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Thread: But my mixtape is free so it's legal !

  1. #1
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    But my mixtape is free so it's legal !

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    Copyright.
    The RIGHT to make & distribute COPIES.

    1. Copyright law does not dictate if you sell it or give it away for free. If you don't own every element you legally can't do either.

    2. Only the owner of the work can grant this permission. Sometimes the artist/writer doesn't even own the copyright and the publisher or record label owns it. That party would give permission and no one else. KRS once said I'd let you sample my whole catalog but I don't own all of it.

    3. Copyright law doesn't specify a time limit. Your sample could be 2 seconds or 2 minutes. If it is recognized and proven that you didn't create it, you're guilty of violating copyright law.

    4. Creative Commons is a rule that some people register their work under, it allows any music, words, art to be used for free without a specific license/contract. But it has certain stipulations for how it's used. The normal categories are Exact Copy, Cover, and Derived Works. Be sure to double check on the requirement. Example...The Pledge Of Alegeince, Presidential Speeches......

    5) Copyright law accounts for not only the recording and distribution of works, it also covers the performance of work. That means if you jump on stage at your local club and do your freestyle over Drake 0-100 beat, you are violating copyright. Even if you just use a small sample of it. A COVERAGE is different however.*

    6. A cover must be extremely close to the original song. You do not need permission before you do it but the copyright owner must be paid royalties and credited at all times.

    7. Copyright doesn't give a free pass just because it's an unknown sample or and, and you couldn't find out where it came from. If it was made by a rock band in their garage in 1957 and never released by a label, but somehow you found the mp3 and use it, you are still violating copyright law.

    8. To find the copyright holder search "Creative Commons", "Harry Fox Agency", "Sound Exchange" "BMI", ASCAP" or any other PRO Organization (Performance Rights Organization)

    9. Replaying a song is called an "Interpolation". Depending on how much the words or music changes from the original it can also be considered a "Derivitve Work". In general if you change something it is no longer your call, and you need permission, also known as a "License".

    10. In most cases, individual notes or sounds are not protected by copyright. However a pattern of sounds also known as melodies, chord progressions, drum tracks are under copyright protection. Perfect example of **Cover vs Sample vs Derived Work** is Pharell and Robin Thicke song "Blurred Lines" lawsuit. They did not sample the song. However too many notes and melodies were the same in multiple parts of the song such as back ground vocals, drum parts, and bass line.


    There's a bunch more rules that go into copyright. There is no way this post or any other can explain them all. I suggest reading a book and stop making up rumors and half truths based on the internet or what your friend told you. Most books are actually double checked by a lawyer before being published, so they are more accurate than some guy in his bedroom blogging about music industry legal issues. Especially if that person doesn't have high level experience in the industry such as running a serious label or being signed to one. If we're that easy to understand then why would major artists and producers get sued so often? Why do you always see "Unavailable" or "Take Down Due To Copyright" on certain videos on YouTube or other music sites.

    A good music business book is.........
    This Business Of Urban Music
    Author: James Walker
    https://play.google.com/store/books/...ICjA&gclsrc=ds

    A forum or blog can't teach it all. Rumors leave you confused. And both will often contain false information.

    Use your iPad/Smartphone and get a $10 iBook, eBook and actually learn the business. That $10 spent today could save you $10,000 one day.

    "Don't get high on your own copyright lie" -Notorious BIG & Ice Cube.
    Last edited by Drethe5th; 07-25-2015 at 02:50 PM.
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  3. #2
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    For those who still don't get it. Here is the most recent case.

    Meek Mill vs Drake
    WWE Has A Problem w/ Meek Mill Stealing Music | BLKDMNDS
    Meeks song was posted on social media for free. But the samples he used were not licensed to him. He did not sell the music.....but is till being sued.

    WWE Has A Problem w/ Meek Mill Stealing Music | BLKDMNDS

    Even when giving music away for free you can be held liable.

    Copy....Right
    The*Right*to create, manufacture and distributecopies*in physical or digital form, belongs to the creator or owner of the original item unless a contract, agreement or license states otherwise. Even if it does not generate profit
    Last edited by Drethe5th; 08-01-2015 at 04:09 PM.
    Dre The 5th

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    Thanks for the info. I'm an amateur but I rely heavily on sampling. Does this mean that basically any beat of mine that contains a sample is illegal for me to post online or share outside of my bedroom?

    I'm not looking to pursue a full time career as a producer but I love it as a hobby and would love the chance to sell, or even just freely share beats legally when able to, so I'm just looking for clarification.
    Last edited by JoDaYoda; 08-05-2015 at 06:53 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by JoDaYoda View Post
    Thanks for the info. I'm an amateur but I rely heavily on sampling. Does this mean that basically any beat of mine that contains a sample is illegal for me to post online or share outside of my bedroom?

    I'm not looking to pursue a full time career as a producer but I love it as a hobby and would love the chance to sell, or even just freely share beats legally when able to, so I'm just looking for clarification.

