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Dr. Dre to pay $1.5 mil for "Illegal Sample"

CmdrTaco posted more than 11 years ago | from the this-isn't-over-yet dept.

Music 871

jwlidtnet writes "According to MTV, Dr. Dre has lost a lawsuit filed over a presumably-uncleared sample on his last album (Dre still hopes to appeal). This is certainly not the first time that something like this has happened: in the mid-nineties, British band The Verve were forced to pay all royalties from their song Bittersweet Symphony (*and* alter song credits) after Allen Klein--who owns the rights to the 1960's Stones catalogue--discovered that the song used a sample from an orchestral recording of "The Last Time." Thing is, though, that many groups believe that such lawsuits shouldn't occur except in the most blatant circumstances; among these groups, Musicians Against the Copyrighting of Samples and the group Negativland are perhaps the most outspoken. Should samples be protected by copyright, or should artists/musicians have the right to manipulate the old into the new?"

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IN SOVIET RUSSIA (621411) | more than 11 years ago | (#5912306)

Dr. Dre Pays $1.5 mil For Illegal Sample Of You!

Dr. Dre? MTV? Slashdot? (0, Offtopic)

Scoria (264473) | more than 11 years ago | (#5912307)

Among other news today, sources are reporting that hell has indeed frozen over.

Re:Dr. Dre? MTV? Slashdot? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5912482)

Where can i download it?!

Right back at ya (5, Funny)

Mooset (9986) | more than 11 years ago | (#5912308)

Remember kids, musicians don't steal. They SAMPLE!

Illegal Samples (3, Funny)

Scoria (264473) | more than 11 years ago | (#5912382)

Upon reading that Dr. Dre was instructed to "pay $1.5 million for an 'illegal sample,'" I was beginning to anticipate something entirely different than a story regarding lawsuits related to intellectual property. :-)

Re:Right back at ya (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5912409)

Then I must be the biggest musician ever! And so is everyone else on Kazza, limewire, etc.. etc...

Hi pot,

Hi kettle.

Re:Right back at ya (3, Insightful)

cayenne8 (626475) | more than 11 years ago | (#5912445)

Well, this is an interesting topic...I've often said I didn't consider much of today's music, especially rap to be very artistic or creative. I mean, if given the equipment where "I" could put together a song with parts sampled from other's works, with only a few new rhymes thrown on could not possibly be ART.

However, given that, the Stones, whose song was sampled in this suit...were some of the biggest thieves in their their own admission. Keith admits to 'lifting' riffs here and there all along the way. But, the big difference was, as I see it, they took the music from the past, mostly the blues, as building blocks for new creations of music. Music that was created and played by them...NOT a sample of someone else's music.

To me, a remake, is a new interpretation of an older song...and there have been many good ones over the years, but, stealing someone elses drumbeat they played...or any other instrument...well, that's not being creative, that's just re-packaging someone elsess work and calling it your own.

I think one of the problems with today's music, is that somewhere along the line...the taking from the music of the previous generation and building upon it for new sounds was lost. It is one thing to 'hear' the influences of past artists like the Stones or Zeppelin in a new groups is quite another to hear Robert/Mick's actual vocal performances...or Page/Richard's riffs they played just being repackaged, reformatted and regurgitated and having it called art/music.

I don't see any creativity in this...

Re:Right back at ya (5, Insightful)

TopShelf (92521) | more than 11 years ago | (#5912507)

That's a great point - if anything, musicians who sample and don't give credit are slam-dunk violaters of copyright as opposed to simple file-swapping listeners. Musicians who sample are deliberately using copyrighted material in the pursuit of financial gain, as opposed to the listeners who have no such interest...

Bottom line: learn to play your own damn instruments!

Re:Right back at ya (2, Interesting)

H310iSe (249662) | more than 11 years ago | (#5912510)

Seriously Sampling is totally legit - any time you take an existing art and modify it 'significantly' (say, by using a small sample in a larger work, maybe modifying the sample as well) it should never, ever be infringement. Period. Everything comes from something else, to deny that is to deny creativity. I mean, standing on the shoulders of giants and all...

