Sunday, October 6, 2013

Music Business/Law Tips - "Beware Samples In Music"

Uncleared samples are copyright infringement even for free promo uses. The owner of a copyright controls 6 exclusive rights: (1) The exclusive right to reproduce the work; (2) The exclusive right to distribute the work; (3) The exclusive right to perform the work; (4) The exclusive right to display the work; (5) The exclusive right to make derivatives (copies) of the work; and (6) The exclusive right to digitally transmit the work. Hence, if you incorporate uncleared samples of someone else’s copyright into your music - even if you don't plan on selling your music/mixtapes (but just distribute them online/offline for free) - it's still considered copyright infringement. Whether its shared for free physically or online, the law is that only the copyright owner has the right – or to give a third party permission – to reproduce, distribute, and make derivatives of their music. While some new/unknown artists might not get upset if they see that you used an uncleared mashup/mixtape/sampled song or master recording of their music and shared it for free, they absolutely have the right to prevent you from doing so/stop you. Clearly, a famous artist will take action and may seek damages. Bottom line - always get permission to use someone else’s music. Ben McLane Esq

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