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Question About Samples


I just finished a 14 track CD.

I used a few drum loops from unknown sources. I got most of my samples from friends and Libraries.

I just wanted to know if I wanted to have that CD pressed as a demo, Would I have to find the sources of this drum loops? or what would be the way to go with copyright?




Thomas W. Bethel Tue, 03/20/2007 - 05:11
We mastered a Hip Hop album a couple of years ago. It had lots of samples in it. I asked the producer if he a cleared the samples and he looked blankly back and me and said "what are you talking about?" I told him the facts of life about copyright and he chose to ignore my advice. About two weeks later I got a call that the album was due to be sent off to the pressing plant and needed to be "edited" The producer and talent came back and wanted me to take about about 17-20 samples because their lawyer told them that it was either that or they were not to release the album. I am a good editor but to take individual samples out of a piece of music is not a good way to go and when we got though it was, sorry to say, a real hatchet job. The moral of this story is get your clearances BEFORE you do anything else. It will probably cost you some but it could cost you a lot more later.

Pro Audio Guest Sat, 05/12/2007 - 17:47
Let me expand upon what I wrote since some people can't comprehend what it is they are reading (i.e. mr. rodgers). Don't worry about drum loops unless you took a loop from say, Stevie Wonder off "Superstition"." If you found a nice little drum loop, throw some compression, eq, reverb, whatever it is you do. How the hell is Joe Blow from Idaho gonna know it's his? So if the drum loop is not a popular sample or you found it on some royalty free sample library, you'll be fine. I'd say the best thing for you to do is send your cd to the copyright agency.
And yes, the date your letter is stamped by the post office is the day your copyright goes into effect. It will normally take a few weeks, maybe longer for them to check your work. If they clear it, you're good to go, if they don't, then they will definately let you know. Another thing, read that website carefully, because it can confuse you if you dont pay attention. PS - If you're only doing a demo, and you're giving it out for free, you could sample the Star Spangled Banner, give it out to every damn person in the world and not get in trouble. The ONLY time you have to worry about sampling is if you are profitting off that material. I'm spent. Peace

Pro Audio Guest Mon, 03/19/2007 - 15:35
Don't worry too much about drum loops or anything under roughly 7-8 seconds, especially if you plan on giving your demo's away for free. If it's free you dont have to clear any samples because you're not profitting off them. If you plan on selling your demo then send a copy to the copyright people (google it to find the address). The postmark date is the date your music is copyrighted. Good luck

BobRogers Mon, 03/19/2007 - 16:07
I don't know the law on this, but you should do some real research and find out what it is. You should not trust random comments on a web site. You'll never know if they are wrong until the cease and desist order hits you. (I don't know for sure, but there are a half dozen things that I think are legally incorrect about D-Day's post.) If you are doing this for anything other than strict personal use, I'd learn the law and know exactly where your samples are coming from.

ouzo77 Thu, 05/24/2007 - 06:14

i don't want to hi-jack this thread, but i have a similar question.
i have used a few samples from interviews i got on some websites. it's just voices talking on medical subjects. are they also copyright protected?
do i have to get clearence from the people talking, from the websites or is it ok to just use them?

Thomas W. Bethel Thu, 05/24/2007 - 07:15
It depends on the site and the agreement they have with the people who are being interviewed. Most stuff on the web today IS copyrighted and to use it without permission is against the copyright law. Better to do some checking BEFORE you get into a copyright violation situation and have to pay some BIG BUCKS to fight the allegations.