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techristian

16 bar loop legal?

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I mentioned some time ago that I wanted to Jam to "Birds of Fire". I've decided to jam to a BOF loop instead and perhaps create an entirely new piece. I've extracted the section from the first violin stroke by Jan Hammer to just before Billy Cobham comes in on the drums. If this were in a "normal" time it might be considered a 16 bar phrase. I then plan to add some synth leads and editing. I will probably never make this into a CD but I think it will be entertaining as a youtube entry.

 

So my question. Is 16 bars too long and will the record company come after me?

 

I see rappers do this all of the time.

 

Dan

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What Doug said. Contact the Harry Fox agency if you intend to anything commercial with your extracted loop.

 

I hope the violin stroke was by Jerry Goodman though. ;)

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The rappers pay for the loops Dan.

Well...most of them do, once they are

successful enough to be published.

 

Nice choice for a loop though.

 

Which song did you take the loop from?

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Can't you re-record the lopp with real instruments or a little help from others? That way you have no problems.

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What Doug said. Contact the Harry Fox agency if you intend to anything commercial with your extracted loop.


I hope the violin stroke was by Jerry Goodman though.
;)

 

I'm sure Jan has a keyboard somewhere with some violin like sounds -- if only an old Elka. ;)

 

Nice catch.

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Of course you can do this for personal use.


If you issue this commercially, you have to obtain a license from the record label.

 

I suspect that if you asked the RIAA, they'd say you have to obtain a license even for personal use, even for half a bar.

 

Or they'd sue you just for asking.

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Can't you re-record the lopp with real instruments or a little help from others? That way you have no problems.

 

'fraid not Boosh. If I re-record someone else's song, it's still their intellectual property, and I am still obligated to pay them royalties if I release it commercially. Even if you only grab a short segment, you can still get nailed if you don't have a license - as happened to the Beatles for including a re-recorded sax playing the opening riff of Glenn Miller's In The Mood at the end of All You Need Is Love.

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My question is, and I'm just asking, why go to all this trouble, instead, just write a new piece of music in that style and groove, it's your music and forget all about the rights and giving people money for using a loop... to my way of thinking, it's easier to write a new piece of music, so why don't people do this??

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My question is, and I'm just asking, why go to all this trouble, instead, just write a new piece of music in that style and groove, it's your music and forget all about the rights and giving people money for using a loop... to my way of thinking, it's easier to write a new piece of music, so why don't people do this??

 

And that is just precisely what I'm going to do ! I'm not going to waste countless hours producing something which I never can release.

 

I was getting all ready with the loop but any hope of that was squashed by the replies on this thread.

 

YES as musicians we need copyright but if this logic had been applied to patents , we would all still be driving a model A . In patents , if a sizable percentage is changed from the original then the resultant design is considered NEW .

 

Dan

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Correct me if I'm wrong, but isn't there a difference between re-playing something and sampling from an actual recording? I always thought that to "re-record" a phrase or even a whole song a compulsory license is sufficient (as long as you pay Harry Fox), compared to sampling, which you have to get permission from the owner of the recording (as in opposed to just the publishing holder), which in most cases is the record company?

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YES as musicians we need copyright but if this logic had been applied to patents , we would all still be driving a model A . In patents , if a sizable percentage is changed from the original then the resultant design is considered NEW .


Dan

 

I don't think that equates.

 

"if a sizable percentage is changed from the original, then the resultant design is considered NEW"

 

How do you change a "sizable percentage" of a loop? The loop is what it is, regardless of what you pile on top. James Brown grooves are still James Brown grooves, no matter what kind of rap goes over the groove.

 

OTOH, think about a patented technology that is licensed. Toyota is licensing their hybrid automobile technology. The car might be a Nissan or Ford or whatever, but that's just other stuff piled on top of the drivetrain, which is licensed and Toyota got paid for. But Honda developed their own hybrid technology, which does essentially the same thing as the Toyota system, but is still distinct and therefore not something they license from Toyota.

 

But for your situation, unless you plan to issue 1,000,000 copies or something, the licensing fees for a small number of units can be quite reasonable and you should look into it if you really want to do something with that music.

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The loop is what it is, regardless of what you pile on top. James Brown grooves are still James Brown grooves, no matter what kind of rap goes over the groove.

 

Check it out, Bill answered tradivoro's question. ;)

 

Bottom line: You could recreate a James Brown groove, but would it groove?

If it ain't James Brown, it ain't James Brown.

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How do you change a "sizable percentage" of a loop? The loop is what it is, regardless of what you pile on top. James Brown grooves are still James Brown grooves, no matter what kind of rap goes over the groove.


 

True but I'm not planning a RAP tune. In a RAP tune the only music will be from the loop. I'm planning on starting with the loop and MY drums and then adding my own lead lines. There will even be long breaks where the sampled loop won't even be heard. What you are describing already happened TO me. Puff Daddy used music from my tune "Things of this World " in "his" tune "Shake ya tail featha" He never added any other music !! RAP vocals aren't musical . It is just like reciting poetry with drums.

 

Dan

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True but I'm not planning a RAP tune. In a RAP tune the only music will be from the loop. I'm planning on starting with the loop and MY drums and then adding my own lead lines. There will even be long breaks where the sampled loop won't even be heard. What you are describing already happened TO me. Puff Daddy used music from my tune "Things of this World " in "his" tune "Shake ya tail featha" He never added any other music !! RAP vocals aren't musical . It is just like reciting poetry with drums.


Dan

 

With all due respect, your characterization of rap is pretty heavy handed. But anyway...