Look at clothing - Gucci comes out with a new shoe and the next week a dozen factories in Brazil are cranking out similar, but not identical, shoes, perfectly legal. Why is music different?

This is just as silly as copywriting small snipits of code. This system has become so corrupt it appears there no alternatives to breaking the law. When there is no justice only the criminals are just.

Two words: (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5912311)

Vanilla Ice.

Illegal Stool Sample (-1, Troll)

colon cleaner (671937) | more than 11 years ago | (#5912312)

Let's talk stools.

The stool tells you a lot about your colon health. If it's dark brown in color, and it sinks, and it stinks, that's not good. And don't feel bad, that's the way most people are. What you want to see is light brown color, which means it's full of fresh bile from the liver, very mild odor, and a stool that floats. We're talking low-density here folks. The more compaction you have the darker the color and the faster it sinks. Compaction is not good. Also, moving bowels should be SIMPLE. If the veins are popping out of your neck and you feel like your doing the bench press, you NEED to cleanse your colon.

When you do the cleanse, for the first few days....things are a little weird. But you know you're cleansed when you see the above good stuff happening, and you are eliminating at least 2-3 times per day.

Cleansing your colon is a 30-day process. No need to change your current diet. Its also very economical at under $52. You may be very surprised at some of the benefits you will receive besides just losing 1-5 lbs of cr*p from your body and brightening your future health.

People have reported more energy, less allergies, clearing of acne, cessation of migraines, and many other results, not to mention restored regularity. When your body is void of old, poisonous toxins that are constantly being reabsorbed through the colon walls, it can begin to heal again. And when the colon walls are clean, the good nutrients from your food and supplements can be absorbed again. You will be thrilled with the results.

Re:Illegal Stool Sample (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5912364)


Two Words (-1, Redundant)

MCMLXXVI (601095) | more than 11 years ago | (#5912315)

Vanilla Ice

Re:Two Words (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5912354)

Mod this as redundant. The same comment appears just above as an anonymous coward.

Re:Two Words (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5912384)

I was, but now I'm not gonna!!

Actually, no. (2, Informative)

musiholic (94408) | more than 11 years ago | (#5912398)

It was done by Vanilla Ice's DJ, who's name eludes me at the moment. It was also the fault of their management at the time, as both Vanilla Ice and the DJ were assured that they were getting the proper permissions to use the samples. The DJ was well aware of the implications of using samples, and assumed that the management was indeed doing the right thing. However, as it turned out, the management did NOT ask for permission, opening the door for litigation.

I will not deny that Vanilla Ice made an ass of himself with the PR surrounding all that.

Personally, if you sample, it should just be a matter of courtesy that you ask persmission. Or if you do sample, give your music away so that no one can claim royalties on it.

Re:Actually, no. (1)

proj_2501 (78149) | more than 11 years ago | (#5912463)

The producer's name was EARTHQUAKE.

Re:Actually, no. (2, Funny)

cK-Gunslinger (443452) | more than 11 years ago | (#5912493)

No, no no.

Vanilla's hook went "da-da-da-da-da-dada" while the original went "da-da-da-da-da-dada- uh.. da." See, it's that extra 'da' that makes the whole claim unfounded. ;)

Samples (2, Insightful)

black mariah (654971) | more than 11 years ago | (#5912320)

If the sample is recognisable as a major part of another song, it should have to be cleared for use by the artist. Simple as that.

Re:Samples (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5912397)

And who determines when a sample is recognizable or not?

Re:Samples (1)

javatips (66293) | more than 11 years ago | (#5912464)

Lawyers :(

Re:Samples (5, Interesting)

phat_joe23 (244916) | more than 11 years ago | (#5912497)

It's definitely not that simple. dudev("That's just, like, your opinion, man.");

According to the Fair Use doctrine, I can sample your music withour permission. For instance, I could make a parody or social criticism using your music.

And even if your sample is recognizable, it is still possible, artistically, to use it in a completely new way.


Copyright (3, Insightful)

Evil Adrian (253301) | more than 11 years ago | (#5912325)

Once the copyright expires, you can do what you want with it. Isn't that the way derivative works work?

Samples ARE protected by copyright. In this case it doesn't fall into parody or critique, so why are you asking one of the silliest questions I've ever read in my life?

