. Hopefully nobody here really would risk a lawsuit over their work foolishly.

Good luck!

Peace
Illumination

illacov 24th November 2010 06:50 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by substance810 (Post 6041809)
i say no, i am a artist as well and i look at it like this. if you end up gaining enough attention (revenue/profit in currency) that you get sued by the original artist for whatever sample it may be. by the time that happens and if you are at that point when you get the attention of these people the money from the lawsuit will not be a worry for you to pay (at that status). unless you are talking about huge artists such as elvis,prince,the beatles,johnny cash, micheal jackson etc) in which case it still will not bite you in the rear until later, but you can bet the cost will be beyond hefty no matter what level you have reached by the time you gain that much attention from your music.

long story short , why spend all your hard earned independant money clearing samples that you probably wont gain the HUGE amount of profit or attention from anyway. not saying the songs won't do well or be great songs, i am saying there is a different between a song being good/great and people liking it and a song being HUGE on the charts, receiving magazine/tv press etc...

hope this helps, but still this is just MY opinion

But my man, clearing a sample isn't the same as getting SUED.

Suing for damages versus licensing a sample can be a very different scenario.

I would never rely on what someone MIGHT do in a business situation. I would much rather get at them upfront, see if they are even worth the trouble of dealing with them and move on.

I am an artist too but I also produce people and I have been spending the last 8 months getting my session players to bail out artists from uncleared samples. You could either hope that you're a millionaire off your record sales or get a deal (which would even have the budget to cover your sample clearance) or you could do a sample alike and get a license for a parody/cover of the song. Or you could just make up something yourself that has the same vibe as the sample and move on from there with material you own full publishing over.

I mean that's what you're faced with FOR CERTAIN: Clear samples, get sued, get a license or do an original track. In each situation you gotta be prepared for what each entails or you will mos def find yourself ass out. Each scenario has it own major headaches.


Just sayin' "Best laid plans of Mice and Men..."
Peace
Illumination

terrytee 24th November 2010 07:43 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by L-Fire (Post 6041704)
I agree 100%. However, please keep in mind that nowadays your record could potentially be heard by more people than you think.

Understand what your saying but just to clarify may point am referring to how much money it generates as opposed to how many listers it gets, a lawsuit against a company that has little to no assets... well the bottom line is it doesn't happen, no matter how pissed of the plaintiff is.

I can understand a certain philosophy from musicians who obovisly have a vested interest In sample clearance. Any body in the field of work that is sample bait for hip-hop should take that stance. For a artist who is being sampled it a chance to get paid a 2nd time round, but in reality unless your dealing with big numbers its a waste of time for both parties involved.

Wavehaus 24th November 2010 07:48 PM

If you're serious about your music career. You'll clear the samples that you know will stand out in your mix. Personally, if you've sampled something and twisted it beyond reasonable recognition, you'll still be taking a chance not clearing the sample but will be much better off.

- Wh

illacov 24th November 2010 07:51 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by terrytee (Post 6042019)
Understand what your saying but just to clarify may point am referring to how much money it generates as opposed to how many listers it gets, a lawsuit against a company that has little to no assets... well the bottom line is it doesn't happen, no matter how pissed of the plaintiff is.

So should we just eliminate the bitter angry asshole factor?

Dude there are people out there who make frivolous lawsuits all the time and whether or not they stand to make any money from it, its still your time, your money/representation that you have to expend to answer those legal challenges. I mean since when did your actual income equate to financial responsibility in court? This ain't a mortgage or Chapter 11/13 we're talking here, we're talking damages.

You're reasoning that people still possess massive amounts of common sense in TODAYS times. It might be that person/entities goal just to give you a hard time because they don't like you or you've disturbed their jaded slumber lol. I never put anything past anyone if they work in the entertainment field. Never...

No thanks....hidz

Peace
Illumination

superwack 24th November 2010 08:03 PM

Not only is it the "right" thing to do (and the legal one) but it is MUCH cheaper to do it upfront...

Just ask The Verve ("Bittersweet Symphony") how they feel that Mick Jagger and Keith Richards get 100% of the royalties and are now credited with writing the song because The Verve did not properly clear the amount of an orchestral Rolling Stones sample they used. Keeping in mind The Verve actually did have clearance, they just used more of the song than they had permission to use wworried

Trust me... there are many, many more examples.

