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How Madlib deal with Copyright ?
Old 8th May 2019
  #61
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Woodkerns View Post
Haha in what world do you think Madlib taking a sustained string note, making it a keygroup, and playing it out, etc. is taking money away from the original artist? Where is the market crossover between him and some 30 year old choiral album or obscure bossa track? If anything he brings new audiences to music they never would have sought out otherwise.
This argument never holds much water. The only real argument for people opposed to sampling is if you don’t want anything you made associated with the particular message or music(a la Tracy Chapman). In that case it’s totally fair to be against it(and to be fair, who would want to be associated with the garbage nicki minaj puts out). Otherwise you’re just condemning an entire musical genre with a 30+ year history.
The other side of this is that hip-hop, being a genre predominantly created by inner city kids and minority groups, comes out of a very diy mentality, and many of these guys had no access to music programs, instruments, studios, etc, so they did what they could with what they had(their dad’s records), and created a brilliant new art form in the process. An album like 3 feet high and rising, just for example, is a sonic masterpiece of innate talent that can’t be denied.
Madlib doesn't really manipulate samples that much. He just runs straight loops of obscure ****
Old 9th May 2019
  #62
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atma's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by 3rd Degree View Post
This is the point, I know Chris Carter and other people had some valuable insight but this is the truth.

I wrote an interesting article on ASCAP daily brief on this. I wish I knew were it was to link. Some artists are seriously concerned about sample clearance, even when not really necessary. Like Eminem will clear any sample he uses, even if the sample is not musical and the owner doesn't care, doesn't want money, he still feels he needs a formal agreement (which if I recall correctly, really has been bothersome in the creative process). I believe he feels he has so much exposure that he wants anything and everything cleared. Some examples were fairly extreme, but lets say I recorded an Amtrak announcement as I walk by it in Oakland, he would clear that with Amtrak, that's the vibe I got.

Other artists do not, but are very aware they will probably get sued. If they don't, they don't, but they expect to, but do not go through the proper channels because they don't want to get denied. They loose a lot of leverage though.

What was clear was that artists who make a bunch of money of records are more likely to clear, and artists who make money off of touring but not much of sales may not. To me, it makes sense but it is risky.

At the end of the day, getting sued is likely not fun as suing people is no fun at at all, been through that.

At the end of the day, you have a choice to follow the law or not. To me, the most important thing you need to know, regardless of your choice, is knowing the law. I said it in a previous post but the biggest misconception about IP and copyright is that you somehow get sued less or the same as the money you made. That is just simply not true. You can get sued for more than you made, and depending on the person, how much you made may play a role, it may not. It's their work, they own it, so it's not based in accounting, it's based in the owners perceived value. Then the courts, mediators, etc, will see if it's viable.

Point being, if you have a little project and think they can only sue you for a little, that is far from true. You can use this in the discovery process but some artists won't care.
Ok, so what's an artist like myself supposed to do? If I sample perhaps 8 different (completely obscure) songs; manipulate and collage snippets of them together into something coherent of my own and record a rapper over it—I'm supposed to clear all of those samples before releasing it (even locally) in order that I don't get sued? That's absolutely bonkers to me.
Old 9th May 2019
  #63
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Will The Weirdo's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by atma View Post
Ok, so what's an artist like myself supposed to do? If I sample perhaps 8 different (completely obscure) songs; manipulate and collage snippets of them together into something coherent of my own and record a rapper over it—I'm supposed to clear all of those samples before releasing it (even locally) in order that I don't get sued? That's absolutely bonkers to me.
This is very easy to explain as copyright law is straight forward.....
If you use any pre-recorded composition in your own music you must get copyright clearance from both the owners of the PA (writers) and SR (recording) or you are at risk to legal action.

As to "so what's an artist like myself supposed to do", you could always learn to play an instrument like many millions have done and create your own original musical compositions.
Old 9th May 2019
  #64
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atma's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Will The Weirdo View Post
This is very easy to explain as copyright law is straight forward.....
If you use any pre-recorded composition in your own music you must get copyright clearance from both the owners of the PA (writers) and SR (recording) or you are at risk to legal action.

As to "so what's an artist like myself supposed to do", you could always learn to play an instrument like many millions have done and create your own original musical compositions.
Uh, actually I do know how to play a number of instruments, and I do create my own original compositions in other musical styles. However, old-school sample-based hip-hop is all about sampling; that's the point. ALL of the hip-hop that I love and am influenced by is all sample-based.
Old 9th May 2019
  #65
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3rd Degree's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by atma View Post
Ok, so what's an artist like myself supposed to do? If I sample perhaps 8 different (completely obscure) songs; manipulate and collage snippets of them together into something coherent of my own and record a rapper over it—I'm supposed to clear all of those samples before releasing it (even locally) in order that I don't get sued? That's absolutely bonkers to me.
You have two options.

Release it and understand you have a liability. Though you may not get caught, if you do, you may get a cease and desist letter and have to pull all your music offline, and also destroy all remaining physical copies. You may get a letter asking you for a specific amount of money and if you don't pay, they will file suit, basically a settlement agreement before the suit is filed. Or they may sue you. Or you get away with it. Remember one key factor here, if you don't make a lot of money, that doesn't mean they can't sue for a lot of money. It's a negotiating point, certainly, but copyright law does not consider how much you made or didn't make when you infringe. Case law has shown that it can be a factor, but just per the law, it doesn't consider your business activities, or lack their of, as a compelling factor, copyright law is to protect a work, not to make it accessible at a certain price point if you cannot afford what the owner thinks it is worth.