Google yields answers in abundance, you don't need to ask slashdot readers for every silly little thing. ::takes a happy pill::

OK I'm better now.

Re:Copyright (2, Interesting)

gurps_npc (621217) | more than 11 years ago | (#5912386)

But copyrights NEVER expire. Oh, they SAY that copyrights expire, but everytime it gets close to their expiration date, Congress pushes through a new law extending it (Has happened several times in the U.S.)

Copyrights originally were supposed to be 20 years. That would mean anything written in the 60's and 70's should be fair game now. But they extended everything.

Re:Copyright (1)

mark_lybarger (199098) | more than 11 years ago | (#5912495)

actually, i thought it was 14 years + one 14 year extension. at least that's what oriley is doing with most of their books, putting them into public domain after either 14 or 28 years (depending on author's wishes).

you're right, we'll never see any thing from this or last century enter into the public domain during our lifetime.

Re:Copyright (4, Interesting)

Zathrus (232140) | more than 11 years ago | (#5912452)

So any sample is a derivative work?

How short is a sample? What if I recreate the notes on my own instead of actually using a sample? Is that still covered by copyright?

In actuality there have been court rulings on all of the above - and the answer is 4 notes, doesn't matter, and yes. Which leads to something like an absurdly small number of harmonies available (~96k? I don't recall, but it's silly) before everything is copyrighted. Odds are, if you write a song now, you've violated someone else's copyright.

Perhaps the real question is whether or not the sample is a substantive portion of the song -- if so then it's probably a derivative work. Otherwise it's not. What the hell is a substantive portion? It's just like the legal definition of pornography - I'll know it when I hear it. There are shades of grey, not everything is black and white, and not everything should be, otherwise you paint yourself into silly little corners and do more harm than good.

Remember, just because the answers are out there - be it on Google, in the court system, or public opinion - doesn't mean that they're the right ones. Ask any minority group (not just blacks) in the Southeastern US prior to 1960.

Re:Copyright (2, Funny)

Evil Adrian (253301) | more than 11 years ago | (#5912490)

I think that when you are taking recorded audio directly from another source, and you are incorporating it into your own work, you should realize that you are stealing.

Like, how retarded ARE you to not figure that out?

It's not YOUR audio, it's someone else's.


Re:Copyright (1)

allism (457899) | more than 11 years ago | (#5912488)

And, if you read the article, you would have noticed that the song that was sampled was only 21 years old in 2001. Hardly expired since the copyright time period was extended.

And ya know, sometimes it's more fun to have an actual discussion about stuff than to just surf websites about a topic.

fp for LRSE HOSTING! (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5912328)

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one word.... (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5912331)

boobies []

every one likes em...go look....

Link Here (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5912332)

If you want to take a listen, click here [] . It will be up for a couple hours.

The same laws should apply (5, Insightful)

Repugnant_Shit (263651) | more than 11 years ago | (#5912337)

If I'm going to get in trouble because I legally encode CDs into Ogg/MP3, then why shouldn't an artist get in trouble for actually profiting off someone else's work? I'm not saying it's right or wrong, but the law should apply to everyone.

One thing I have never understood (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5912338)

How is it that the verve pipe lost all that money, when it was barely perceptible that they used that sample, or dre gets busted for this sort of thing.... and on the other side, Puff Daddy has stolen everything he has ever made, blatantly... and puffy has more money than dre, verve pipe, and me put together...

Re:One thing I have never understood (2, Informative)

TrollBridge (550878) | more than 11 years ago | (#5912394)

Puffy made deals with the owners of the materials he 'sampled'.

Sure it doesn't say a lot about his... talent (*chuckle*), but at least he did it the legal way.

Negativland (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5912339)

The Negativland album about Pepsi is an absolutely classic example of ripping samples. These kind of lawsuits are silly - it's not like they are making money BECAUSE of their samples - well, okay, I guess a whole album dedicated to Coke and Pepsi advertisements is, though!

Touche! (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5912341)

Apparently, "mutha fuckas" have indeed NOT forgotten about Dre.

