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The "wrong way" to ignore sampling / copyright ?

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The "wrong way" to ignore sampling / copyright ?

Postby Aurongroove » Fri Mar 20, 2020 6:03 pm

As a side project, I release electronic music.

I recently made a track I want to include in my newest release that features very very frontally, and on continuous loop, a guitar riff from a famous, copyrighted, 60's Rock'n'Roll Record.
There's no mistaking it: it completely defines the track I subsequently made from it, and anyone listening will know "ahh, he's used "X" artists riff from "Y" song from "Z" music label and just put some kicks and hihats around it".

The Last EP I released in this side hobby sold 4 copies on Bandcamp. Earning me less then 20 quid.

Which got me thinking, what's even the punishment for not clearing samples?
They will sue me for the money I earn? who cares? they can have it; it'll be less money then the cost of chasing down both the musician who wrote/performed the lick, and any record label that owns the actual recording of it.
'Asking for forgiveness', (or simply accepting the punishment), is easier, saves time, and is more cost effective then 'seeking permission'.

Nor do I feel any ethical unease about not bothering to pursue permission; The material was performed and broadcast to me by previous generation's musicians and artists.
They communicated it, I listened to it, and I am not a 'thief' for passing on culture I have appropriated (appreciated, listened too, paid for, bought copies of) via re-expression of that 'piece of culture' as I deem appropriate to my cultural self expression.

so, I suppose what I'm asking is, is there literally any point in clearing samples for use in your music, if you don't care about making money from it? and you don't care that you're using material written / recorded more then half a century ago?
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Re: The "wrong way" to ignore sampling / copyright ?

Postby ManFromGlass » Fri Mar 20, 2020 6:40 pm

I’d say this -
You are stealing from somebody.
Piss off the wrong people who have the resources and you can be seriously screwed.
I saw it happen to a buddy so it’s not some abstract roll the dice maybe nobody will notice scenario.
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Re: The "wrong way" to ignore sampling / copyright ?

Postby blinddrew » Fri Mar 20, 2020 6:45 pm

If the track has been properly registered with the US Library of Congress (likely in this case) you can (and quite possibly will) be sued for statutory damages, not actual ones. I think that's $135k per infringement at the moment.
And it doesn't take a person hearing it to make the connection, there are plenty of bots crawling music and video sites to make exactly these kinds of links.
It's really not worth it, no matter what your exposure is.

That's before we get to any moral arguments - somewhere I have no intention of treading! :)
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Re: The "wrong way" to ignore sampling / copyright ?

Postby Aurongroove » Fri Mar 20, 2020 7:03 pm

ManFromGlass wrote:I’d say this -
You are stealing from somebody.
Piss off the wrong people who have the resources and you can be seriously screwed.
I saw it happen to a buddy so it’s not some abstract roll the dice maybe nobody will notice scenario.

but define "screwed" in reality its something no one ever talks about.


I'm not a US citizen for example. What are they doing to do, import me to the USA to stand trial? Order my government to arrest me? for the stealing of a few seconds worth of recorded music.
I don't have 135k to my name.
A death sentence?

If in 40 years from now someone in Cambodia "pinched" a loop of sound from one of your recordings, what would you even care to have done to them?
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Re: The "wrong way" to ignore sampling / copyright ?

Postby Aurongroove » Fri Mar 20, 2020 7:06 pm

I should add, this is me partially playing Devil's Advocate.
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Re: The "wrong way" to ignore sampling / copyright ?

Postby The Elf » Fri Mar 20, 2020 7:37 pm

I've never understood the need to sample other peoples' music. It seems woefully unimaginative and actually quite pitifully sad.

As 'musicians' we should be able to create our own - especially for something that runs for a matter of a few bars! And then repeats and repeats and repeats... Yawn... :roll: :boring:
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Re: The "wrong way" to ignore sampling / copyright ?

Postby MOF » Fri Mar 20, 2020 8:07 pm

I've never understood the need to sample other peoples' music. It seems woefully unimaginative and actually quite pitifully sad.

Me too. Every time I hear ‘Every breath you take’ on the radio I think ‘great, the Police’ then I hear the song that sampled the opening riff and think ‘why don’t they play the original, that way Andy Summers and Stewart Copeland would also get paid? Obviously Sting won’t care either way I presume.
Also as a side issue, I think I’ll start a new thread, why do radio stations only play a limited selection of a group’s repertoire e.g. Level 42 is always Running in the family?
Edit, I’ve just done that here https://www.soundonsound.com/forum/view ... 42#p655642
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Re: The "wrong way" to ignore sampling / copyright ?

Postby Aurongroove » Fri Mar 20, 2020 8:23 pm

Yes, no offense, but your opinion on what is / is not 'imaginative' is not part of the question of the topic.

I believe culture always uses itself, be it linguistically, melodically, harmonically or otherwise.
The only thing that varies is the size and nature of the "cultural lego brick" in question.

'True originality' from foundation-to-roof is undesirable, self involved, and by it's very nature, conceptually expressionless gibberish.
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Re: The "wrong way" to ignore sampling / copyright ?

Postby zenguitar » Fri Mar 20, 2020 8:25 pm

This is a web forum. Threads will often go off on a tangent. That's how the cookie crumbles.

Andy :beamup:
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Re: The "wrong way" to ignore sampling / copyright ?

Postby Aurongroove » Fri Mar 20, 2020 8:26 pm

zenguitar wrote:This is a web forum. Threads will often go off on a tangent. That's how the cookie crumbles.

Andy :beamup:
fair.
and above response expanded on.
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Re: The "wrong way" to ignore sampling / copyright ?

Postby MOF » Fri Mar 20, 2020 8:33 pm

'True originality' from foundation to roof is both undesirable, and by it's very nature, artistically expressionless gibberish.

If someone was truly unique and invented a completely new form of foundation, building fabric and covering, metaphorical or literal, then I think that would hardly constitute gibberish expression.
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Re: The "wrong way" to ignore sampling / copyright ?

Postby The Elf » Fri Mar 20, 2020 8:34 pm

Though I see no need to police your own threads for relevance...

...I believe that what I'm saying *is* very relevant.

Make some music of your own and there's nothing to 'clear'.

...or

Sample someone else's music and potentially reap the whirlwind.

Write something of your own and the problem goes away. Why would any reasonable person risk it?
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Re: The "wrong way" to ignore sampling / copyright ?

Postby ManFromGlass » Fri Mar 20, 2020 8:34 pm

If we’re going down an "art" path I better have a few drinks before responding. My response may not be more valid but it will be more fun for me.
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Re: The "wrong way" to ignore sampling / copyright ?

Postby MOF » Fri Mar 20, 2020 8:44 pm

The “right way” to ignore sampling / copyright is to use such small snippets of other people’s works, disguised in such a way that nobody can detect their origins. That’s creativity. A bit like music concrete and collage art.
I stand by my original agreement with The Elf’s statement that simply lifting a recognisable chunk of someone else’s work is woefully unimaginative.
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Re: The "wrong way" to ignore sampling / copyright ?

Postby shufflebeat » Fri Mar 20, 2020 8:56 pm

I always thought sampling happened because it could, I mean the tech became available so people did it. The cultural significance is a post-hoc rationalisation.

To be honest, I thought it was a novelty technique, like high voiced animated remakes or people chanting words with no recognisable melody. Turns out I wasn't completely right.

The legal situation is well rehearsed but luckily music business lawyers are famously forgiving if the art has integrity.
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