“Now, more than ever, because of an artist’s ability to upload any song they’re written (or sampled) to the Internet, the artist has to be accountable for their content“You may have heard many stories about artists and writers not receiving credit, where credit’s due. Stories about the big mean record company or manager that owns 100% of the publishing rights of a non suspecting, or uneducated artist have been newsworthy for many years now, so I’m constantly surprised these days when I hear about songwriters who’ve no knowledge about what a “copyright” is or how to protect their songs. Granted, there is leniency to be had with the young artists starting out in their new business ventures but . . . not much. The Internet is chock full of information for everyone, not just about copyrights. These days we have fewer and fewer excuses to claim ignorance about anything that’s especially important to us. Sure, there are rumors, here say etc. that leads us astray, or closer to believing that we shouldn’t take them seriously but as artist’s, we all need to be accountable. This is YOUR career. Take it seriously.
When samplers first hit the marketplace in 1976 they offered a plethora of new ideas to recording artists, producers and songwriters alike. More importantly however was the challenge they presented to the publishing world. Any person with a sampler could now “sample” another writers music by digitally recording their song into the sampler and then literally insert that sample into their own song and call it theirs. In theory, this just sounds wrong however by law at that time, it was, well . . . not illegal. Thankfully there are laws in place today that protect writers but it never seems to stop someone from doing it anyway. More confusing is that the samples people generally use (and always get caught using) are from songs that have already been hits so, of course you’re going to get noticed if you use a sample like that! Duh . . .Here’s just a short list of songs that contain other artist’s property. Get Informed About Copyright Law Also see “Resources For Young Songwriters”