Legalities regarding sampling sounds


#1

The next sound you’ll hear will be the opening of a can of worms in C2! ‘just got back from a quick tour of Youtube videos dealing with copyright infringements on sound samples. Lord have mercy! Taken to an extreme, sampling a single note – say the first piano note from Ray Charles’ What I Say – would require written approval for its use. But wait! The piano was made by XYZ Piano Company. So who really owns that sound? It seems the latest test is whether someone can identify a sound as coming from a particular recording. So if I want to sample a note from the brass section on a song, then it better not be so unique that people identify its source.

Any opinions? Experiences?


#2

I do not use many sound samples anymore. Some VST’s use them, but if you bought the VST, you’re good. There are tons of samples all over the internet sold by thousands of suppliers. There are also many samples in the public domain. The amazing sound sets by E-MU is one of them. There really isn’t anything you can sample, that can’t be found in a samples package. Here is the reality, unless you go all out and sample off a recording, and it gets a lot of attention on YouTube, it might be discovered. The artists that made that one sound still OWNS it, so they have the right to protect their art. The piano that made that sound was purchased or rented to make it’s sound for whoever. Same with the other instruments. This is the way Copyrights work. You surely wouldn’t want other people using any of your performances, they being stolen to make money, and you nothing. Legalities are what they are. Opinion really has no place in this unless in court. The law is the law. You may run the red light, and no cop may be there to see it, but that little camera on the pole will get you a ticket in the mail. YouTube is constantly addressing copyright issues, but so is night clubs, dance halls, and restaurants. I play a lot of cover songs, but if I get caught doing it in a club, the club, and I will get billed. I know several clubs not accepting cover bands because of the fines they have incurred. I was caught once, the club had to pay, and they are still searching for a guy named Dick Handy, which is the name I gave them.


#3

Ah that brings up an interesting point. If the musician belongs to BMI or ASCAP or such, s/he can play (cover) that service’s songs legally. Can the songs be played with samples from the recordings? One issue is playing the notes, the other is playing the sounds.


#4

They can cover/play their own material as long as they are registered as the writer and/or publisher, but no one else’s work unless they have permission. Membership only gets you royalties on works you own.

It is still owner’s rights regardless of who owns the recorded material or the creation of the material. You understand that most artists do not own the publishing or even the recording rights, but most of them get permission to perform, and maybe even use some of the recorded material. Managers and Labels usually screw the artists for those rights. Look into John Fogerty’s nightmare with his manager. He couldn’t play any Creedence tunes for years. Same thing happened to Springsteen and many others.

BTW, Fogerty and Springsteen both won their rights after years in the courts.


#5

Thank Goodness for that No One can sing that material as well IMO. We currently do a pretty good version of “Joy of my life”. John was a balladeer deluxe as well …


#6

I think both of them were kept from doing old, and new songs, cause their respective managers owned future songs as well. Impossible to tour for money cause they couldn’t play their original tunes.


#7

The best and safest solution is to abandon music and go into something else.


#8

Boy ain’t that the truth, FredProgGH. We, however, don’t live by bread alone. So instead of abandoning music, we take our chances hoping to get by unscathed. I do understand that without rewards there would be little incentive for artists to create. I also understand that paying for every little thing would make everybody go broke and unable to reward future creations. What’s a mother to do?


#9

As Corky suggested, purchase a sample (that’s close enough to the actual sound) from vendors that have (or claim to have) the rights to that waveform. Then the onus is on them.


#10

The best was when John Fogerty was sued for sounding like himself - they alleged that ‘The Old Man Down the Road’ was just ‘Run Through the Jungle’ with different words."


#11

When you pros – I’m not – are playing, who pays for the right to use the material you are covering? You, the club, who?


#12

They usually hit the club, who, in turn, tries to put it back on the band.

The club has more equity and can be forced to close if they don’t pay.


#13

His former manager was an ***hole. Fogerty got the rights to finally record and perform new material, so his former manager, sued him for “sound alike old” new material.


#14

Yeah, I had heard the Fogerty story before. Back on topic – although I reserve the right to hijack my own thread and allow others to do so as well – a defense, when getting caught sampling a sound, would be that the sound belonged to the instrument, not the person whose recording contained it. Prove that I don’t own an identical instrument, set up the same way. I don’t have to, the accuser does.


#15

But, they could also say you were performing a cover of that sound. Again…that’s what courts are for.


#16

Okay, so who / where does the club or the band buy the right to perform songs they don’t own?


#17

Through BMI…ASCAP, ETC.

Somewhat like radio stations do. They have to list every song and artist.


#18

2h

RonArt:

If the musician belongs to BMI or ASCAP or such, s/he can play (cover) that service’s songs legally

They can cover/play their own material as long as they are registered as the writer and/or publisher, but no one else’s work unless they have permission. Membership only gets you royalties on works you own.

17m

Okay, so who / where does the club or the band buy the right to perform songs they don’t own?

Reply

Corky

10m

Through BMI…ASCAP, ETC.

Somewhat like radio stations do. They have to list every song and artist.

Reply

I must have missed something … Belonging to BMI and/or ASCAP (mind you, I’m throwing these around w/o knowing any details related to either) pays for the right to perform the songs on their lists.


#19

It must be noted that each performing rights organization manages the rights to a separate repertoire of musical works. To ensure that all music played in its space is authorized, businesses must obtain licenses from all PROs. Currently there are three PROs – the American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers (ASCAP), Broadcast Music, Inc. (BMI), and SESAC. ASCAP and BMI control the rights to most musical pieces. If a business chooses this course of action, it will then face the decision whether to buy licenses from one, two, or all three PROs. The licensing fees will vary according to the individual circumstances of the business, such as type of business, customer space, and business hours. Typically, the cost to a small business to obtain an annual license from one of the larger PROs, such as ASCAP, is in the range of 300 to 500 US dollars.

taken from https://www.paaba.org/2011/10/when-should-small-business-pay-ascap-or-bmi/


#20

So you knew that then.

Membership is quite different from licensing.