Thursday, September 9th, 2004

Love and Theft

Odub and others on the new sampling case.

Here’s Joe Schloss’ thoughts:

“I was actually surprised by this lawsuit, because the standard they set was what I thought the standard already was.

You know, there are two sets of rights, the master rights and the publishing rights. The publishing refers to the song as a conceptual entity and the master rights to a specific recording of it. So my understanding has always been that questions about how much of a song you can use only have to do with publishing rights, and that they are basically like any other plagiarism case. Like, exactly how many words can you take before you’ve stolen someone’s book? That is a very subjective question, which is why it’s constantly being debated and changed. But master-wise, which is what this decision seems to deal with, my understanding was that *any* unauthorized sample of a recording is not legal and never has been.

The ‘unrecognizable amount’ standard was, and I guess still is, de facto. If you think about it, it really doesn’t make any sense as a legal standard: if it’s unrecognizable, it’s unrecognizable – they can’t bust you for it, because they can’t recognize it. Conversely, if they can bust you for it, then – by definition – it is recognizable. Which brings me back to why this decision is so weird: I’ll buy it as a statement of legal principle, but as a law, simple logic dictates that it’s totally unenforceable.”

posted by @ 12:16 pm | 0 Comments

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