Variation on the Same Basic Copyright Question Asked Over & Over: Illegal to use?

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NE301

New member
In many drum kits online, there are vocal effects saying "ay" or something like that. If a rapper has a famous adlib and you sample it is it illegal? would you have to get a 0.5 second sample cleared? Please help.
I would like to think that it is a microsample/one couldn't find an exact recording that it came from because it is in many different recordings. I would really like to think it is a sample that is that short could be used without it being really illegal
 

The Beat Pharmacy

Cookin Up Dat Dope
Most rappers are all for that and wouldn't look to sue over it. I have never heard of a case of a rapper suing over the use of Vocal chops and it is done a lot.
 

noblewordz

sexing your mother
I don't know where the misconception came from that the lenghth of a sample defines how legal it is to use. Unless you have permission (or its royalty free) using someone else recording is a breach of the holders copyright.

I doubt anyone will come after you, unless you make some nice money off it. Especially if its unrecognizable.
 

HIMbeats

New member
I don't know where the misconception came from that the lenghth of a sample defines how legal it is to use. Unless you have permission (or its royalty free) using someone else recording is a breach of the holders copyright.

I doubt anyone will come after you, unless you make some nice money off it. Especially if its unrecognizable.

This is soooo true! When you create a song, the law protects every note, lyric, etc. in it's entirety. It does not factor in any "Time" usage. Many people believe that you can use upto 30 seconds of a song legally, or it is part of "fair use", this is not the case. There isn't a 30 second rule or 10% of the song or for non commercial use or educational use or none of that written into the copyright laws. The 30 second rule was put into place for music sites to display a song legally for you to want to buy the whole thing. It is part of the boilerplate agreement with ASCAP and only applys to approved music sites, not you and I. There are no grey areas here, although many people believe mixtapes are and fall into a loop hole or grey area of some sort because it is not for profit. Again, no...every piece of copywritten music is protected in it's entirety. There are sites on the internet that we tell you different, but the ASCAP membership material clearly states the law.
 

NE301

New member
I don't know where the misconception came from that the lenghth of a sample defines how legal it is to use. Unless you have permission (or its royalty free) using someone else recording is a breach of the holders copyright.

I doubt anyone will come after you, unless you make some nice money off it. Especially if its unrecognizable.

well i was mostly asking not because of how long it was but because how is a publisher or artist gonna identify what song a gucci mane "brrr" came from ...
 

ProjektD

Hivemind Complex
I don't know where the misconception came from that the lenghth of a sample defines how legal it is to use. Unless you have permission (or its royalty free) using someone else recording is a breach of the holders copyright.

I doubt anyone will come after you, unless you make some nice money off it. Especially if its unrecognizable.

Except its not a misconception. Its a fact.
Its also what they teach in music business schools.

If a rapper wants to claim full rights over an adlib, they copyright the sound clip. I seriously doubt Lil Jons 'YEAH!' did not require a copyright on the soundbite. If it didn't, everyone would be allowed to use/replicate it.
 

dvyce

New member
well i was mostly asking not because of how long it was but because how is a publisher or artist gonna identify what song a gucci mane "brrr" came from ...

You seriously ont think you would recognize your own voice on a recording?!

Anyway...

Here is the real answer: it is not legal to sample ANYTHING from a song without permission. (unless the song has an expired copyright)

It does not matter how short the sample is.

And if you sample someones distinctive recognizable voice, you are also subject to trademark law.

...and if people are using people's vocal adlibs sampled in their songs and they are not getting in trouble, it is not because they are legally entitled to use the sample... It is either because they have permission or the song is not popular enough for the artist to know it is being used or to care.
 

NE301

New member
thanks a lot for your help.
i've decided that it probably makes a lot more sense and would sound better and more distinctive if i recorded and edited my own vocal drops anyway.
 

dvyce

New member
Does anyone else have anything they can provide on this? An article or case etc.

You seriously need and "article or case" to understand that if the shit is not yours, it is not legal for you to use it?!?

Gimme a break.

Not only is it the way the law works, but it is just common sense.

It's pretty simple... if you didn't write it and perform it... and it is not so old that it fell into the public domain... and if nobody expressly said it is free to use... then you are not authorized to use it.

PERIOD!

And this applies to pretty much everything in life: if it's not yours, don't use it.
 

rhythmgj

Character in Spades...
^^^^This one (like so many before him) is on a quest to make the law different-- just in this case. "You know, just for me. I'm not making any money from it!"

Copyright law is exactly what it's named for a reason. The originator's/creator's right to "make copies." For the length of the copyright period (in other words, not-in-public-domain), that right belongs to the creator/rights-holder (they may not be one-and-the-same _if_, and only if, those rights have been legally reassigned, as in a proper publishing or record deal).

That's it. That's all. No matter how many times it's asked!!!

GJ
 

unknownwonknu

New member
You seriously need and "article or case" to understand that if the shit is not yours, it is not legal for you to use it?!?

Gimme a break.

Not only is it the way the law works, but it is just common sense.

It's pretty simple... if you didn't write it and perform it... and it is not so old that it fell into the public domain... and if nobody expressly said it is free to use... then you are not authorized to use it.

PERIOD!

And this applies to pretty much everything in life: if it's not yours, don't use it.
"Yes" I do, am I just suppose to take your word or go by your common sense because you TYPED IN CAPS AND USED AN EXCLAMATION MARK? lol I think the law would be better to use than opinions. You're oversimplifying this issue too. I have heard that the length of the sample is a factor but again, until I see some sort of evidence for it I don't know. Something may have a copyright but it may also be royalty free btw.
 

unknownwonknu

New member
^^^^This one (like so many before him) is on a quest to make the law different-- just in this case. "You know, just for me. I'm not making any money from it!"

Copyright law is exactly what it's named for a reason. The originator's/creator's right to "make copies." For the length of the copyright period (in other words, not-in-public-domain), that right belongs to the creator/rights-holder (they may not be one-and-the-same _if_, and only if, those rights have been legally reassigned, as in a proper publishing or record deal).

That's it. That's all. No matter how many times it's asked!!!

GJ

Not trying to make the law different, I'm trying to know the law. Not so sure what's so hard to understand about that. What you typed is a start but the question I have now is do the sounds fall under public domain and do they even have a copyright. I'll keep digging.
 

rhythmgj

Character in Spades...
Why ask here though, if you don't want to receive the answers? Just a serious question.

If the sound recording is currently under copyright (safe to assume if it is not 100 years old), then yes, all parts of it are under copyright. Amount of time has nothing to do with it. (Case law? Search Biz Markie).

Time played comes into question regarding radio stations/media/academia using samples for fair use reasons, and based on ASCAP and BMI membership (for instance if a media outlet is a member of one but not the other). It has absolutely nothing to do with sampling of any length, regardless of what you've heard.

Why is that so hard to understand?

Sorry if this all sounds harsh, but we see the same questions over and over and over again, when it's pretty simple to find the answers if you don't believe what you find here. Go to LOC.gov (Library of Congress and look up the Copyright Circulars), or read Donald Passman's book. Everyone wants to make it complicated. It's not. You can't sample without permission. You might not get caught, but it's still illegal. Then again, you might get caught. As mentioned, there are other possible legal issues (restraint of trade, unauthorized use of voice/no performance release, etc., etc.).

GJ
 
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