How many seconds of a song can I sample without a license

Discussion in 'Industry News' started by Luka, May 10, 2018.

  1. Blacklight District

    Blacklight District Kapellmeister

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    Just popped my head in - on this 4 year old thread - and I really feel left out. How do I get one of these high horses everyone seems to be on? Anyone paying attention to music of the last 40 years will know that sample-based music has become the standard, not the outlier. Unless you are sampling something distinctly recognizable - it is all but certain that no one is going to be dragging you into court over a kick drum you downloaded from a random sample pack. People fret over the most ridiculous things.
     
  2. The Pirate

    The Pirate Audiosexual

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    I would not characterize the OP's concern and ideas posited by others as "ridiculous." The OP question was a valid one, so is the concerns about the one shot samples. You stated that "unless you are sampling something distinctly recognizable - it is all but certain that no one is going to be dragging you into court over a kick drum you downloaded from a random sample pack." I agree with you but only partially because you can't say that with 100% certainty. Indeed,the tort system is predicated on a defendant's ability to pay, coupled with a plaintiff's financial ability to upfront the litigation costs. What do I mean by that? That as long as some lawyer or plaintiff believe that they can get some money out of you, you will get sued. Even when their chances of winning are slim, they will drag you to court hoping that you surrender because you can't continue to afford to defend yourself. At a minimum you are left owing thousands in attorneys fees. To put it differently, if you come up with a song that uses an unlicensed sample but only has 5 views on You Tube, there is a good possibility that you are not going to get sued. On the other hand, if that song is gathering millions of views there is a good possibility that copyright holders will seek legal remedy. Whether that happens or not is uncertain but the bottom line is that it can happen. Just because xxx is making and selling songs with unlicensed samples without any legal consequences does not mean that everyone will be able to do the same thing without legal repercussions. Therefore, if someone asks me how many seconds of a song can I sample without a license, my answer will be: ZERO. Better safe than sorry.
     
  3. Blacklight District

    Blacklight District Kapellmeister

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    Maybe not the OP's original question. However, there are many replies here that are fearmongering to an extreme degree, imo.

    Also, some thoughts I've had over this debate recently: Whenever I use a rompler (ie Omnisphere), am I not using a sound that someone else has created? I did not program that particular patch, preset, or wavetable - therefore, would that be considered theft? Just how far will these ideas go?
     
  4. illinoise

    illinoise Guest

    Like nexus these patches are all pre made so don't cry about originality
    Respect for the musician who play a real instrument or make everything from scratch
     
  5. Polomo

    Polomo Guest

    Law is a regional thing
    Every Country is different


    If still there any question talk with a lawyer
     
  6. The Pirate

    The Pirate Audiosexual

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    Good question. In my opinion as long as you paid for it, it is not theft. However, some of the members here will see it as theft regardless of whether you obtained a license or not. :dunno: If you paid you are not stealing from anyone. Indeed that is what the license is for, it allows you to use that patch, preset, etc to create your own work. All the people bitching anything to the contrary need to realize that some of those sound designers are good at just that, and can't come up with a song.
     
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  7. BaSsDuDe

    BaSsDuDe Audiosexual

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    The point of this has been stated elsewhere. First, many companies like Spectrasonics, Project Sam, Spitfire, East West and more PAY (The operative word) not only the musicians who KNOW they are being sampled, their business is a licensed sampling company or corporation if they're big enough. The only problem which even @The Pirate mentioned was the unlicensed factor, that any man and his dog thinks they can sample and release someone else's music without permission, nothing more and they cannot. Oh, and he's right.
    Sampling without permission is theft. People can flower it up with "Oh but nobody sued me", or some other lame-ass excuse to validate that their stealing is perfectly ok because nobody came down on them ,but it's almost like not telling someone the truth by leaving something out. It's a lie by omission.

    In the 80s, hardware samplers were expensive and not common even though the concept was first invented In 1969 by the BBC Radiophonic Workshop-affiliated inventor Peter Zinovieff, who developed the first digital sampler, the "EMS Musys". They did not really take off in popularity until the 90s. 40 years? Close, but not quite and a lot of people got sued before they settled on what was legal. All anyone has to do is go to any legitimate documented historical archives to validate the dates and what is said.
     
  8. clone

    clone Audiosexual

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    I have this one UVI expansion I'd really like my money back from because of these issues. I won't even use it because I am skeptical. And it doesn't sound that great, unlike anything else in falcon expansion land. It's sorta lo-fi for it to be sold as it is. I can't even find it on the site. Hmmm.

    Where did they come from? You can dispute with the Marvin Gaye Foundation or whatnot. And he's been dead for 38 years. I'm going to pass. Delete it. I don't even get it. People still believe in "The Magic Sample" that you only need according to the people selling them to you. Or trying.
     
    Last edited: Nov 27, 2022
  9. Trurl

    Trurl Audiosexual

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    Instruments that are based on samples, like Omnisphere, license you use of those sounds per their license agreement. If you accept those terms you're in the clear. If you didn't pay you are in violation of the agreement, not in clear. Pretty simple. Not that anyone's getting busted on a ROMpler.
     
