Opening up Slashdot.org tonight had links for a few things that seem to indicate that the famed Timbaland didn't just sample a few things, but basically stole an entire song, added a few drum beats to it, sampled it as well, and had Nelly Furtado sing over it for her album. This wasn't just sampling, but blatenet theft of the song.
You know how you guys are always saying that it doesn't matter if it's legal or not to sample, or that people never get caught? Well, check out this YouTube link, and see for yourself. This is worse theft than Ice Ice Baby. Way worse.
Text from Slashdot:
In 2000 the Finnish demoscene musician Janne Suni (also known as 'Tempest') won the Oldskool Music Competition at the Assembly demoparty with his four-channel Amiga .MOD entitled 'Acid Jazzed Evening.' A Commodore 64 musician called 'grg' remade the song on the C64 (using the infamous SID soundchip); it is this that was stolen. The producer's name is Timbaland and he is one of the hottest names in American music these days. The track in question is called 'Do it' and it is featured on the Nelly Furtado album 'Loose' on the Geffen label. Getting nowhere with Geffen, the demoscene has now risen to the aid of Tempest, first by creating a stir at SomethingAwful (files downloadable from the forum), then at Digg.com, then on YouTube, with a video demonstrating the blatant ripoff.
For me, this doesn't come down to an anti-sampling/pro-sampling or even a legality thing. But rather it comes down to greed and trying to screw the next guy over, which is really what's at the heart of sampling without crediting people. Ok, it's one thing if you tell me that you don't have the money to clear a sample (but maybe you really do? Did you actually ask them about it), but Timbaland obviously had the money to clear this sample/song (haven't listened to it enough to figure out if Timbaland sampled parts, or if he actually figured out how to use a C64 and program it, as I don't think that's something doable on a Sidstation).
Why didn't he clear the song????
1) Did he not know that it was someone else's? Well he didn't write it obviously, so it was someone elses.
2) Did he not have a lawyer or someone available to do it for him? Nope, he's got a lawyer, as does his label. They could have taken care of this.
3) Oh wait. I think I have a winner. Timbaland wanted the publishing money on this song, and knew that if he cleared it he'd get jack since this song is so close! Ding, Ding, Ding!!! Otherwise, he'd at least have credited it.
So what it comes down to, is that a rich producer, who has the time/resouces/money/etc to clear a MASSIVE sample for an album that he knew would sell a large number (and make him a great deal of money), just chooses to keep the money himself.
It's not a question on this album of if money would be made, but who would get the money. Timbaland wanted the money, and didn't care a rat's ass about the Finnish guy he stole it from. Not a bit. Bling Bling!
Well thsi is obvious man!! Well, i still admire Timbo's work, he is the Top producer now but a little disappint when u knwo that he can clear whatever sample he feels like & not decide to act and take responsability. Shame !!!! But still love timbo's work & aint the first time that i heard timbo's music production that has samples replayed etc.... all good!! But its true, he should at least contact this guy and pay this guy something!!
Nobody gets to the top without dfegad on a few people. That's why I'm broke and my hair is covered in dfegad . Hopefully this guy gets a little money to go along with his dfegad I was flattered the first time I got dfegad on by someone with major credits. Too bad it's still the biggest name I worked with. fuuck
Well I suppose you're doubting that the MOD/C64 sounds have just been recently made? I'm sure you could find several people that have had copies of that C64 song for much longer than this album has been out.
Otherwise, use your ears and listen to the samples!
hi, i feel like its not only timbalands fault at all. he is only man of the whole "game". the music goes through many hands and ears, lawyers, managers etc. till the product is out of house in your virginstore. so i think everyone needs to be blamed in that, i dont mind taht Timbaland told Nelly Furtatdo that it is sampled from a C64 track, you dont know who said, OK let it be as it is, we will not clear it. I`m sure Timbaland is doing so much music, he don`t want to concentrate on sampleclearance. He owns his own lawyers and helpers for that. I think and still think he`s a very professional producer, nevermind what happend! go to myspace, there are thousands of tracks using samples that never had been cleared!!!!!!
Oh, I don't know. Try reading the associated articles and watching the movie which provide all salient details?
And this has nothing to do with "sampling." Sampling implies an abbreviated version of the source material, usually rearranged or otherwise reworked so as not to be a 1:1 match with the source. With "Do It," he lifted the chiptune directly and just threw it up as the main instrumentation of the song. This will soon become a classic example of a direct rip, I think.
Could be that everyone is forgetting that the world outside of the US does not really exist and is only kept 'free' by the US anyway..... right?
Who gives a damn about some finnish dude, he should be grateful for the mighty timbo even listening to his track... where is finland anyway?
I say call in decent lawyer and musicoligist, tempest can't loose, there IS a major infringment there.... it plain to see... Although.. with the right money...
and...those hangin of dudes fat arrogant balls saying "oh maybe he don't know, he don't wanna waste time clearing stuff..he's creative.." Can **** right off...
When someone jacks Timbo wholesale and has a hit, watch how fast he and his peole would find an interest in clearance etc...
Oh but wait, it aint gonna happen that way round is it?
Bottom line is, Timbaland is huge and well paid, with the ability to play fair and still make a packet, instead he and his team let this dudes **** get jacked with no recognition or payment... it aint like a snare hit or a stab, or a bassline filtered in..
As ICe Cube said... "Straight Jackin!, gimme that beat fool..."
I think when your as large as Timbaland is, it's a shame to forget the lil guy could use a few dollars, Timbo was there once... sitting on his ass with Mr Magoo writing wack jams before he took off.....
