As the title suggets, if a sample CD/DVD producer has gone out of business, can their products be legally used? There are small bits of this underwhelming collection which I would like to use:
I contacted the main distributor yesterday (Time & Space) and got a reply stating "That item has been discontinued for some time now and the producer is no longer in business. We do however have many other similar titles blah blah....". So anyone know if the sounds from this collection that Sample Lab released in early 2005 can now be legally used?
once you pay for the samples you're legally entitled to use them, doesnt matter if the business is still going or not.
and not only that, looking at the product its only drum hits so i really wouldnt be concerned.
So if the scenario is a person hasn't paid for the product and some of the hits are rather distincitve?
if its only drum hits its not gonna be an issue.also if there samples are for sale there more than likely wont follow up on a track that is using them and ask the producer to provide a receipt
in a nutshell you worrying about nothing
Not quite. Norman Cook found out the hard way. No matter what it says about those samples on sample CDs being royalty free, they're not.
Whether someone comes after you for using a sample is a completely different thing.
If you pay a musician to come into a studio and create original pieces for you, if you have a contract with them stipulating the music belongs to you - then you're fine. Unless you have a monster hit - then the session musician will try to sue you.
I've read Lily Allen's Not Fair. The original track was produced using cut ups from a country record. Then session musicians were paid to recreate the sound. (they were paid but it's likely the original samples are the sounds on the record - just they have receipts to prove they recreated the sounds.) The reason being they didn't want to be in a position where they would have to pay out for the use of the sample.
Even Roland have this agreement thing I've seen in some of their manuals for using their presets to create tracks for commercial release. They say you're free to use the presets to create commercial tracks royalty free - but they reserve the right to change this condition if they feel like it. I've never heard of them doing it. But they could have demanded royalties from Jean Michel Jarre, on his last album he used several of the presets to build entire tracks with very little variation.
In the early days, sampling really got going because no one used to sue - dance records especially used to only sell a few hundred or thousand copies. That's at most only worth a few hundred quid to whoever produced the original sample. It's not worth the bother of going after anyone. Norman Cook on the other hand had to pay out big bucks to everyone he sampled.
If you've got a something that turns into a big hit. And you're using a recognisable sample and you haven't cleared it you're in trouble. Jason Nevins had to hand over all the royalties from his Run DMC remix. I think it's the biggest selling dance record of all time - something crazy like 20 million copies. Nevins lost millions - though even had he had an agreement with Run DMC they would have probably sued him and taken all the money anyway.
Nevin never lost millions. He was played a flat fee at the beginning. He was given part of the royalties from his remix of Iit's Tricky
From an interview with Jason Nevins:
RS: Whenever I mention to people Jason Nevins, they all know about your mix of Run DMC’s “It’s Like That” and how at the 2003 Billboard Dance Music Summit in New York, you told the story of the record. How did that record come into being and what have you learnt from the experience?
Nevins: The first thing that I’ve learned from experience, is that you really can’t believe what people tell you and you have to take matters into your own hands The second thing is to never bring a record to its original label, like I did with this record. I brought my remix to Profile, which owns the Run DMC catalogue, and that was a huge mistake right there because I basically brought them what they already owned and they had free will to do with it what they wanted. That’s why I got stuck with the lousy deal that I did, because it sold nearly five million copies and I got about five thousand dollars from it.
5 grand. He got screwed. He probably made decent enough money off the back of the sucess of it though.
But then again what could he have done. Probably if another label released it - if they got clearance from RUN DMC.
But thousands of remixes get done every year. Lots of them are really good. 5 grand may have been very generous, it could have just been a middling popular club track. It could have just bombed completely. Nevins would have had his 5 grand.
Unless you've got a big name you can't really command big money or great terms.
Had he released it on an indie label - once it took off RUN DMC could have got an order to have it removed and then released their own rip off verison of it. Nevins wouldn't have been able to sue.
This is going off-topic a bit
If Nevins had gone to a different label, the band could have got it pulled - but, the label would have gone - 'look at the figures!' and then negotiated a % with the original copyright holders / publishers. See this happen often.
I got a call from my publisher about a release, couple of phone calls later and theres a deal made and BOOM - why stop something that's going to make money - ergo, goto an independent and not the source unless you want to instigate a remix for that label and need parts etc...
More off topic but how and when did Norman cook find out the hard way.