Wanna see X-Men 2? []

The answer to the delimma (5, Insightful)

Lumpy (12016) | more than 11 years ago | (#5912343)

Should samples be protected by copyright, or should artists/musicians have the right to manipulate the old into the new?"

I say let their own crap bite them in the ass like this.

It's only proof that the copyright laws have been perverted to the point that they cause more problems than the apparent protection they give.

too bad, Dr. dre.... being bit by your own is the only way to get you to wake up.

You're being stupid (0, Troll)

krog (25663) | more than 11 years ago | (#5912474)

too bad, Dr. dre.... being bit by your own is the only way to get you to wake up.

You clearly demonstrate miscomprehension of the situation.

Dr Dre has never been against sampling. it is suicide for a hip-hop artist to be against sampling. this is the one thing that basically all rappers/producers can agree on.

Dre is against file sharing of music. Not sampling. Are you too dim to see the difference?

Sampleing Vs Rerecording (1)

Eu4ria (110578) | more than 11 years ago | (#5912345)

Is there a difference between sampleing and rerecording the melody/tune of another song and using that? ie Vanilla Ice and his "Ice Ice Baby versus queen and 'Under Pressure'

Re-recording is covering a song. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5912392)

And when you cover a song, you have to pay royalties. Simple as that.

Re:Re-recording is covering a song. (1)

Animats (122034) | more than 11 years ago | (#5912462)

And when you cover a song, you have to pay royalties. Simple as that.

Under US copyright law there's a compulsory license and a statutory rate for that. The author of the song gets paid a set price and can't turn you down. The record industry (but not ASCAP) loves this.

There should be similar arrangements for sampling.

It's a derivative work (1)

tphil913 (608067) | more than 11 years ago | (#5912349)

If the artist is taking a piece of music and morphing it for his own song, it's a derivative and protected by copyright. Pay the royalties or don't use the sample.

If you don't think that something like this is copyrighted, then you can toss the GPL right out the window. It's the same principle - a derivative.

the old saying (1)

maddh (608481) | more than 11 years ago | (#5912352)

"talent borrows, genious steals"

Re:the old saying (1)

RabidOverYou (596396) | more than 11 years ago | (#5912471)

"fools misspell"

Samples and Ring Tones (3, Insightful)

Quarters (18322) | more than 11 years ago | (#5912353)

If artists get huffy and litigous when someone composes a ring-tone of a section of one of their songs then they shouldn't be suprised when they get busted for doing essentially the same thing. Samples are derivative works and are part of the copyrighted original work. Stealing isn't legal if you don't take everything.

Cool site. (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5912355)

Just found this site (I'm not the owner by the way). It was referenced on Kuro5hin.

Sci-Fi Today! []

actually (1)

C_nemo (520601) | more than 11 years ago | (#5912356)

i heard the Stones song mentioned, and thought:

"Damn, thats almost The Verve"

It was kinda obvious. btw Metallica should be sued for copying David Bowie's "Andy Warhol" on "Master of Puppets"(the song)

Re:actually (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5912442)

Except that unlike Metallica and The rolling stones, David Bowie is not a complete prick. On the contrary, as anyone following his statements on copyrights will have noticed. ;)

What's it say... (2, Insightful)

allism (457899) | more than 11 years ago | (#5912357)

What's it say that Dr. Dre felt the need to consult a musicologist before ripping off the little guy? He obviously felt that there was something to be concerned about, so he shouldn't be surprised that he got his pants sued off.

Allow me to be a bit cynical here... (2, Insightful)

hrieke (126185) | more than 11 years ago | (#5912358)

If they want to stamp out my rights to fair use and move to a pay per use, then they should paid as well for the use of other's work in the creation of their "art".

Re:Allow me to be a bit cynical here... (1)

cavemanf16 (303184) | more than 11 years ago | (#5912487)

Dr. Dre should counter-sue under the DMCA, claiming they broke his homey-lyrical-gangsta-encoded rap music.

Why not? After all, karma's a bitch! LOL.

News for nerds? Stuff that matters? (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5912360)

This has anything to do with what? This is hardly news, it isn't interesting, and it's lamo fluff entertainment news. Big fat fucking hairy deal. My ass itches, film at 11.