  10. clone

    clone Audiosexual

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    It's sort of like that baseball movie, field of dreams. If you make money, they will show up.

    Let's identify the 13 million dollar breakbeat or whatever was used, in Blurred Lines. Wasn't even a beat someone mentioned to me. It was a "Feel". Really? It's like patenting the process of a Tire Rotation.
     
    Last edited: Nov 27, 2022
  11. The Pirate

    The Pirate Audiosexual

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    :hillbilly:
     
  12. clone

    clone Audiosexual

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    Do we not have any very easy rule of thumb to call something recognizably and completely unrelated new material. Is there one?

    Taking that to "groove" or "feel" seems like people copyrighting things far beyond sampling. It's not using a Sugar Hill Gang breakbeat; it is not paying for the Station Wagon they loaded the drums into the day they recorded it, 30 years from now. And with the actual person who played the part deceased already; now they can wait posthumously so the Blurred Lines song makes the most money prior to filing a complaint with anyone? lol.
     
  13. BaSsDuDe

    BaSsDuDe Audiosexual

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    The issue a lot of the time is most people do not get that there are two definitive types of musical copyright that go hand in hand... so yes, the lines are already blurred by so many people not understanding the linking and simultaneous differences.

    Quote: " a mechanical license is required under U.S. Copyright Law if you want to manufacture and distribute recordings of compositions written by someone other than yourself. They ensure that the music publisher, and ultimately the songwriter, gets compensated for the use of their work."
    "Intellectual property rights (also known as IPRs) give creators and innovators the exclusive right, for a limited time, to control what others may do with their creations and innovations."

    To decipher the difference in straight-ahead terms - If someone was found guilty of sampling someone's music illegally, then it is mechanical - there is an intellectual secondary breach.
    What Spotify does breaches Intellectual using streaming as the secondary mechanical breach.

    I used Spotify because it says to people they can do whatever they want when Spotify pays people for creating playlists of tunes that Spotify does not own the copyright and gives more to the playlist creator than the people who created the tunes the playlist is made of. Shitty does not cover it. That's being nice. Spotify is a perfect example of a billionaire extorting whoever he wants as long as he can get away with it. Why is anyone surprised that Jane Doe and John Doe think they can sample whatever they want and sell it? It is still illegal, but Jane and John do not have billions so they can be sued easily.
     
    Last edited: Nov 28, 2022
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  14. The Pirate

    The Pirate Audiosexual

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    Since we are discussing sampling, I would like to point out that besides the mechanical license you will need a master license which one grants you permission to use the sound recording.
    On a side note, if the recording is going to be used in a video, or any other visual product you need a synchronization license. The mechanical license is for audio only. Want to use the music in a play or musical? Then you need a theatrical license. Want to perform in public a song someone else wrote, you need a performance license. Finally, if you ever think of printing, displaying the sheet music or lyrics of a song you did not write, you need a print license.
    The licensing can get complicated, therefore, it is better to pay for the services of an attorney.
     
    Last edited: Nov 28, 2022
  15. BaSsDuDe

    BaSsDuDe Audiosexual

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    I did not want to get too complicated. I figured if just one person who was thinking they could copy anything, thought twice with just the two artist proprietary ones, not the more corporate ones, then that is a good thing. While the law is designed as much to protect people as it is to litigate them, I dislike seeing people get in serious trouble just because they did not have a basic understanding because in that area, the law is very unforgiving when someone says they did not know.

    You are absolutely correct. You should also add a publishing license (becoming a publisher) too which incorporates not just the print and synchronization licenses, but also a copying license and other intricacies. You might find it interesting how 'some' royalty collection agencies attempt to dissuade people from becoming their own publisher. Attorney? Absolutely, but one that is a specialist in that field and they do not come cheaply. there used to be a guy 'Musicman' on here who was exceptional in this area. Shame he's no longer here.
     
  16. 9ty

    9ty Kapellmeister

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    What is your main problem with unauthorized sampling? People doing it getting sued? People don't having integrity/being dishonest? More traditional ways of songwriting/producing might having harder times?

    No offense, Sir, I'm definitely not trying to troll you, that is not my intention here. This topic is just resonating with me the last days... perhaps it is, because I have a "more traditional" background in making music, playing guitar in bands for about 15 years and explore producing styles of electronic music/hip hop only like 4-5 years now. In these years I was definitely guilty of using unauthorized samples, in so many different ways and mostly because of the joy of my own musical journey. I would not reject it, but moneymaking is nothing I'm really after ... and if so, I'd be probably more careful in which form samples would be used in my tracks. Most of the time the samples are unrecognizable processed or recontexted (is it a word?) ... which I understood does not matter in legal terms anyway - I guess this is your main point here, right?

