Copyright and Sampling

Discussing the copyright laws in America in class, it becomes clear that there is a dilemma. While I do think that an individual and family should benefit from his or her work, it should not be for such an extended period that it lasts for perpetuity. It also brings about an interesting topic that I have noticed more and more in music, and that is sampling. If an artist samples part of another song is that artist liable for paying off the former artist who had a similar song whether their music was intentionally or unintentionally similar? I think there needs to be a firm understanding on what is a sample and what is not. When researching on how to make songs for my final project, I found an interesting video of the Hip Hop producer “DJ Mustard” discussing how he made the beat for the song “Show Me”. In between minute markers 1:40-2:00 he discusses that he had to alter a sampled beat, so that he would not have to give the all the revenue away from the song. I found this incredibly interesting as one component of a song or beat even if sampled should not mean that an artist owes all the revenue to the sampled artist.

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