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RE: (OT) Copyright in a Sampled World...
Hi all, this is my first post to the list. It seems outlook is treating the
digest as seperate attached messages, so it's currently a pain to read...
but I've been lurking for a while now.
I agree with Caliban, that new laws are needed to keep up with technology.
My opinion is that when sampling first arrived, the technology made it
pretty easy to spot a sample. Additionally, big, bloated music interests
(boo-hiss) made sample litagation a new industry. From what I've read, the
threat of suing an artist is generally enough to make them pay or not use
I can imagine how it was presented to the courts, in the early days. The
Judge has a set of good headphones on. They play him "Ice, Ice baby", and
precedences are set. And while sampling and samplers are everywhere, the
artists using them get branded as lazy... and some of them are, but the
essential thing is that is re-enforced is that to use a sample, you have to
pay. (Mind you, you could Onanastically sample yourself, like in the new
Beta Band album. I perfer to think of sampling one's self as a production
method, but the key point is that sampling has taken a bad rap.)
But technology has changed. These days, I know I could sample pretty much
anything and not even give a glimmer as to how it originally sounded. I
done it. The barriers are down. Now, to me, anything I hear is fodder for
the mill. If I hear a nice drum break, I can slot it in, slice it up,
replace the drum sounds and have a new break with the same rhythm. If I
someone's voice that strikes me a certian way, i can bring it in, slice it
around, mess with the pitch, panning, effects... the palette is endless.
if you put the headphones on the judge, I doubt he'd hear the original
[Sidenote: I confess that I'm a raving fanatic for DJ Shadow's
"Endtroducing..." album. I've heard it at least 200 times and I'm still
hearing small sonic details. It's 99 and 44/99ths percent samples. (The
'beautiful girl' and 'came to america, saw xanadu' vocals aren't taken from
something else.) I truthfully feel it is a defining moment in the history
sampled music, and a classic.]
There need to be clear fair-use guideline for samples. If I took a magazine
ad and used it in a collage, I'm granted protection according to US law. If
I did the same with a Beatles track (assume that you couldn't tell it was
the Beatles, that I would have to tell you) I would be open to litigation
under our current laws.
Never one to drone endlessly about an agrument, I offer you this
You can hear the Beatles (or at least Paul) in the second example, but not
the 1st. (Note in the 1st, I'm using it twice, an octave up and an octive
down!) Still, from all I've read about copyright law, I could get sued for
I'll gladly slurp up any links anyone has about copyright law and what one
can reasonably 'get away with' or not. But honestly, it's time to put the
headphones on a judge again.
From: Caliban Tiresias Darklock [mailto:email@example.com]
Sent: Thursday, August 16, 2001 8:04 PM
Subject: Re: (OT) Copyright in a Sampled World...
On Thu, 16 Aug 2001 21:31:09 -0500, "Bickley" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
>OK, now you've gotten ridiculous.
No, you've just misunderstood.
>If you seriously think that composing music by juxtaposing various samples
>together is some sort of "new order", you're lost.
Oh, I don't. I think copyright laws that actually make sense and protect
artists without unreasonably restricting creativity are the "new order
of things" we need. We can't let everybody do anything, but we need to
let people do *something*.
"Control over the use of one's ideas really constitutes control over
other people's lives, and it is usually used to make their lives more
difficult." -- Richard Stallman
>Go practice your scales, arpeggios, etc., and develop some real
>skills. Make your own tea.
I've covered that. Go home.