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Thread: Confused about guidelines regarding movie samples in music

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    Confused about guidelines regarding movie samples in music

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    I'm making a death metal album, and I'm a little confused when it comes to sample use in music. I have samples from both old and modern movies in my music, but A: there's always something else playing under the sample, B: no sample exceeds 5 seconds, and C: all the samples have been in some way processed (distortion, delay, broken tape machine etc.)

    How worried should I be if I don't get the permission to use them?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Samgai View Post
    I'm making a death metal album, and I'm a little confused when it comes to sample use in music. I have samples from both old and modern movies in my music, but A: there's always something else playing under the sample, B: no sample exceeds 5 seconds, and C: all the samples have been in some way processed (distortion, delay, broken tape machine etc.)

    How worried should I be if I don't get the permission to use them?
    old movies may be out of copyright
    modern ones are a big risk to sample

    if you did all that distortion delay broken stuff yada yada
    why not just start with your own original notes

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    A: there's always something else playing under the sample, B: no sample exceeds 5 seconds, and C: all the samples have been in some way processed (distortion, delay, broken tape machine etc.)
    For A - You are still using someone else's copyrighted material. If the listener can put a connection between the original and yours, you have problems..so be worried

    For B - Some courts apply a fair use rule only to the musical composition copyright, not the sound recording copyright. so do not get caught up in the 5 second rule. its not true.

    For C - Same as A, Example: If you put a delay on a song sample, but it still sounds like somewhat like the original, you are in violation. Be worried!!!
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    Also, if the court believe the delay and processing was there to disguise the copyright material used without permission, they get even crosser! In the UK we have an IP court, and removing watermarks from pictures, or deliberate scaling of images, or blurring of effects is being seen as proof you knew you shouldn't use it and the fines higher!

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    Thank you for your help, all of you : ) I see that there are many rumors spreading around the web that says other things so no wonder I was confused!

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    Fair use is always the issue - it's not the get out of jail car people often assume. Internet advice tends to be very variable in quality - could be a professor who teaches legal history in a law college, or a 15 year old in a school? There's also country differences too don't forget. I'm very aware that asking for permission rather than just assuming you can get it results in very different results. My favourite example is the Verve with Bitter Sweet symphony - where they 'lifted' a few notes from a Rolling Stones song arrangement. Very messy with the composers and the record companies getting very tangled up.

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