[rumori] The Sample Clearance Fund: A proposal

Steev [rumori] The Sample Clearance Fund: A proposal
Wed, 26 Aug 1998 08:40:39 -0700 (PDT) (00904174839, Pine.LNX.4.02.9808260818170.19608-100000ATflotsam.detritus.net)

On Tue, 25 Aug 1998, Boster, Bob wrote:

>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.
>Something like the proposal might help that end of the craft, but I
>don't think it could offer us too much.

I was going to just let this go but I've been thinking about it more, and
now that Nicola has replied and thread is continuing anyway, here goes.

I doubt Bob is actually proposing some kind of enforced sample payment
scheme only for "MC Hammer types". However, I thought I'd just mention overtly the problem this idea brings up: you get into the area of deciding
what is a "musically dependant" use of a sample, and what is not. In essense we're hinting at a "high art" vs. "low art" sort of distinction here. But who's going to decide? Is some government agency going to
figure out whether a song is derivative or innovative, and then make all
the Puff Daddies of the world pay for samples and let all the Negativlands
(or even Cold Cuts) off free?
I don't think so.

Just for fun I'll just mention a 2 example problem pieces that such a
mythical agency might have trouble with:

"Rebel Without a Pause (whipped cream mix)" by the Evolution Control Committee

"Pretender" by John Oswald
These are both brilliant works of appropriation art. Yet both of them
consist of relatively simplistic transformations of entire orginal

Mark G. pay for his use of Herb Alpert and Public Enemy? Should Oswald pay
for using Dolly Parton?

I say, no. Someone else is going to say yes.

>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.

Nice dream. Though I don't don't think our "plight" is even remotely comparable to that of Tibet's...


Steev Hise, Infoserf
steevAThise.org http://www.cyborganic.com/people/steev recycled art site: http://www.detritus.net -----------------------------------------------------------------
"I think a picture is more like the real world when it's made out of the real world." - Robert Rauschenberg