 

I think it is Bill Frisell's album "Unspeakable", which uses a lot of looping and a DJ as part of his contemporary jazz setting, or maybe a Charlie Hunter album, but one of the funniest album credits I've ever seen was:

 

Lawyer name: Sample clearances and other legal nightmares.

 

Listed immediately after the musicians names. :lol:

 

The point is that playing a new melody, or adding a drum groove to a solo instrument loop is not substantially different from adding a rap. The underlying sample isn't changed.

 

Again, for a small release the licensing fee could be quite reasonable, and just finding out what it might cost will be very inexpensive. A few phone calls and/or e-mails.

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It is my understanding that what is copyrighted in a song is the melody and lyrics. What is copyrighted in a recording is, well, the actual recording. There is no copyright for a bassline, a riff, or a chord progression, so if you re-record the stuff without the song melody and not use the original recordings, you don't need to ante up.

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It is my understanding that what is copyrighted in a song is the melody and lyrics. What is copyrighted in a recording is, well, the actual recording. There is no copyright for a bassline, a riff, or a chord progression, so if you re-record the stuff without the song melody and not use the original recordings, you don't need to ante up.

 

Perhaps. From a creative standpoint I can see taking a vamp like the arpeggiated chords from the intro to Birds if Fire and adding a drum groove, or melody to that. Also from a creative standpoint I can see the appeal of using a loop of the original recording in contrast to re-playing the exact notes - that's just an artistic decision either way you go.

 

But when you look at piece of music like that, you could say it's "just a chord progression" and argue that it's not copyrightable because it isn't a "melody" per se, and obviously has no lyrical content. But you could also argue that the particular arpeggiation pattern applied to those particular chords creates a de facto "melody" whether or not it can be written as straight forward as the melody to "I Got Rhythm". I love music that abstracts melody in such a way that it isn't "Hum Along with Harry" time.

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".....RAP vocals aren't musical . It is just like reciting poetry with drums......Dan

 

I'm amazed when people say "rap isn't music"

A large percentage of the current generation

would disagree with you...

Music is whatever the people say it is.

 

Have you ever tried rapping?

Making a rap work over a loop,

or as you call it,

"reciting poetry with drums"

is not as easy as you might think.

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And that is just precisely what I'm going to do ! I'm not going to waste countless hours producing something which I never can release.


I was getting all ready with the loop but any hope of that was squashed by the replies on this thread.


YES as musicians we need copyright but if this logic had been applied to patents , we would all still be driving a model A . In patents , if a sizable percentage is changed from the original then the resultant design is considered NEW .


Dan

 

That's the way to go Dan... I mean, you're creative, you're a musician, you're a composer, just write something in that style, that groove, and it's all yours and you get all the glory... :)

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It is my understanding that what is copyrighted in a song is the melody and lyrics. What is copyrighted in a recording is, well, the actual recording. There is no copyright for a bassline, a riff, or a chord progression, so if you re-record the stuff without the song melody and not use the original recordings, you don't need to ante up.

 

No, there is no objective way to characterize the different elements of a composition as melody, harmony, riff, chord progression, etc., in every case. That's why the only legal standard in copyright infringement cases involving the underlying composition (as opposed to the recording itself) is "substantial similarity," which must be subjectively decided by a jury or judge.

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Recent court decisions have made it clear that if you use anything pre-recorded, you need to get clearance. It is possible to twist something so much it's not recognizable and therefore you wouldn't get caught, but that's still taking a chance.

 

I favor the "write your own stuff and capture the vibe" approach. Here's a trick: Dr. Walker remixed one of my songs with an "illegal" loop. It was good enough to release, so I did a loop in the style of the illegal loop. But it just didn't seem to work. So, I used some curve-stealing software (the Steinberg one from their ancient mastering pack suite, the newer TC Assimilator is better) and applied the spectrum of the original loop to the new loop. It worked like a charm!!

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No, there is no objective way to characterize the different elements of a composition as melody, harmony, riff, chord progression, etc., in every case. That's why the only legal standard in copyright infringement cases involving the underlying composition (as opposed to the recording itself) is "substantial similarity," which must be subjectively decided by a jury or judge.

 

Yes, that's what I meant up above where I'm saying that playing arpeggiated chords in a certain way creates a melody and harmony, so you can argue that it isn't a "melody", or that it is a "melody"

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Correct me if I'm wrong, but isn't there a difference between re-playing something and sampling from an actual recording? I always thought that to "re-record" a phrase or even a whole song a compulsory license is sufficient (as long as you pay Harry Fox), compared to sampling, which you have to get permission from the owner of the recording (as in opposed to just the publishing holder), which in most cases is the record company?

 

Two separate copyrights - you're correct. The recording is one, and the song that was recorded is the other. Use a sample from a recording and you probably will have to pay a fee to the holder of each of those. Re-record a song, and you're only going to owe the songwriters (or the holder of the songwriting copyright) and not the label / holder of the recording's copyright.

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Recent court decisions have made it clear that if you use
anything
pre-recorded, you need to get clearance. It is possible to twist something so much it's not recognizable and therefore you wouldn't get caught, but that's still taking a chance.


I favor the "write your own stuff and capture the vibe" approach. Here's a trick: Dr. Walker remixed one of my songs with an "illegal" loop. It was good enough to release, so I did a loop in the style of the illegal loop. But it just didn't seem to work. So, I used some curve-stealing software (the Steinberg one from their ancient mastering pack suite, the newer TC Assimilator is better) and applied the spectrum of the original loop to the new loop. It worked like a charm!!

 

I don't understand Assimilator. Isn't any well-done, mixed and mastered song going to have a more or less flat spectrum? How would applying such a spectrum to my mix be of any benefit? :confused:

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