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Let me say straight off the high hat that creativity & copyright law do not make instant bedfellows! Within beat rap there is a tendency to sample, which is both quick & easy, versus "copyright ownership" highly focused on what may constitute theft.

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The Balance between Beat Making, Creativity & Copyright Law


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the balance between beat making creativity

The Balance between Beat Making,

Creativity & Copyright Law

Let me say straight off the high hat that creativity & copyright law do not

make instant bedfellows! Within beat rap there is a tendency to sample,

which is both quick & easy, versus "copyright ownership" highly focused

on what may constitute theft. The discussion can veer between litigation

on the one hand and ignorance on the other. The basic problem is how to

objectively measure how much of the remixed song "borrows" from the

original.

One of the current stumbling blocks to licensing copyright (and thus

incentive to copy without paying) is administrative overhead and cost.

Recording licenses can be obtained at a flat fee normally ranging from

$100 to over $10,000. This is countered by royalties to recording owners

of between 0.5 cents and 3 cents per track sold. 15% of the original new

work's musical composition copyright might be assigned to the original

author, and if extensive looping and reuse is employed, up to 66% may

be allocated.

Non paying sampling artists have two current defense strategies that

they can deploy: de minimis and fair use. De minimis is the most

commonly used defense as it claims that the re-use is basically trivial and

therefore does not amount to infringement. The definition of "trivial use"

is normally very vague and courts can resort to using ordinary lay

listeners in an attempt to untangle the issue! Fair use on the other hand

can employ open parody using the justification of "social purpose" based

on intended criticism or commentary.

If you really want to circumnavigate the whole copyright issue and can

read music AND you are feeling the funk then Public Domain Music may

be worth a look who knows maybe you get an idea

be worth a look. Who knows, maybe you get an IDEA from this? Any

composition (not sound recording) copyrighted before 1922 in the USA

may be used without limitation. Unfortunately there is no "international

copyright" so you will have to delve into your local copyright laws if

outside the US.

All of this of course distracts from the intended aim of being creative.

Admittedly legality only really gets in the way of creativity when enough

money is involved! If you sample Pink Floyd and then distribute it widely

then the chances of litigation go up. Everything should be based on an

idea (the thing that makes you go) in the first place. If you add sounds

later that alter your original framework or concept then that's just the

way things go!

Nadel Paris is an EDM artist and a music producer. Nadel writes about

music and its genres, other related topics and shares her experience she

has over the years. Her new album “Ooh La La La La” is now available

for purchase on iTunes. It features remixes by your favorite EDM DJ’s

like Ray Rhodes, Pascal, Starbright, Cyphonix, Drew G and DJ M.

Chicago.

To know more about Nadel visit her here: http://nadelparis.us/