[rumori] The Sample Clearance Fund: A proposal

Nicola Battista [rumori] The Sample Clearance Fund: A proposal
Wed, 26 Aug 1998 00:20:02 +0200 (00904112402,

Hi Andy and thanks for your kind reply... if you don't reply to this, you
won't receive any further mailings from me on this thread unless you
request me to keep sending them...

At 16.10 26/08/98 +0000, Andy Jones wrote:

>Vocal samples and TV/film/broadcast samples are
>particularly difficult.

know the problem, and as I noticed, recently clearing on these has appeared
in various records...

>In the UK the MCPS operates a kind of sample police service, or they
>used to anyway, where someone is employed to listen to just about every
>new release to check for samples. Strikes me as being an impossible

was this the so-called "Copyright Control" office, or am I wrong? I heard that in the late 80s - early 90s they were darn busy checking James Brown
stuff that was appearing everywhere. Yep, the task seems a bit absurd,
because you'd need people that are like living databases for sound
samples... I mean, I have a huge record collection and often can spot a
certain sample on a track... but--- just to mention an example: the tracks
in the ASCAP or BMI archives i.e. the tracks performed in us only are more
than 6 millions...

>The result is a highly complex affair where artists have to cross a
>minefiled to get material released and end up having to compromise.
>The advioce I used to give readers was to simply be creative when
>sampling. Don't lift ruddy great chunks, do exercise a certain amount of
>manipulation on the sound, create a completely different feel from the
>original song.

but the point is: what if I WANT to leave the sample as is, even if its NOT
A HUGE CHUNK of a record? The vocal sample "Beat dis!" lasts one second or so, yet is clearly recognizable. And I could quote at least 3 records using
it, and its original source.
I like using effects, reversing, looping, cutting, mixing etc. I am not
saying that you should give the Fund/Agency 50% of all your stuff. If
nothing is recognizable, you have created completely new sounds. But if you
have recognizable elements, you're still risking...

>I'm all for sampling and think it's a genuine art form.

obviously I am sure we all agree on this :)

>Listening to the likes of DJ Shadow and you realise they are breathing
>new life into these sounds and, as to whether the original artists
>should benefit is difficult to call. If the new recordings are so
>totally different then maybe not.

exactly what I said.

>If you're Puff Daddy then yes they
>should. But where do you draw the line?

maybe if the sample is clearly identifiable and uneffected?
I don't have a solution, but still I'm trying to instigate some debate on

>That where the complication lies
>and I don't honestly know the answer. If everything becomes public
>domain you end up thousands of cover versions.

I never said that everything becomes public domain... but think about
Negativland talking about the process of recycling music and lyrics that
existed in popular music previous to copyright laws (and still exists today
for traditionals and classical music in the public domain)... they say that
today this process is not possible anymore (without paying). Maybe this
would help this process start again...

>However if the situation
>remains as is, people simply become creatively knackered. Even if you
>rely on sample CDs you're often not completely 100% safe (and everyone
>else is using those samples)

yup. I like sample cds, but its frustrating sometimes. When you find that
great drum loop and you hear four tracks with the same a few weeks later...

>Just read that back and it rambles somewhat, but I'm tired and have just
>had a very tough meeting. Maybe you'd like to edit it for me (so said
>the editor!)
>Hope it helps anyway
>Andy Jones, ex editor Future Music, new editor Computer Music

hehe thanks, and best wishes for the new publication :)

Nicola (Dj Batman) Battista