Re:News for nerds? Stuff that matters? (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5912454)

There are plenty of us out there that things like this matter to. Not only are we computer nerds, but music nerds as well. In my case, I make music. You might have heard it coming from your mom's bedroom last night. -- My other ride is your mom.

Lobbying? (1)

DragonMagic (170846) | more than 11 years ago | (#5912361)

So they have lobbying to say that users who "sample" are thieves, and they have lobbying to say that musicians who "sample" are being victimized?

Sign me up for this double standard!

The Human Factor (5, Interesting)

Sloppy (14984) | more than 11 years ago | (#5912362)

In 1991, Metal Church wrote a very catchy song about their opinion on this. I think I'll reproduce it here, totally without permission. You can then debate how self-referentially hypocritical it is for me to do that.

The Human Factor

by Kurdt Vanderhoof / Mike Howe

I just can't believe my ears, some music out these days
The human factor has diminished, in oh so many ways
Fancy footwork gets top bill and I'll put on such a show
One more MIDI cable and my band is ready to go
One more moneymaker and I'm set for life
Stealing from others will make my future bright

One, make some money
Two, overexpose
Sincerity is felt much more when the human factor shows
When the human factor shows

I just need a sample cause no one says it's wrong
It's so easy to rip-off using someone else's songs
Everybody wants to be a star in modern days
But if I don't have talent then I'll just get by this way
Changing programs faster than I dare to say
Musicians all make mistakes who needs them anyway?

One, make some money
Two, overexpose
Sincerity is felt much more when the human factor shows
When the human factor shows

I just heard a song today I think I'll use a part
Incorporate it my own way and that is just the start
I'll change the lyrics that they wrote to satisfy my needs
I wrote the book. Two easy steps. "How to succeed."

Metal Church... ah, what a great band that was.

Not all bad (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5912365)

If these rulings mean we don't have to hear "Bittersweet Symphony" ever again, you must admit that this is a benefit.

What about covering a song...? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5912366)

Do you need permission from an artist when you cover a song?

None needed, UNLESS... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5912492)

...the song has not yet been commercially released. Then you do need permission. But once that artist releases it commercially, it's fair game for covering.

Erm... (0)

Pingular (670773) | more than 11 years ago | (#5912367)

Has anyone else noticed how you require a special liscence for each piece of music you play if it's to the public yet DJs get away with just buying the normal versions? Weird eh :)

What's the Licence (2, Funny)

Prowl (554277) | more than 11 years ago | (#5912369)

If its a BSD style licence, then there's no problem.

If its GPL, then Dre has just incurred the wrath of RMS...

"Dr Dre vs RMS"

is that the name of the lawsuit or the title of the track?

Irony, (3, Interesting)

phaln (579585) | more than 11 years ago | (#5912371)

This is irony at its finest, people. So many artists don't want you to get MP3s for free, yet they have no qualms crying out for free samples. Of course, this excludes those groups that don't much mind the MP3 "revolution". Keep on rockin' in the free world, yo. But, for the others, that takes a brass set of cojones.

Do you know how many time zones... (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5912373)

...are in the Soviet Union?



yellow black rectangular

Christianity is stupid (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5912402)


The letter "U" and the numeral "2" (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5912429)

That would be...

The letter "U" and the numeral "2"

Pastor Dick will now drink a glass... (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5912494)

...of champagne for every sorid call received to "Over The Edge" this evening. Please be kind.

Sampling Just like microsoft "innovation." (2, Interesting)

buckinm (628185) | more than 11 years ago | (#5912377)

Should samples be protected by copyright, or should artists/musicians have the right to manipulate the old into the new?

If the song is copyrighted, why should little pieces of the song not be? If you can't come up with your own ideas, get out of the music business.

Shouldn't this be covered by fair use? (1)

Trepidity (597) | more than 11 years ago | (#5912380)

If you're excerpting a very small part of another work and using it in a work that is substantially of your own creation, isn't that the point of fair use? Isn't this somewhat similar to quoting a line from a book in your own book?

Re:Shouldn't this be covered by fair use? (1)

TrollBridge (550878) | more than 11 years ago | (#5912421)

"If you're excerpting a very small part of another work and using it in a work that is substantially of your own creation, isn't that the point of fair use?"