    For clarification, yes. Your beats are illegal. You are not legally able to post those beats online since you did not get permission to use the samples. Take those beats down before you get in trouble!

    Stop talking yourself into doing the wrong thing. You know it is wrong. I am telling you it is wrong because I know it is wrong. Amateur or pro, you cannot legally sample music without permission. It is illegal, plain and simple.



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    Quote Originally Posted by JoDaYoda View Post
    Thanks for the info. I'm an amateur but I rely heavily on sampling. Does this mean that basically any beat of mine that contains a sample is illegal for me to post online or share outside of my bedroom?

    I'm not looking to pursue a full time career as a producer but I love it as a hobby and would love the chance to sell, or even just freely share beats legally when able to, so I'm just looking for clarification.
    Legally Yes. If you can clear samples when you can. Since you're doing things small time i wouldn't worry to much about being sued. If you do give away or sell a beat put it in writing that the sample is uncleared and that it is up to the artist to clear the sample.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Desire Inspires View Post


    For clarification, yes. Your beats are illegal. You are not legally able to post those beats online since you did not get permission to use the samples. Take those beats down before you get in trouble!

    Stop talking yourself into doing the wrong thing. You know it is wrong. I am telling you it is wrong because I know it is wrong. Amateur or pro, you cannot legally sample music without permission. It is illegal, plain and simple.
    I love how you assumed I'm going to go ahead and sell uncleared samples. Don't worry I'm smarter than that.

    Quote Originally Posted by KelevraOne View Post
    Legally Yes. If you can clear samples when you can. Since you're doing things small time i wouldn't worry to much about being sued. If you do give away or sell a beat put it in writing that the sample is uncleared and that it is up to the artist to clear the sample.
    From what I've seen from other artists they don't get sued unless they make money off it. There's loads of underground producers that have obvious samples and didn't get sued. Since I'm not planning on sharing a large number of beats anyways, I'll be sure to get permission for any samples I do plan on sharing and/or selling just to be safe. Thanks.

    Isn't the burden of clearing the sample on the producer though? If I sell a beat with an uncleared sample to a rapper, and he sells it on his mixtape and gets sued, wouldn't I be named in the lawsuit as well?
    Last edited by JoDaYoda; 08-08-2015 at 02:34 PM.

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    Dumb niggas these days.
    These niggas scared to wipe they own ass without permission from the internet, then they think they gonna get sued for sampling like anyone is really paying attention to they shltty amateur hour $75 soundcloud beats. Nigga, make a full song, with hooks and verses, build up your network, THEN worry about being sued if you're too D & D (Dumb and Determined) to do any due diligence.
    If you THAT worried about getting sued for sampling, learn an instrument or stfu with the "will I get sued" questions.
    Quote Originally Posted by scrapheaper View Post
    Only on future producers could someone ask about melody and have two posts which don't mention anything about notes.

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    Quote Originally Posted by JoDaYoda View Post
    I love how you assumed I'm going to go ahead and sell uncleared samples. Don't worry I'm smarter than that.



    From what I've seen from other artists they don't get sued unless they make money off it. There's loads of underground producers that have obvious samples and didn't get sued. Since I'm not planning on sharing a large number of beats anyways, I'll be sure to get permission for any samples I do plan on sharing and/or selling just to be safe. Thanks.

    Isn't the burden of clearing the sample on the producer though? If I sell a beat with an uncleared sample to a rapper, and he sells it on his mixtape and gets sued, wouldn't I be named in the lawsuit as well?

    Since you know all of the answers, why are you asking questions? I just don't get why people ask "Is it okay if I commit a crime?" Just do what you choose and deal with the consequences. You aren't going to listen to reason and logic anyway.



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    Last edited by Desire Inspires; 08-08-2015 at 07:17 PM.



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    Quote Originally Posted by Desire Inspires View Post
    Since you know all of the answers, why are you asking questions? I just don't get why people ask "Is it okay if I commit a crime?" Just do what you choose and deal with the consequences. You aren't going to listen to reason and logic anyway.
    Maybe it's because the legality of sampling has a HUGE grey area. Artists like that perform mashups without permission such as Girl Talk don't get sued because of the Fair Use Act, and tons of underground artists don't make enough money to even catch the industry's attention. At the same Youtube videos get taken down if they have even so much as 3 seconds of a copyrighted song. This should be legal under the Fair Use Act if they are parodying, critiquing, or commenting on the music, but labels and/or youtube ignore that and take the video down anyways.

    As far as sampling in music goes, I think there's a fine line between distorting a guitar riff to the point of no longer being recognizable, to using an obvious loop from a Michael Jackson song. I understand sampling music and distributing it w/o permission can be risky and if used for monetary gain can be ethically questionable, but to avoid sampling all together simply because "I am telling you it is wrong because I know it is wrong" is incredibly naive.

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