when is a song able to be sampled?
Last Post 26 Apr 2012 01:33 PM by NFX. 3 Replies.
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    22 Apr 2012 07:43 AM

    Can anybody tell me the rules on when a song is able to be sampled in a track with no fear of a lawsuit is it after the artist dies or after a certain amount of time or is there some parameter that i'm not thinking of? any info on this topic would help.. thanks a million!!!

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    22 Apr 2012 03:41 PM
    Wikipedia says, "Typically, the duration of copyright is the whole life of the creator plus fifty to a hundred years from the creator's death, or a finite period for anonymous or corporate creations." That said, as long as the copyrights are owned by someone/something, there are restrictions as to how the content may be used in a secondary work. However, some creations have no copyright restrictions. But, if they do, at least conceptually, you can be sued for using them, apart from "fair use" which is kind of cloudy as to what "fair use" can mean in certain circumstances. Also, copyright laws may be different in different nations. Clear as mud, right?
    But I am a worm, and no man; a reproach of men, and despised of the people. --Psalm 22:6
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    25 Apr 2012 05:16 PM

    I have asked this question a million times even though i sample some tracks I really am clueless to how most of us online producers get away with it

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    26 Apr 2012 01:33 PM
    This is a legal question and most if not all people here are not qualified to make a statement about it. Nor am I but here is my non legal opinion...

    It's a dirty little secret...

    Most people "get away with it" because frankly, most sampled songs never make enough of a impact to get the attention of the copyright holder. So while Person A is fretting about staying legal and not making sampled beats, Person B gives no fucks and is making beats to sell using sampled material.

    A lot of beatmakers also put the responsibility on the buyer to acquire license for the sample. So person B not only sells it, but then tells the buyer "if you want to release this publicly, you must pay for the sampling rights".

    So while Person B is breaking the law and perhaps even the customer of Person B will break the law by using it, unless the song gets noticed enough by the public at large, no one will come after them.

    Since the odds are so stacked against people "making it big" - hey its the nature of the beast - it's considered an acceptable risk by many beat makers.
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