Maybe, it's a pride thing, if Timbo has to credit some Finnish no-one it damages his delicate arrogant american ego....
It's a shame, he's one of the elite top five beatmakers of the last decade!
Shame on you.... just pay the lil guy....
Or make the documentary:
"I didn't jack that joint, but if i did...here's how i woulda did it.."
Almost all of the timbaland produced singles getting mass radio play right now i feel like i have seen threads in places about the melodies being sampled/stolen... Not as blatently as this but more so in just replaying the melodies...
Say it right.... I've heard a few different ones... Scat Man (pad at the end i think)
My love - i've heard that some melody was taken from the song The goblin - endless love
don't know if these are true... there is almost no credibility to the sources... just my 2 (or lack thereof) sense.
But i do think this is musically unethical and bad business. The original should get the respect (and money) he deserves... we all know Timbaland has plenty of it.
It's a shame, but I don't really see why everybody's so surprised. Most producers and musicians will be beg borrow and steal a lik, riff, melody, beat, sound or whatever if they can get away with it. That doesn't mean they can't also be original , amazing and genius also. It's been that way for years and in hip hop it's all about making that beat work in the moment. I'm not gonna get into the ethics or morals involved in sampling (which is fine by me) but it is basically taking somebody elses' work and turning it into your own. Sure, the original artists get credit and royalties (sometimes) but without that culture of stealing (for lack of a better term) 80% of the time there'd be some pretty quiet days at the MPC for most hip-hop producers.
If you are not 100% deaf. Even then, if you crank the music up the vibrations will about match 100%, so even a deaf person might be able to tell the song was stolen. I have no problem whatsoever with the fact that Tim didn't write 90% of "Do It". In fact, the best part of the song is where the ripped off stuff cuts out at about 2:20, and that section is all Tim (presumably). Talent wise, this doesn't slight Tim any more than someone making a hit out of a sample slights the person who legally samples. Tim is still amazingly talented and instead of that fact being diminished by him straight jacking this demoscene song this actually further proves his natural abilities. Most people can figure out how to play various chords and notes if they practice, but only the talented person knows when it sounds mediocre and when it sounds like a hit. Tim knows if it's good regardless of whether or not he wrote it.
**Major rant about to begin. I appologize in advance for my frustration.**
That said, jacking someone's **** and making a boatload of cash off of it and keeping every penny for yourself is straight despicable. If it wasn't Tim that jacked it and it was a ghost producer, that serves Tim right. Karma and all that ****. As talented as Tim is he has used uncredited ghost producers in the past which to me is just not cool. If someone else wrote most of the song and you put your magic "hit" dust on it they still deserve credit for what they did. Period. Did Tim lose face when he started giving Danja his shine? Fukk no. Your ego must be massive if you are so afraid of what people will think if they find out a song you did wasn't entirely from your own head. This is kindergarten **** - DON'T STEAL.
You are Timbaland and incredibly rich and talented. Nobody is going to say "I didn't think Tim was any good until I heard "Do It". Since he wrote that song entirely on his own I now think he is amazing." By the same token, nobody is going to say "I've always thought Tim was good until I heard "Do It". Since he gave credit to the original author and didn't write it entirely on his own I now think he is ****." I understand that getting permission from the original author would have been much easier said than done as he is not in the industry and easily contactable. I guess we'll see how this plays out. If Tim/Geffen straight volunteer to give this guy the compensation he deserves then no harm no foul. Otherwise this will put Tim right there with Just Blaaaaze! in my book.
Just Blaze: "PCs got them cracks. You can't get those for Macs." You also make millions of dollars, asshole. You can afford to buy the software you use. Even worse, these days you make your money using the very software you refuse to pay for. Pay for the software you use just like you expect people to pay for the music you create! Reserve the stealing for managers and lawyers. Real artists have artistic integrity. I don't see much integrity in either of these incidents. Then again, we'll see how I act if I ever find myself deciding between integrity and a massive payday like these two.
I am sorry for the rant, but these incidents have both pissed me off lately. Maybe I just need a vacation. And please don't say "this kind of stuff happens all the time in the biz". So? Lots of crimes happen all the time in society. Pervasiveness is simply not a valid excuse.
With regards to the original composer: Very, very few individuals have the financial resources required to pursue a case of this magnitude...
Even if a law firm were to take his case on a pro bono basis, they would be battling multiple legal staffs (label, artist, producer, management, etc.) with much more influence and (relatively) unlimited resources.
Long story short: If somebody rich and famous rips off your tune and then releases it on a major label, you may as well be flattered because that will likely be the extent of your compensation for that particular composition. If you're shrewd and capable of remaining calm, you could possibly parlay this into a future deal for yourself. OTOH, if you start screaming and threatening legal action, you'll be swatted down like an annoying fly and black-balled right out of the industry you're trying so desperately to break into.
First of all leave VA outta this... I'll chalk this up to an interpolation (he prolly heard it at a club... went back to the lab... laid down what was in his head... you know how many times I've been in an elevator and I had to hum a melody until I got a chance to lay down the basic idea... yeah dude deserves his money... that is, if he even owns the copyright (the people who do, are waiting for the sales to fizzle and then they'll hit THEM over the head)... which I doubt... all that white label Dance music is usually Works for Hire (I'm sure like an idiot the dude cashed his check for 2-4k)... if his best defense at the moment is YOUTUBE... he'll settle outta court... because 9 times outta 10... Tim wont have to couch up anything... his pockets are too deep...
I dont think Tim has even cleared the sample for Big Pimpin... lord knows he didn't do much to the track... but regardless of the fact he made it hot...
Back to the VA thing... whats hot coming outta Paisley Park!!!