EDIT: Also, imagine if (like a previous poster suggested) your song does blow up, is an international hit, etc... how would you feel having to go out and perform it night after night and having to hype it up in interview after interview knowing that all your work is doing nothing more than lining the pockets of someone else to pay them back for not getting permission in the first place. You can't not play your hits (the audience doesn't care about your legal problems) I imagine it would be a very bitter pill to swallow.

terrytee 24th November 2010 08:19 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by illacov (Post 6042044)
So should we just eliminate the bitter angry asshole factor?

Dude there are people out there who make frivolous lawsuits all the time and whether or not they stand to make any money from it, its still your time, your money/representation that you have to expend to answer those legal challenges. I mean since when did your actual income equate to financial responsibility in court? This ain't a mortgage or Chapter 11/13 we're talking here, we're talking damages.

You're reasoning that people still possess massive amounts of common sense in TODAYS times. It might be that person/entities goal just to give you a hard time because they don't like you or you've disturbed their jaded slumber lol. I never put anything past anyone if they work in the entertainment field. Never...

No thanks....hidz

Peace
Illumination

I used to work in law for over 3 years so I know a little background to this. Just go and listen to the huge amount of new work being sold that contains uncleared samples, and thats not even touching on plagiarism. Plagiarism would most likely include a lot of the highest selling artists of all time. Uncleared samples happens every day and getting angry about it isn't going change anything. As far as pissing of the industry well give it 5-10 years I really can't see a major industry in existence so if there is a bitter asshole out there... move round them. All a bitter person can do is block you so you learn to find routes that doesn't involve them. Any line of business your going to encounter that factor, any good business person learns to deal with it. Most bitter assholes aren't that successful in life which kind of narrows down your odds some what. IME most people who aren't signed to major or aren't selling majors numbers don't seem to be clearing there stuff these days and have been doing so for years.

Quote:

Originally Posted by superwack (Post 6042093)
Not only is it the "right" thing to do (and the legal one) but it is MUCH cheaper to do it upfront...

Just ask The Verve ("Bittersweet Symphony") how they feel that Mick Jagger and Keith Richards get 100% of the royalties and are now credited with writing the song because The Verve did not properly clear the amount of an orchestral Rolling Stones sample they used. Keeping in mind The Verve actually did have clearance, they just used more of the song than they had permission to use wworried

I really don't think the OP is talking about selling a product that could obtain those unit sales now or in the future. Not disrespect but to the OP but i guess were talking a bout a traditional hip-hop format?

Sure we could pull out examples in the 100's but it's going to be outweighed by the phonemail amount of work to the contory. This game is all about money.... If theres money to be made it will be made, if there's no moneys people don't waste time... as time is money.

illacov 24th November 2010 08:36 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by terrytee (Post 6042157)
I used to work in law for over 3 years so I know a little background to this. Just go and listen to the huge amount of new work being sold that contains uncleared samples, and thats not even touching on plagiarism. Plagiarism would most likely include a lot of the highest selling artists of all time. Uncleared samples happens every day and getting angry about it isn't going change anything. As far as pissing of the industry well give it 5-10 years I really can't see a major industry in existence so if there is a bitter asshole out there... move round them. All a bitter person can do is block you so you learn to find routes that doesn't involve them. Any line of business your going to encounter that factor, any good business person learns to deal with it.



I really don't think the OP is talking about selling a product that could obtain those unit sales now or in the future. Not disrespect but to the OP but i guess were talking a bout a traditional hip-hop format?

Sure we could pull out examples in the 100's but it's going to be outweighed by the phonemail amount of work to the contory. This game is all about money.... If theres money to be made it will be made, if there's no moneys people don't waste time... as time is money.

Kudos to you :) I have about a dozen lawyer friends, along with a good deal of legal education myself.

Needless to say though, I still have a lawyer on tap.

I'm just leary of hedging bets on any collapse or future possibilities when a dude can still file a lawsuit against you TODAY LOL.

I see what you're saying, but I just can't morally advise someone to do something I would NEVER do.

I'm not saying you're wrong, I'm just saying I'm right.heh

J/K

Peace
Illumination

phillysoulman 24th November 2010 08:46 PM

I want to stress the fact that people forget sampling other peoples work and be creative by doing your own music.
Anyone can steal,but not everyone can be original.

terrytee 24th November 2010 08:46 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by illacov (Post 6042204)
I just can't morally advise someone to do something I would NEVER do.