As long as you're properly citing your sources, it's fine.

I beleive the point here is that Dre didn't properly credit the original entertainer's work/contribution to his own.

it seems like more than that though (1)

Trepidity (597) | more than 11 years ago | (#5912466)

It doesn't seem that the only complaint is the lack of credits; there seems to be additional licensing required. That is, he'd still be getting sued even if he had properly cited the origin of the sample but hadn't paid royalties or otherwise cleared it.

Re:it seems like more than that though (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5912516)

Good point, I eluded to exactly that in another post, but forgot on this one. Thanks for pointing that out.

Re:Shouldn't this be covered by fair use? (1)

Prior Restraint (179698) | more than 11 years ago | (#5912460)

...isn't that the point of fair use?

Not really. Fair use is restricted to non-commercial works.


Sampling vs. arranging (0, Troll)

BobRooney (602821) | more than 11 years ago | (#5912381)

Taking a recorded track and using it in your own recording in a studio is called sampling. I call it theft. Hiring musicians to play a modification of a song you have made on your own is arranging and IS protected. I.E. it becomes YOUR intillectual property, assuming you cite your sources as creating the original that you then changed. Rap, as a genre is notorious for sampling? Is it because they are not actually musicians? Maybe. *ducks

Copyrights are Supposed to Benefit Society (1)

fastdecade (179638) | more than 11 years ago | (#5912480)

Taking a recorded track and using it in your own recording in a studio is called sampling. I call it theft.

I call it art.

What happened to the idea that copyright law is in society's interest. It was supposed to provide an incentive to content creators - protecting the upside that typically motivates them to create content.

BUT is it in society's interest to restrict works which build on other work? That's progress and should be encouraged at all costs.

copyright (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5912383)

are slashdot stories copyrighted? I'd like to sue whenever a duplicate is posted. I could make millions!

This will get reversed. (1)

tonysee (416247) | more than 11 years ago | (#5912388)

There are only so many original riffs you can come up with, people... You have to allow for re-use. Otherwise, you might as well sue Led Zeppelin (Babe I'm Gonna Leave You) and Chicago (25 or 6 to 4) for ripping off the chord progression to the Beatles' "While My Guitar Gently Weeps." You're going to see familiar melodies, progressions, riffs repeated throughout music. There just aren't enough combinations and permutations to prevent it.

Still Dre (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5912399)

US$1.5 million really isn't that much when you consider the fact that he earned US$51.9 million in 2002 alone.,1048,c3gb3061-3725 -1 ,00.html#boardsAnchor

Re:Still Dre (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5912476)

yeah, but his addiction to white biatches probably consumed $49 million of that, so ...

Crazy copyrights (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5912404)

It's about time. I'm still amazed that profiting on other people's hard work is illeagal. I mean this doesn't make any sense. Those stupid copyright laws should be banned.

Shaggy (1)

Kadagan AU (638260) | more than 11 years ago | (#5912406)

This is probably off topic, but it's about music sampling.... sorta... I don't know whether it should be legal or not. But every time I hear the song "Angel" by Shaggy start to play, I think it's "The Joker" by Steve Miller Band, and it pisses me off when it's not. Just had to say that.

Ice Ice Baby (1)

thehun101 (218731) | more than 11 years ago | (#5912407)

Another not too old example of this sort of samping is Vanilla Ice's "Ice Ice Baby" He stole his main beat from "Under Pressure" by Queen and David Bowie.

I would have to agree that this sort of sampling without consent is illegal. Of course, the Vanilla Ice case was very blatant.

-the Hun

Re:Ice Ice Baby (2, Funny)

bathmatt (638217) | more than 11 years ago | (#5912459)

Personally, I think that anything that Vanilla Ice does should be illegal

Correct.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5912419)

I don't think GPL violations should be pursued except in the most blatant violations.

Rapper scratch ? (5, Insightful)

Rosco P. Coltrane (209368) | more than 11 years ago | (#5912422)

When rappers scratch, they move the LP back and forth. So, what happens during the backward stroke, when the record is played backward ? does Minder Music pay Dr. Dre ? if the record is scratch slowly, does Dr. Dre pays Minder Music slowly, by installments ?

