Thursday, June 26, 2008
Music Sampling Copyright Law
I found a great 2 part video on YouTube as I was searching Google to check the ranking for one of my keywords on INeedVinyl.com. I would really like to know where people stand regarding the issue of music sampling and copyright law. Some say it is an ethical issue, others say it is simply a matter of licensing, or lack thereof. Personally, hip hop production would be no where if it wasn't for the sampling of old rock, blues, jazz, and funk vinyl records in the late 70's - to be even more of an asshole, the music industry right now wouldn't be where it is without hip hop.
Hip Hop is considered the pop of the early 2000's. It is what sells cars, ipods, pizza, insurance, and hemorrhoid cream to the masses through mass syndicated broadcast. If there was no sampling, there would be no hip hop - some might argue this statement though.
Regardless, I feel that sampling is an art form in itself which requires an individual to rework and rearrange an original composition to make it their own. If an artist is selling 10's of thousands of units from a single that contains a sample which is not licensed, then by all means seek monetary compensation for the use of your works as an intellectual rights holder. But going after the independent musician who probably can't afford to pay the licensing fees involved with obtaining sampling rights is just silly.
All I know is that I would never sample a song that I didn't love, and respect. It is a sign of homage to the originators - which is why we want to sample your records in the first place! So ease off. If you would like to read an article with a more in depth discussion of the different elements involved with music sampling copyright law, click here.