« In the Studio... Kyle Turley | Main | Next on Music Business Radio... Brent Maher »

June 29, 2010


Jim Markham

I can't believe this guy. "Is it right to take just the sound of the Rhodes from a Stevie Wonder record or just the sound of the ocean from a Beach Boys record?" No it's bloody well not, it's stealing and it's against the law. Go and record your own ocean sounds and get the Mr Ray VST plugin, it's free.

I'd love it if I had to sue some talentless mash up merchant and this guy was the lawyer because his arguments hold no water whatsoever. Trying to insinuate that because Beethoven used previously composed pieces it's OK to profit from medelys of other people's music is just ridiculous. It bears no relevance to modern copyright law.

Dave, you're not getting off scott free either. You should have been sticking it to this guy on behalf of all the song and music writers who listen to the show. Unless you were using the give 'em enough rope tecnique, in which case well done he hanged himself good and proper!

David Hooper

Thanks for your comments!

In my opinion...

Cover songs are people profiting from the works of others. It's all good though, since songwriters/publishers get paid. The bonus is that it gives another artist a chance to make money and adds to the value of a song, since more people are likely to hear it. That generates even more money for the industry, so I'm good with that.

As far as samples and mashups, I'm good with all of that too, as long as people are being paid for the works they contribute.

E. Michael Harrington

Fair use not only "bears" "relevance to modern copyright law," it is an important part of copyright law, i.e., Title 17 of the United States Code - the United States Copyright Act aka copyright law. The four (4) fair use factors are found in Section 107. Fair use has been a part of United States common law since the 1840's. Using others' copyrighted (and public domain) works without permission is something every adult does and every one who has had a North American or European education has had to do. We use others' works and cite them in writing papers, articles and books. This is how it works in United States education from elementary school through graduate school. One would never seek the permission of a book publisher to quote a book - one quotes the excerpt and properly cites the attribution. In popular music, fair use is common as well. Brooks & Dunn did not have to ask permission of James Taylor to use a copyrighted excerpt, George Harrison did not have to ask permission of The Four Tops to use a copyrighted excerpt, Pearl Jam did not have to ask permission of Isaac Hayes to use a copyrighted excerpt, and on and on.

Stevie Wonder didn't invent or create the Fender Rhodes sound. Fender did and they do not demand royalties for reproducing that sound. The Beach Boys & Chicago did not invent the sound of the ocean, the ocean does not demand royalties for producing its sound, and the Beach Boys and Chicago too should not get royalties for something they too did not create.

Sampling is going to happen because it is traditional to use culture that surrounds us and culture which predates us. Sampling, borrowing, appropriating, imitating, stealing, “thefting” (I might as well invoke the cerebral spirit of Sarah Palin, that modern day Shakespeare), etc. will continue to happen. It would be best if more people could be paid for the use of their copyrighted work. That sentence bears repeating. It would be best if more people could be paid for the use of their copyrighted work. There should be a compulsory license for sampling. I have detailed this elsewhere and it has been written about. [I am a composer and author and expect to get paid at times for some, but not all, uses of my work. Copyright owners need to be realistic and realize that they do not and should not control EVERY use of each of their copyrighted works.] Sir Isaac Newton humbly responded that if had accomplished so much it was because of all the giants and their original work that preceded him.

And it's a great thing that short works, long works and excerpts eventually enter the public domain and become free to use. [The United States Supreme Court has held that in the balance of the creators’ exclusive rights to the use of their music – the Constitutionally granted monopoly – and the rights of the public, the rights of the public are slightly more important.] It would be unfortunate if we had to pay and/or seek permission to use phrases that were once original, such as "it's bloody well not," "arguments hold no water whatsoever," "bears no relevance," "scott free," "sticking it to," "give 'em enough rope" etc.


Good points, the idea is to get paid for what you love to do. In this case music, as long as people play by the rules and share the wealth it's all good.

Taylor Trask

I'd be curious to know what Jim Markham thinks of the Creative Commons licensing system that's being widely adapted by MANY musicians, authors and creative people.


Once the industry realizes copyright law needs to be balanced between owners and consumers everyone will live a more financial beneficial life. And given the terms Jim is using, I assume he is British and therefore used to a different copyright law system. I'm sure Canada's fair use laws would REALY freak him the hell out.

The comments to this entry are closed.

Become a Fan