Sampling licensing

There are a lot of tracks out with full release in all major digital stores in the House scene that have very clearly sampled tracks, my question is this, have they really all managed to get both publishing / recording rights cleared? or have they just released in hope that they don’t sued? I’m trying to work out how I can release this track I have the same way all the other producers have, ie: crazibiza / dj dan / criminal vibes, etc, etc.

I went to a panel at SXSW2012 on licensing with five top industry lawyers and the message they imparted was simple.

Bottom line is, if you don’t clear the samples you’ll never make a dime from your track - once it’s out there you have no leverage to negotiate a deal, and they will get 100%.

Those kind of stats are aimed at big named artists who end up getting sued if they don’t clear samples.

Tom Demac recently released a track called Dirty Honey with a massive sample of Ol Dirty Bastard in it, I’d be amazed if he cleared that.

Look at the Juno disco edits chart, there are hundreds of remixes and re-edits in there that clearly have unlicensed samples in them. To lose any revenue, first of all you would have to sell enough copies to actually generate any, then to get sued it would have to be popular enough for it to be brought to the attention of the sample holder who would then decide if it was worth suing you.

I’d be amazed if you even got a cease and desist order. Even if you did, it means the track has been popular enough to warrant getting one and then it was worth it to raise your profile.

Everyone else seems to get away with it, why wouldn’t you. Look at the Disco Edit guy Al Kent who’s from Glasgow like me. He recently released a 5cd box set called the best of Disco Demands. He never cleared a single sample and you can buy the album anywhere including HMV. His latest “track” is just a loop of Isaac Hayes “Moonlight Lovin” that also wasn’t cleared.

It’s only going to be a problem if you have a big track on your hands and then the worst is, you’ll lose the profits.

Look at this guy Rayko as an example. He now gigs all over Europe purely off the back of disco edits.

He just makes up some daft name for the song and releases it as his own.

Rayko Vinyl & CDs for sale - Juno Records

Yeah just get it out there mate!

It will never make enough money in sales these days for you to have to worry about being sued etc anyway - so nothing to worry about!

The answer to the initial question: No. They go on sheer luck and expect not to get sued , nobody cares so much today about their samples being used with the sh**load of new music producers. Only in very rare cases involving huge names i guess. You can do whatever you like and don’t be afraid is my opinion :slight_smile:

I’ve just scanned through this quickly so if anybody else has pointed it out already, sorry. Have you heard of replays? There’s companies that specialise in recreating samples and they get them ridiculously accurate, like the sample in dirty south’s phazing. Thats a replay. Then they don’t have to worry about all that sh*t. Obviously not everybody’s doing it because of the cost but that’s what I reckon the big names are doing

Interesting that I came across this thread as I’m on the verge of releasing a track with an uncleared sample and was debating releasing it free or via an actual distribution outlet so I could eventually get it on Pandora, etc.

Guess the consensus here is … screw it! :slight_smile: