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Re:fair use for samples

At 1:02 PM -0400 4/26/00, Michael Tuminello wrote:
>Length is not the only constraint.  If a lawyer can make a case for 
>it being a major part of a song, like the hook from "satisfaction", 
>they could still sue you if you're not paying royalties.  As I 
>understand it...
>best bet is to have it be not recognizable at all, whatever the length.

The one who dies with the most lawyers wins(-;

In the one case that reached the supreme court (the 2 Live Crew 
case), both the decision and opinion were firmly in favor of a broad 
view of fair use.  Since few of us can afford lawyers for appeal 
litigation, this has not help the sampling cause anywhere near as 
much as I had hoped.

Personally, I adapt the rule of thumb that if the original producer 
of the source would have a less thagtn 50% chance of catching it 
unprompted, its fair use. How folks like DJ Shadow or Richard Kirk, 
whose thing is based on using a large number of recognizable though 
obscure samples, deal with this is beyond me. (Kirk releases his own 
stuff and, presumably, takes his chances. Shadow hasn't done that 
much lately, perhaps because of this very issue.)

"The reasonable man adapts himself to the world. The unreasonable man 
persists in adapting the world to himself. Therefore, all progress 
depends on the unreasonable man.

--  George Bernard Shaw

                Emile Tobenfeld, Ph. D.
Video Producer                  Image Processing Specialist
Video for your HEAD!                    Boris FX
http://www.foryourhead.com              http://www.borisfx.com