Thursday, July 14, 2005

I cannot believe more people haven't picked up on this. According to a USA Today article, "A federal appeals court ruled Tuesday that rap artists should pay for every musical sample included in their work — even minor, unrecognizable snippets of music."

When a snippet gets so short it's no longer part of the original song and not discernable as being part of that song, it shouldn't need to be cleared. We live in an era of juxtaposition in everything. All of our culture is a culmination of all that is around us. The appeals court isn't thinking correctly--if I take a drum beat from my drum machine (that I legally own), this is a small enough snippet that someone who used the same drum machine could claim I lifted from their song. Is it identifiable as their song? No. How can I prove this? I have no idea.

I am all for an artist not being taken for his work. When Vanilla Ice lifted the sample from Queen and David Bowie's Song "Under Pressure" to produce "Ice Ice Baby," it was still the original song, just reworked. However, a guitar riff that is stretched from 3 notes to 16 bars is not the original song, and frankly no one would notice, nor would the original artist really be losing anything. The true creativity was in taking that sound and making something new out of it, and THAT my friends is artistry.

This ruling is bunk. The unenlightened court that made this obtuse ruling is pandering to Hollywood and deserves a beatdown.