Seriously though, this music copyright business is seriously messed up. I wonder if African tribes and australian Aboriginas realize they're sitting on a gold mine, that they should start collecting on their millenia-old drum "samples" copyrights.

Obligatory Simpsons quote (1)

frodo from middle ea (602941) | more than 11 years ago | (#5912425)

Lisa: Bart, we're just going to borrow them.
Bart (winks, slyly): Oh, heh, heh, gotcha

if = 30 second clips avoid royalties (1)

Splork (13498) | more than 11 years ago | (#5912434)

they = 30 second samples should not be copyrightable either.

(ever notice how the cheap movies never play more than 30 seconds of a song

What's the definition of a "sample" (1)

cK-Gunslinger (443452) | more than 11 years ago | (#5912435)

By that, I mean what's the threshold between a single note and a copyrighted sample? After all, all music is composed from a limited number of notes, right?

Can an artist claim rights to the use of a 'G' followed by a 'B flat?'

Sampling has been dead for 10 years (5, Interesting)

L-Train8 (70991) | more than 11 years ago | (#5912446)

The problem with the Verve was that they copied the Stones' song completely, slowing down the tempo a bit. Dr. Dre copied a short riff from a song by the Fatback Band. Experts at the trial said that the riff in question is common in a lot of music, and not unique to the Fatback Band song.

In neither case was the music actually sampled, that is, a bit of the original recording used in the new music. While that technique was commonplace in the 80's in rap music, it occurs a lot less frequently today. After some litigation, most notably Gilbert O'Sullivan's lawsuit against Biz Markie, ended unlicensed sampling, most artists started to re-record bits of songs to mix into their raps. The amount of music re-recorded is not enough to infringe on the copyright of the original music, and since it isn't an actual sample of the original recording, it doesen't infringe on that copyright either.

As for the issue of whether sampling should be legal, I say yes. Check out the Beastie Boys album Paul's Boutique to hear sampling as an art form at it's peak.

just take a sample of 2 works... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5912448)

1. figure out which work you want to steal^h^h^h^hample.
2. combine it with another copyrighted work... say a nice John Cage song... (copyrighted silence is wonderful)
3. distribute to the masses under dr dre's rules.
4. make money for doing little work.
5. repeat ad infinitum until you decide that the music industry needs a revolution.
6. find something different and risque and go to 2.

Simple answer (2, Interesting)

stanmann (602645) | more than 11 years ago | (#5912449)

The answer is really very simple. If an artist uses a sample, then they should be obligated to pay royalties. That is how the law is written today. Now, perhaps that should change. But why?
So that people who can't play instruments can "borrow" other artists work
I don't think that is a good plan.

Here is a better plan. Fix copyright back to 70-100 years Max.

OTOH, if two artist independantly develop the same riff, then both are free to use it, However if there is a significant gap between the first and second. The second is and should be obligated to acknowledge influence, or prove that it is not a derivative work...

One example that comes to mind was the first time I heard the new Madonna song... some crap about life in America and yoga and pilates. Anyway I was immediately reminded of Falco's Rock Me Ammadeus.

IMHO copyright applies if it's recognizable ... (1)

Ungrounded Lightning (62228) | more than 11 years ago | (#5912450)

IMHO copyright applies if the sample is recognizable and non-trivial. i.e.

- If you use a verse, or even a couple bars, from "Sergant Pepper", pay up - to Michael Jackson. B-) If you use half a track to go "veep-a-veep-a-veep" for your percussion, who cares if it's from Sergant Pepper, A Night at the Opera, or Behtoven's fifth? (But why didn't you just use one that's in the public domain by now anyhow.)

- If you play a couple bars backward, fair use. If you play a track backward, pay up.

- If you get a non-signature (i.e. lots of people do it) drum riff or guitar lick off a record and cut-and-paste it into a new composition, who cares? (Even if the whole composition is pieced together from such samples.) If you take a few bars of a solo, or a bar of something heavily orchestrated, pay up. If it's somebody's signature lick, learn to play it yourself (so it's no longer a signature) or pay up. And if it's more than a few notes, pay up for playing it yourself, too.

But that's just me.

