Sampling: Biz Markie vs Gilbert O’Sullivan

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Sampling plays a big part in music, genres like hip hop, dance music etc. rely heavily on it. We can argue if it helps creativity or not, probably depends on the artist, who samples.

I strongly believe that sampling is good for creativity. Of course, there are artists who can’t compose their own songs so they rip off someone else without even bringing anything new to it. If they are making money of it so be it. Maybe we should blame people who are buying their music and supports them.

I believe that current copyrights are seriously harming musical creativity: long processes of clearing the sample, ridiculously high legal fees, royalty demands by publishing houses or record label. The law should be updated. Bring the freedom back!!!

The first court cases which changed sampling situation was Biz Markie vs Gillbert O’Sullivan. Biz Markie sampled a portion of music from O’Sullivan “Alone Again (Naturally)” in his song “Alone Again”. The rapper tried to clear the sample but O’Sullivan was not forthcoming so they went ahead and released the song.

Unfortunately the judge rules in favour of O’Sullivan. From that moment the hip hop music industry changed, after the judgement stated that any future music sampling need to be preapproved by the copyright owner :(.

Onward and upward,

Tsaritsa Katarzyna

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