100% correct sir and i respect that point of view there thumbsup I am going of an assumption that me and the OP are on the same page with units, they intend to sell small scale. I say this because only a fool, or someone making music on a small scale (not saying the beats are small scale am sure its all dope), would take legal advise from a internet forum. If we are talking decent money involved, recording promotion etc..., you should always do things the right way.
peachh

terrytee 24th November 2010 08:57 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by phillysoulman (Post 6042256)
I want to stress the fact that people forget sampling other peoples work and be creative by doing your own music.
Anyone can steal,but not everyone can be original.

There is some very original work out there using samples, but yes i admit there are thieves out there, thats for sure. I guess the balance may not always be right & sampling can be hard to get away from for some of us, its just so imbedded into the culture of hip-hop. The real original thing for a lot of people is to learning to be creative using samples.

illacov 24th November 2010 09:04 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by terrytee (Post 6042294)
There is some very original work out there using samples, but yes i admit there are thieves out there, thats for sure. I guess the balance may not always be right & sampling can be hard to get away from for some of us, its just so imbedded into the culture of hip-hop. The real original thing for a lot of people is to learning to be creative using samples.

I hear ya on that one bro.

I don't even beef about sampling as much as I have my oppositional defiant attitude about sampling trumping original compositions.

I think musicality wherever it comes from needs to get back into hip hop ASAP.

I see why people are so impressed by Kanye's new album. That's actually a statement about the rest of the music out there.

Illegal downloading and garbage ass music seem to be lifelong bedfellows unfortunately.

This kind of speaks to PSMs thread about the originals.

Peace
Illumination

Darkspeed 25th November 2010 12:23 PM

Sample the hell out of crap. Life is too short.
 
In short. No. F&*% a lawyer. Sampling is and has always been an homage to the original cornerstone of Hip-hop, the DJ. Encoded if you will, within a song, is that "I have THIS record, and you don't even know what it is" aesthetic. Or "these are MY folks battle drums....what YOU got sucker?"
People still wrestling with the creative copyright and legal implications of sampling with the various tired, "don't sample, play it yourself" or "call up the person you sampled and ask" type **** are missing the point. Don't let legalities hinder your creative sampling pursuits. The trick is to not sample some ridiculously blatant bull**** that everyone can pick out. Then indeed prepare to pay up. Think about it. Do you think any classic hip-hop producers sat thinking about whether they should sample or not and what it'll cost to clear the samples?

As a side technical thought.
Sampling is a great foundation in the art and science of digital editing anyhow and should be encouraged.......(get your zero crossings tight now ya hear)


note to PSM: Indeed one should strive to add their own instrumentation on top of sampled materials to creative a cohesive composition. One shouldn't take an 8 bar sample, loop it and consider it their own creation......

Also. It is a continuation of this. Musique concrète - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

dikkiedik 25th November 2010 02:56 PM

Quote:

The trick is to not sample some ridiculously blatant bull**** that everyone can pick out
Quote:

One shouldn't take an 8 bar sample, loop it and consider it their own creation......
i'm with you on that one. as long as there's this thing that is utterly creative, that represents YOU as the individual behind it, that is something that other people won't come up with given the same set of tools sampling is as big a part of (hiphop)music as the kickdrum itself.

don't be foolish, loop up a classic, and expect to have a smooth ride. but if i chop some impact hits from a beethoven record, slice, pitch and stretch, until it fits my needs i think we're in another ballpark.

keep the music alive.
peace.
D.

illacov 26th November 2010 12:49 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Paul Greenway (Post 6044692)
Well...considering that most up-coming producers are just using an 8 bar sample looped through-out the whole track, it is stealing to me as long as its uncleared material. There is no excuse for this imo..

Hip Hop might be about sampling other records, but it is not hip hop anymore if all you do is just stealing someone else's ideas.

That's not cool. Bottom line.

I bet you would be pissed aswell if some other random dude comes up and just steals your stuff without any permission. Big antilogy here.

I'm not really against sampling if you actually DO something with the sample..or if you do clear it. But just using a 10 seconds loop through-out the whole song is not "flipping" to me.

Exactly....

and folks need to grow some imaginations.

Obviously some of youse guys have not had the pleasure of taking a guitar player that's sitting next to you and sampling him playing something and chopping it up.

Its a game changer when you can have players around you and have them work on your compositions. Then you can take the recording of that composition, sample it and rework that. So you can flip yourself.

Hip hop is about taking something thats there and making something fresh with it, which is completely new and different.

Its like transformers.

