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legality of samples of old movies


lukasz

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I want to sample some stuff from seven samurai, is this legit, can I get in trouble for this? I know there are some places I can look at for leasing the rights to it, so might check into those.

 

and What if I'm just remixing and not selling?

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In the real world, there's only one reason for somebody to sue you - money.

 

If you're making a buck with it, you need to clear the samples to avoid that. The more money is on the table, the more money they'll take. Either ahead as royalties or after the fact as compensation for loss + their lawyers' fees...

 

If you're just assembling stuff in your parent's basement to impress your girlfriend, just go ahead.

 

Christian

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In the real world, there's only one reason for somebody to sue you - money.

 

If you're making a buck with it, you need to clear the samples to avoid that. The more money is on the table, the more money they'll take. Either ahead as royalties or after the fact as compensation for loss + their lawyers' fees...

 

If you're just assembling stuff in your parent's basement to impress your girlfriend, just go ahead.

 

Christian

 

is there any way to check if something is public domain? I know some REALLY old movies or music are (ie chopin, mozart etc, at least the compositions themselves), but no idea how to check this.

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Music can be public domain. But the recordings of music (or anything else for that matter) cannot. You might play Für Elise on your banjo as long as you want, but still you're not legally allowed to use a recording of Arthur Rubinstein doing it, because that recording belongs to RCA.

 

Christian

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is there any way to check if something is public domain? I know some REALLY old movies or music are (ie chopin, mozart etc, at least the compositions themselves), but no idea how to check this.

 

Classical compositions are very old and therefore not normally protected by copyright. This said, classical works performed by a modern day orchestra and released on a CD are subject to copyright protection. In other words you can re-create a classic in Logic however; you can't sample a classic from a CD - make sense?

 

As far as copyright expiring it depends on when the original piece was created - Here's an article explaining more:

 

http://www.ivanhoffman.com/expiration.html

 

It's highly doubtful that Seven Samurai (1954) can be sampled - Per the article (which is now 11 years old) it appears that anything before 1937 would be considered public domain. The article warns on not relying on dates alone as copyrights could have been extended too.

 

Per Christians note : Seeking sample clearance would be advisable.

 

Hope this helps...

 

Andy

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