[rumori] The Sample Clearance Fund: A proposal

Nicola Battista [rumori] The Sample Clearance Fund: A proposal
Tue, 25 Aug 1998 15:52:33 +0200 (00904081953,

At 10.28 25/08/98 -0700, Bob Booster wrote:

>I think a Sample Clearance Fund is probably a good idea for the people
>who are making our lives so difficult, but not a good idea for us. It
>was nice to see the history and concept laid out so nicely though.

well, thanks for sharing your thoughts :)

>I actually don't have a problem with someone paying for a sample when
>the resulting piece is musically dependent on the original sample. MC
>Hammer's Rick James samples would be a good point of reference.

exactly. Anyway what I was mostly referring to is when you have several
recognizable samples in a track. If you only sample one track or two,
clearing would be *relatively* easily, like in the example you quoted or in
the other obvious stuff (Puff Daddy vs. the Police etc.). But still, some
uncleared bits are often present:
PM Dawn's "Set adrift on memory" sampled Sapandau Ballet's "True". They gave them writing credit and cleared the sample. Yet the beat under the
track is still an uncleared loop widely used in other tracks, beginning
with Coldcut's remix of Eric B & Rakim's "Paid in full (Seven minutes of madness)" (dating back to 1987, if I'm not wrong). If I'm not wrong, the same beat appears in "First Cool Hive" on Moby's album "Everything is wrong". And it's also uncleared on that. And from what I remember neither Coldcut were sure of the original source they used in first place.

Plus, what about sonic collages like Bomb The Bass' "Beat Dis"? There you can clearly recognize the following bits: the theme to "The Good, The Bad and The Ugly" by Hugo Montenegro... Bits from "Shaft" by Isaac Hayes... "5-4-3-2-1 Thunderbirds are go" from the Thunderbirds tv series music... "Looking for that perfect beat" by Afrika Bambaataa/Soulsonic Force... Prince saying "Shut up!" and many more. Now imagine the troubles one could have doing an uncleared collage like this. Probably, around 1988 it went
unnoticed, but these days a legal version of it would be almost impossible.
Another example: Fatboy Slim aka Norman Cook in one of his thousands
aliases ;) has finished his album a while ago, but it won't come out for a
couple months because the legal office of Skint is trying to clear the
samples. I think Cook is a true artist. He did some silly commercial stuff
as Pizzaman but most of the stuff he did since the days of Beats
International and with other projects is great.
Now, do you think it is fair that he has to waste time waiting for sample
clearance to release his record?

>ON THE OTHER HAND, it would be nice to see a big pile of money mobilized
>from the people who have made a fortune off of the use of unlicensed
>samples (PE, Beatsies, Beck, etc.) for funding the legal defense of our
>right to Fair Use, and for pushing that right into public consciousness.
> These things for Tibet, and Walden Pond, etc...ought to be something
>for actual freedom of artmaking. I think a couple concerts in RFK
>Stadium promoting Fair Use would do it. then there'd be a big Rolling
>Stone spread on the evil RIAA trying to stomp out freedom of expression,
>etc. All of a sudden the whole thing would open up and go public and
>we'd never have to worry about this shit again.

hmmm not bad as an idea, but what I was trying is rather a sort of
mediation between (as Steev said) "art" and "commerce".... bye,
Nicola (Dj Batman) Battista