Second option, follow the law. If you can't afford it, shop it to a label who would give you the budget, find investors to allow it to work, or don't release.

I did a full album which was getting great feedback but ultimately decided to pull out when the business details changed. I wasn't willing to take on that liability. Contrarily, I have a YouTube channel where I do sample, but I am teaching people how to do things, I do not monetize it so I think that falls under fair use. Fair use is challenging as their is little case law, but in my view, I feel I have a very compelling argument.

Though nothing in the law says you are allowed to do this, a 3rd option would be doing a mix tape. Historically, this has worked because the artist makes no money and for whatever reason, the copyright owners don't seem to go after people.


Now, that said, what I do, and what I say, don't resonate with what I think should be right. I believe the the SR clearance should not be applicable to sampling. My opinion doesn't matter though, I am not actively lobbying for change here and therefore my opinion is just an opinion.



What I actually do, I don't sample without and agreement (which is typically an indemnification clause in my contract) that the label or artist has the responsibility to clear all samples in the work. I don't do this with broke artists who I know cannot afford this. If I know the funding isn't not available for clearance, I simply do not release sample based work to that artist, I just compose so it's a non issue.

Research the industry and formulate where you are at. Plenty of high level artists may choose to not clear a sample or release a song that they cannot clear. I personally am not financially set for liability like that. But I am rich enough to sue.
Old 14th May 2019
  #66
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jbuonacc's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Will The Weirdo View Post
... As to "so what's an artist like myself supposed to do", you could always learn to play an instrument like many millions have done and create your own original musical compositions.
lol, seriously? man...
Old 14th May 2019
  #67
Quote:
Originally Posted by atma View Post
Uh, actually I do know how to play a number of instruments, and I do create my own original compositions in other musical styles. However, old-school sample-based hip-hop is all about sampling; that's the point. ALL of the hip-hop that I love and am influenced by is all sample-based.
Right? I don't see any creative difference between sampling and playing an instrument. Its also interesting to see the cognitive dissonance between how labels seem to be getting over on the artists and how you have to follow the rules to make sure your samples are cleared. We have to make sure that the labels/publishers get their due (100% of the publishing) for that 2.5 second snippet of music that you chopped up and made completely unrecognizable.
Old 14th May 2019
  #68
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Will The Weirdo's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by jbuonacc View Post
lol, seriously? man...
If you don't want to pay to use compositions created by others you learn to create your own compositions, it's as simple as that.
Old 14th May 2019
  #69
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jbuonacc's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Will The Weirdo View Post
If you don't want to pay to use compositions created by others you learn to create your own compositions, it's as simple as that.
i'm very thankful that all those producers from the 80s/90s didn't get the memo. what a boring time that would have been otherwise.
Old 14th May 2019
  #70
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Will The Weirdo's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by S_A_P View Post
Right? I don't see any creative difference between sampling and playing an instrument. Its also interesting to see the cognitive dissonance between how labels seem to be getting over on the artists and how you have to follow the rules to make sure your samples are cleared. We have to make sure that the labels/publishers get their due (100% of the publishing) for that 2.5 second snippet of music that you chopped up and made completely unrecognizable.
Sampling is absolutely a creative endeavor, it's a skill for sure that takes time and dedication to master like playing an instrument...... unfortunately if it uses the copyrighted pre-recorded compositions of others, by law you have to compensate those that provided the material for you to create yours.

We learned a long time ago to hire out musicians and have them replay old sample parts or in the style of the old samples, then chop that up in original ways to avoid SR & PA clearance. We can still be creative in sampling without having to use other peoples copyrighted work to get there.
Old 14th May 2019
  #71
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Will The Weirdo's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by jbuonacc View Post
i'm very thankful that all those producers from the 80s/90s didn't get the memo. what a boring time that would have been otherwise.
Larry Smith and Pumpkin would disagree..... it's amazing how Run DMC, Beastie Boys, Whodini and others were all original and shook the whole planet without samples.
Old 14th May 2019
  #72
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jbuonacc's Avatar
Beastie Boys without samples... right. nice try.

just stop already.
Old 15th May 2019
  #73
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3rd Degree's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Will The Weirdo View Post
Sampling is absolutely a creative endeavor, it's a skill for sure that takes time and dedication to master like playing an instrument...... unfortunately if it uses the copyrighted pre-recorded compositions of others, by law you have to compensate those that provided the material for you to create yours.

We learned a long time ago to hire out musicians and have them replay old sample parts or in the style of the old samples, then chop that up in original ways to avoid SR & PA clearance. We can still be creative in sampling without having to use other peoples copyrighted work to get there.
You touched on this fairly directly but I wanted to expand on a point. Copyright law is not something that was created for business negotiation, it is a law to protect work. For example, you may be less likely to get sued if you are just releasing your work to your local region but that is certainly not why the law exists, it exists to protect the owner and the owner can take the same actions as if you were a bigger artist, or be sympathetic to your situation. I think may think the cost of clearance is, or should be, proportional to what you sell but that is just not the case.

I also agree that replaying samples is the best way to go. I feel the SR recording is typically too expensive, and it is typically not owned by someone who created anything, they just financed the recording. If the person who owns the PA copyright owns the SR copyright, then you have a different situation, nobody is making you use the master.

However, as I have moved away from sampling, I also learned what I really enjoy about what I hear and how it sounds. I often just sample my own work completely and then I am far away from any conflicts with a PA copyright and worried about it sounding to similar.

That said, I made the first point because some people are acting like it's just not fair. To me, it sounds the same as the people who ask me for beats, or ask my engineer for free mixing or mastering, because they got some talent or something.
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