You see a beat up Fred Sanford pick up. That joint gets hit with the cube juice and it turns into a robot with the guts of the vehicle inside out and the whole ****. Plus the dice in the window are now the robots earrings.

That's hip hop. Bet you didn't expect that homie!

That's what flipping **** is. Whether it be from a record or a recording you just made.

But I ain't saying eff anything involving legalities. Trying to run a career here.

Contracts, paperwork, people might hate it, but it is how you protect yourself.

You sign em all the time, credit card receipts are contracts, leases to your apartment, mortgage on your house, accepting the terms of software digitally is a contract. Etc....get used to it!

Peace
Illumination

bonusbmusic 26th November 2010 12:59 AM

yes clear it all. i think it really depends how serious u take your music. if u plan to go all the way u will need to clear them. im your just messing around dont worry about it

hiphopasia 26th November 2010 03:43 AM

Cheers for the opinions
 
cheers for the information and opinions guys, still a hard choice to make.

I reckon I'll try to clear the samples and see how it goes from there...I definitely don't have all the dough in the world, but I'd like to keep it professional just for the fact that music is a business. I guess I gotta play the game for the moment.
I agree with the whole stealing thing, but I see sampling as more of an exhibition. It's like I sample unknown Vinyls from Asia so if a kid likes what he hears he can check out the original sample and be introduced to an older artist that he/she never heard of before. Like listenin to DJ shadows first album was like walking into a museum of music I never heard before, and that's the magic of sampling to me. I'll let you guys know how it goes..Oh and **** I guess I should upload the tracks I've sampled so u guys can have a listen? gotta figure out how to do that

goldenmean 26th November 2010 07:13 AM

if you are selling alot of records, have label involvement etc using samples should be something to be more careful about.
on the other hand, i always kind of think that people that are worried about using samples when they are making music below the radar and putting out small pressings etc are just being stupid. its sad the rebellious punk rock spirit of hip-hop is so suppressed now. madlib is pretty well known and thats a huge catalog full of potential lawsuits waiting to happen. if he clears his **** on the money projects and then busts out 5 releases of uncleared beats that are dope samples i dont know how much of a concern it should be.
i guess for some of you doods doin big thangz it is a different story though.

DEZEA 26th November 2010 09:11 AM

...
 
You should also evaluate the possibilities of getting sued for sampling that song. Eg. if you sample something from some well known artist, and you have major airplay with your sampled song, chances are that you will get soon sued.
Anyway, if you have low popularity or you don't make any money by selling records, there's no need to register any rights.
Many producers though will process the sample in such way that you won't recognize the original. That's the safest way to go I guess.

BringItBack 26th November 2010 11:27 AM

If somebody "samples" 4 bars of your sampled track and adds some new drums and a synth track and re-sells it, you'll be upset.

If you produce a beat and send it out to an artist/label for review and they identify and clear the sample themselves and steal your concept, you'll be upset.

So why couldn't the owner of the master/songwriters get upset enough to come after you for using their work without permission?

You can be sued for damages for not clearing samples. Those damages for 2-3 sampled songs on a project could eat into the profit from other 10 songs on a project with no royalties due/permission required.

Just because you can't afford to pay, doesn't mean you won't be ordered to pay. Credit and business savvy is important to up and coming artists/labels. You don't want to be in litigation or in unnecessary debt when you need to network or expand and opportunities come knocking.

Things get worse if there's no corporation/business entity in place to absorb some of the financial responsibility.

Artists can also sue for damages based on their public image. When Chuck D sued Bad Boy for the 10 Crack Commandments sample on the Notorious B.I.G. song, I believe part of the suit revolved around the fact that Public Enemy stood for social awareness and change and never would have cleared the use in a song about selling drugs, making the sample not only theft but a form of slander and negative "re-branding".

Lastly, you can be sued anytime, anyplace without doing anything wrong in this game. Lifting samples is always an opportunity for a lawsuit.

Make a new, original track, a sound-alike or clear the sample.

Jay Lee 26th November 2010 11:45 AM

I don't care what you steal from me. If I find out, I will bite your head off. And like some people already said, nowdays there's no way for you to know with how little exposure you'll get caught.
And I don't care if you haven't made a lot of money.. I will make sure every internet site the music is on removes it and I will take anything you have of value. I'll leave you shirtless. I find it funny when people talk how expensive it is to make someone's life hell, it's really not if you know the right people and are savy yourself.