[cc-sampling] Movie Samples In Songs

MARK / negativland markhosler at bellsouth.net
Thu Apr 22 16:14:50 EDT 2004


At 11:42 AM -0700 4/22/04, Z-Train Music wrote:
>Ginrai,
>
>A lot of laptop musicians are emerging, and we 
>all seem to have a lot questions around the 
>legality and reality of sampling source audio 
>from songs, movies, interviews, spoken word 
>performances or television shows.
>
>I think this is how it goes:
>
>LEGALITY -- If you sample audio that is 
>copyrighted by another entity, and you do not 
>obtain a license for that sample, you have 
>probably violated copyright law UNLESS: i) the 
>sample comes from a work that is "Creatively" 
>licensed (via Creative Commons or another form 
>of open licensing); or ii) your use of the 
>sample can be construed as a FAIR USE exception.


As far as we are concerned, if's it's a 
fragmentary and/or transformative use, it's ALL 
fair use! But that doesn't matter- they can still 
sue you if they feel like it! But generally they 
wont feel like it unless you are making large 
amounts of money.


>  There are some parameters for what constitutes 
>a Fair Use, and the biggest one is that you do 
>not directly obtain money from the sale of the 
>work containing the sample.
>
>REALITY -- Entertainment companies (and their 
>lawyers) don't care about your sampling until 
>there's a financial incentive for them to care. 
>Sample anything you want, but don't expect to 
>sell your work.  Give your music away as a demo 
>to your friends and family, upload it to a file 
>sharing network, send it to college radio 
>stations, create a buzz about your self, go nuts.


We sample like crazy, never ask permission, sell 
the stuff we make as CDs, and haven't been sued 
since the early 90's. If you are a 
do-it-yourselfer, I don't think you have anything 
to worry about if you release it for sale. BUT - 
you can have trouble with the CD pressing plants.

Go here on our site to read about our own experiences with this -

http://negativland.com/riaa/index.html


mark


>Maybe a professional music producer will hear 
>your brilliant work and dub you the next big 
>thing. Maybe not. You'll still have a cool 
>sounding track. Create what you will.
>
>Some advantages to sampling unknown movies: 1) 
>if and when you do license the sample, it may be 
>cheaper than getting a license to sample Star 
>Wars; 2) the film may be part of the Public 
>Domain, in which case a license is not required 
>to sample. If you're not planning on licensing 
>the sample, then there aren't really any 
>non-aesthetic reasons for mining unknown films.
>
>I'm sure someone out there will take issue with 
>something I've said in this flood of words.
>
>
>Andy
>
>>From: Ginrai <ginrai at masterforce.org>
>>To: cc-sampling at lists.ibiblio.org
>>Subject: [cc-sampling] Movie Samples In Songs
>>Date: Wed, 21 Apr 2004 21:36:13 -0700
>>
>>Hi there. New here. I'm a musician and I've 
>>been experimenting with samples in my songs. 
>>Not musical samples, mind you, but snippets of 
>>dialogue from movies. I've heard that a lot 
>>bands that use samples like that just use them 
>>and hope no one calls them on it (and sometimes 
>>they're called on it, like when Skinny Puppy 
>>got into trouble by using a sample from Timothy 
>>Leery). It seems that it would hardly be worth 
>>the effort and red tape and money to try to get 
>>permission for a clip that lasts a second and 
>>isn't at all musical. I've looked through 
>>Skinny Puppy liner notes and they never mention 
>>where the samples come from. I've recognized a 
>>lot of them, Hitchcock movies, Scanners, A 
>>Clockwork Orange, 2001. Some of them are 
>>popular and some aren't. From a copyright 
>>perspective, I imagine it would be defendable 
>>in a lot of cases under fair use. You could say 
>>it's your song commenting on the crass 
>>commercial society that creaked the insincere 
>>movie and such.
>>
>>I guess my question is, should I just use movie 
>>samples and to hell with it? Is it maybe safer 
>>to use samples from really obscure lame movies 
>>that no one has seen? Any comments are welcome.
>>
>>-Ginrai
>>
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