No Easy Answer (1)

istartedi (132515) | more than 11 years ago | (#5912451)

I think it requires... wait for it... judgement. That's right. Judges will actually have to judge.

What's are the general guidelines for judgement? I think there should be 3 classes of works as far as sampling is concerned. Class 1: The samples are more like notes, it's difficult to tell where they came from, or even if you can tell where they came from the resulting composition is a totally new work. Sampling artist keeps all royalties. Class 2: extensive use of sampling to the point where you have a medley or a "cover" of an existing work or works. In that case, the sampling artist should pay whatever they pay now to do a cover, except that this fee might be divided among several artists. Many "house mixes" would probably be class 2. Class 3: outright copying of a song, with digital or analog modifications providing little more than a thin veil over the original material, and not adding any real original value. To the Class 3 "artist" sorry--no soup for you. You forfeit any royalties you earn back to the original artist.

Now, I realize there are all kinds of shades of meaning in between these classes, and no easy answer. It's a shame we don't do more jury trials for cases like this, because I think most ordinary people would be able to figure this out without writing 1600 page anesthesia documents. The Verve example cited is a classic case of Class 1 sampling that was hammered as if it were Class 3 trash. I never would have known the Stones had a hand in there if I hadn't been told.

"Shut the fuck up and get what's comming to you" (5, Funny)

nagora (177841) | more than 11 years ago | (#5912468)

Those were Dr Dre's words to Greg Palast (as reported in "The Best Democracy Moeny Can Buy") when asked about his suing of Napster to pay for infringing on his "intellectual property rights".

I DO hope the Doctor is enjoying his own medicine.


Make royalties mandatory... (1)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 11 years ago | (#5912469)

But allow all sampling, however great.

Royalty amount: Song is 5 minutes, sample is one minute long, 1/5 of profit is royalty payment.

You can always sign a contract to sell it for less, but this means that anyone can sample anything but they have to pay. Also any length sample should be credited if desired by the owner.

It was not a sample. (4, Informative)

eples (239989) | more than 11 years ago | (#5912475)

From MTV's article:
"Dre testified that before hiring a musician to play a bassline from the Fatback Band's 1980 song "Backstrokin'" for his 2001 track "Let's Get High," he consulted a musicologist who said the riff was commonplace.

He had another musician play some notes - it wasn't a sample from a copyrighted work. Surely there is a difference.

Do you want to read more trolls in your spare time (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5912481)

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Shouldn't the suit be for $900,000,000,000 (2, Funny)

Dave21212 (256924) | more than 11 years ago | (#5912499)

That's $150,000 per song [] times 6 million [] copies for a total of $900,000,000,000 ?

Why didn't they just recreate? (1)

Reverend Raven (135361) | more than 11 years ago | (#5912501)

This is so strange. Why didn't Dr. Dre (and the Verve) just recreate the sounds rather than use a sample from another song? From someone who's in the record industry (a good friend of mine) it's so easy to recreate rather than outright steal the sample.

All the way (1)

bperkins (12056) | more than 11 years ago | (#5912502)

Hopefully there courts will finally give some guidance on this.

The ironic thing about this is that when sampling started becoming popular and people did it very heavily, the result was much more creative and interesting than it is now.

Then you would take sounds from loads of sources and slap them all together. Now you just find a catchy riff, go talk to their lawyers, an let some talentless hack mutter something over it.

I'm afraid though, that the music industry has foisted such a restricted idea of fair use on all of us that it's going to be difficult to get the legal system to go againt them.

Bring It On (1)

devnullkac (223246) | more than 11 years ago | (#5912506)

Should samples be protected by copyright? As long as copyright law and the DMCA exist in their current form, Hell yes! Many uses of copyrighted material appear "fair" but are prohibited by current US and international law. Just because one of those uses is especially lucrative (read: desired by the masses enough to pay for it) doesn't mean we should ask that enforcement be relaxed for that use. In fact, quite the opposite.

If you believe fair use should be broader than it currently is, then this is your chance for corporations to work to your benefit: they may just decide to lobby for new law which makes such uses legal for everyone, not just corporations. Just make sure your representative (presuming you have one) doesn't let the law be too specific.

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