Tag Archives: Laurence Lessig

Even Not Selling Songs, Uncleared Sampling Is Still Illegal

Most people have come under the impression that, if they aren’t making profits off of a song, using uncleared samples is fine. It’s not.

Myth #1: “I’m Not Selling My Songs So I’m Safe”

This couldn’t be further from the truth. This myth, combined with misinformation about what a Creative Commons license is (more on that below) is one of the most propagated myths out there in the music industry.

This myth tries to rely on money; if there’s no money made from illegal sampling, then there’s no money to go after. But that’s not actually how real life works. A rights holder can base a claim around damages, not just sales of their protected work. If you think lawyers won’t go after people who don’t have much money, or doesn’t have many assets, or is under the age of 18 or even someone who lives in another country, think again. If the music industry is willing to sue 12 year old girls for downloading music, what do you think they’ll do to you? Don’t think money they’re asking for could be that much? If they tried to sue Jammie Thomas-Rasset $220,000 for downloading only 24 songs, picture the price tag they can dream up for “illegal sampling”.

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