More on Slicing and Dicing

I hiss in Cincinatti's general direction:

A federal appeals court ruled Tuesday that rap artists should pay for every musical sample included in their work — even minor, unrecognizable snippets of music.

Lower courts had already ruled that artists must pay when they sample another artists' [sic] work. But it has been legal to use musical snippets — a note here, a chord there — as long as it wasn't identifiable.

The decision by a three-judge panel of the 6th Circuit Court of Appeals in Cincinnati gets rid of that distinction. The court said federal laws aimed at stopping piracy of recordings applies to digital sampling.

"If you cannot pirate the whole sound recording, can you 'lift' or 'sample' something less than the whole? Our answer to that question is in the negative," the court said.

"Get a license or do not sample. We do not see this as stifling creativity in any significant way."

To quote Lawrence Lessig quoting Justice William Douglas in the introduction to Free Culture, "Common sense revolts at the idea." "[M]inor, unrecognizable snippets of music" are now potentially proprietary? There goes new blues and jazz, I guess. It doesn't stifle creativity in a significant way? Please. We need Creative Commons more than ever, sigh. On a related note, the latest sample-using song that's making me smile and turn up the volume is "Let's Go" by Trick Daddy, Lil Jon, and Twista. You might have heard it; it features Ozzy Osbourne's "Aiii, aiii, aiii" and other bits from "Crazy Train." :) The song inspired me to put in my Black Sabbath Paranoid CD, and as soon as I heard the beginning of "Planet Caravan," I was instantly transported back to a long-ago Pantera show, the Far Beyond Driven tour, circa 1995, Nashville, Tennessee.

Tangential but related nonetheless: anyone heard George W. Bush's version of "Sunday Bloody Sunday"? ;)


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Un-be-lievable. What next???

Un-be-lievable. What next???

But the "Sunday, Bloody Sunday" link is fabulous!



Thanks for providing the trackback, Clancy. Can't believe I missed your (terrific!) take on it before I posted my own. Seems I've fallen prey to first-year head-in-the-sand. -DM

too far

While I consider rapping over another person's musical theme the height of laziness, I also find that working in little bits and pieces of other works into a new and original work a clever way of triggering a reaction from a listener.

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