    Again, this is not meant to piss you off or something. :mates:
    Maybe I'm one of those you mentioned not knowing "the difference between honest writing and zero-integrity writing". On the other hand I'd call myself a music lover through and through. Since I've been dealing with money I spend a lot of it buying recordings in whatever form, going to concerts, buying merch (not so much anymore). In addition to that I spend an unbelievable amount of money on musical instruments, hard- and software. And I also want to note, that I'm talking about music and artists all the time, big time music nerd. Belong others, I love genres like hip hop, house, drum & bass, trip hop and vaporwave. Yes, it would have been possible for such genres to involve without samling, but this is only theory and steep thesis. Surely many of style-defining artists used samples from everywhere at least in the beginning of their careers, maybe even later... Personally I would not categorize them all in the dishonest/zero-integrity group in general, do you? Sometimes it is hard to tell who is even hold the copyright, not speaking of who to contact, not speaking of how to make a deal with them when you having little or close to zero money yourself. Yeah sure: don't do it when you are not sure, if it is legally right what you're doing, I get this... on the other hand, it would killed the way many pieces of music history and artist development had arised since the 90s. You could hate and demonize all of them, I don't. You can think, all of them have zero-integrity and dishonest ways of making music, I still don't think so. Legally speaking they are not doing the right thing, you are right. Like smoking weed in many countries. Beyond legal doings there is a (sub-)cultural gain through sampling, at least for me loving those eclectic styles... in addition to that I don't believe those artists are the one's to blame first, when it comes to exploitation and destroying "honest" music.

    Let me put it this way: Gregory C. Coleman, the drummer of The Winston and artist behind one of the most famous sample of all time, the amen break, has never seen one cent of royalties from the usage of the sample. Only from sales of the original recording... which was the source of the often illegal use of the sample. In other words, chances are that some of those dishonest, zero-integratiy artists have been people who actually got Coleman more money, than others with probably more money, but the clearance of the sample was nothing Coleman could buy himself something. Just a thought.
     
  17. illinoise

    illinoise Guest

    What about dj's who playing mash ups and acapella's from other artist?
    i personally dont give a shit if it sounds rite
    I myself am not able to release music because I am a hobbyist I'm not really an artist either i have download a lot of sample packs and vst's from the sister site and i sample some kicks here and there i don't make money out of it
    I just like to fuck around with music
     
  18. BaSsDuDe

    BaSsDuDe Audiosexual

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    You've made some good points.
    In a debate which is what you are doing, getting offended clouds the ability to see what the other person is trying to say. Therefore, I took it in for what you were trying to say.

    Dishonest and zero-integrity, which I have attempted to clarify, are the people who KNOW they are doing it and then try to make themselves innocent. Or pretending they did not know after telling everyone that they 'took' this from...." It's not dissimilar to Robin Thicke telling everyone they listened to "Got to give it up" then wrote a hit tune, making out how great they were to write a tune so fast. The tune not only sounded like it in a different key, he and Williams got sued for it.... Making out that they initially wrote it themselves was not cool. Thicke should have left the 'e' off his surname when he told everyone.

    You may think I am demonizing but I am not with HONEST writers. I say this because a person with integrity will never WILLFULLY steal someone else's tune or music. As @The Pirate stated in different ways, it is fine to pay the right licensing fees or pay for the library that has the royalties already paid for, or pay per re-usage... whatever method anyone selects. What is NOT fine is taking someone else's work, not paying for it, releasing it and making money from it when it is not their music to start with. Paying for the privilege of using someone else's work to create your own tune is exactly what sample licensing was designed to do and it does. Not paying for it... as I mentioned if it is not theirs, they can make all the lame-ass excuses in the world, they simply are stealing if it is not theirs, unpaid for. It is not rocket science.

    Cheers
    :)

    P.S - If you use the sister site, there is a famous group called R2R who basically say - "do not make money from warez".
     
    Last edited: Nov 29, 2022
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  19. The Pirate

    The Pirate Audiosexual

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    If it is done on radio, in a live venue, etc the owners or promoters most likely have a public performance license. In a private party at a private place, DJ's can get away with it without a license but many DJs do have one. It is nothing new. In the late 70's and 80's in the Bronx the DJs we used to have block parties. Bunch of club and street DJ's, and rappers would get together and jam for the crowd for free. One day one a-hole claiming to be "a representative" for labels and songwriters organizations contacted us talking about obtaining a license. I told the man to fuck off, that I was playing strictly 12" promo copies given to me by the same labels he claimed to represent. That was the last time I heard form him. In sum,it is not unusual for companies like ASCAP and BMI to go after someone who is playing in public without a license.
     
  20. BaSsDuDe

    BaSsDuDe Audiosexual

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    Even in the "DISCO" period which was different again, the royalty collection agencies - ASCAP, APRA, PRS, SESAC, BMI etc etc etc.....had their act together then. The venues paid all the royalties to them. This went for radio, right down to grocery stores, malls, hairdressers playing music, hotels with elevator music and more. Not anymore unfortunately. Licensing 'sort of' fills the gap. It was a monthly fee then of sorts. As the populations grew, this collection style per venue fell by the wayside. Look at how lame they are with Spotify and others. They are now toothless tigers.
     
    Last edited: Nov 29, 2022
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