Aug 28th, 2008 // 6 Comments

Girl_Talk_Feed_The_Animals.JPG Ever wonder what Gregg Gillis would have to go through if he wanted to actually clear the hundreds of samples he stitches together on the albums he records as Girl Talk? The Future Of Music Colaition outlines the “incredibly complex and contentious” process, and wonders if it may in fact be a microcosm of the industry as a whole. [Future Of Music Coalition Blog]

  1. Al Shipley

    He should do what a lot of hip hop producers who can’t clear samples do: have studio musicians re-record the sampled music… In fact, I think I’d be way more interested in hearing that than an actual Girl Talk album. Does anyone know Petra Haden’s number to pitch that as her next a cappella cover album?

  2. RaptorAvatar

    Are there even albums being made in 2008 that recoup enough to pay off ~300 copyright holders?

  3. Anonymous

    Interesting article even though I was a tad annoyed that it was really a long intro to set you up to buy a forthcoming book.

    There were a couple errors in the article to my knowledge:

    “when artists sign major label contracts, they almost always turn over their copyrights to the record label”

    I would say they almost always turn their copyrights over to a publishing company, which is sometimes affiliated with their record label, but not necessarily.


    “When the system is too inefficient, or when the prices for samples are too high, nothing gets licensed, nothing new gets created, and both the sampler and the samplee lose.”

    Well, certainly the sampler loses because he was trying to obtain a licence and failed, but if the samplee didn’t want to devalue (in his eyes) his material and he didn’t accept an offer that was lower than what he wanted, I would say that he won.

  4. TheContrarian

    As part of signing a major label contract, artists usually sign away the sound copyright. This is a different copyright than the underlying composition, which the publishing co. controls.

    The second bit about the samplee losing presumes they might not mind their work being used, but prohibitive costs may prevent the new creator from paying for it, thereby depriving the original creator of potential revenue.

    Disclosure: I’m FMC’s Communications Director. I swear we weren’t trying to get anyone to buy the book (although it’s cool if you do). But we do want you to buy the Rock the Net CD!


  5. MayhemintheHood

    Interesting stuff. I coincidentally had finally got this mix last weekend…although I chose not to pay anything for it. It’s a damn good party album.

  6. Anonymous

    @TheContrarian: Ah sorry, I was confused by the term “music copyrights”, I thought you were referring to the copyright of the song, not the sound recording. And I guess my second point was that what some see as “prohibitive costs” others see as trying to pin down a fair value in a shifting market.

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