another remix, another question about copyrights


Pioneer Member
hey people! now besides being interested in your opinions about this tune i remixed lately, i also hope that someone could tell me if using such old samples (not sure but probably recorded somewhere between the 40's and 50's) is copyright infringement? if yes, who should i contact to settle this?
i won't put it anywhere on myspace till i'm sure i'm not breaking the law this time ;).

any comments would be really appreciated :)



Hi kacperivo,

First of all--as a disclaimer, I am a student, not a lawyer. I can give you facts, but if you want legitimate legal advice, ask a lawyer, not me. :)

The short answer to your question: It depends on the recording. It's especially confusing for older recordings because there have been many changes over time in copyright law. It is possible that the copyrights have expired, but it is more likely that they have been renewed. If this is the case, it is going to be a difficult process to obtain the proper licenses.

The long answer: (These are U.S. copyright laws, which affect only works with registered copyrights in America. However, most countries honor eachother's copyright laws when those works are used in another country.)

Current U.S. copyright law states that a copyright is valid for the life of the author plus an additional 70 years. This law was established in 1978. Before 1978, copyrights lasted for 28 years, but in 28th year, authors had the option to renew the copyright for a second (and final) term of 28 years, or let it expire. Another law was created in 1976 that changed the length of the second term to 67 years -- works created before 1950 and renewed before 1978 were automatically given an extension (changing the term from 28 years to 67). If a copyright was made between 1950 and 1963, and not renewed, then the copyright has expired.

More specifics on this at

Be sure to check out the official U.S. government copyright website:

The Frequently Asked Questions are very helpful:

To go about it legally, it's going to be a royal pain, especially if you are an independent, unsigned artist with no label or publisher supporting you. You would need to obtain licenses from the owner of the copyright - which could be a publisher, artist, label, etc. or some combination of these - in which you would negotiate a royalty rate to be paid for every album or song sale. Also, royalties for online music streaming are a big mess right now, and the deals vary from site to site. If you want to do this all by yourself, you would be at a serious disadvantage negotiating with an established artist/publisher/etc. for these licenses. Also keep in mind that recordings have two copyrights - one for the composition, and one for the sound recording. Depending on the sample, you may need licenses for both.

All of this is for recordings copyrighted in the U.S. If it was copyrighted elsewhere first, the rules are probably different.

Get a lawyer if you are serious.

You should know that there are a TON of people out there sampling and remixing stuff and posting it online without obtaining licenses. A lot of people have, and are currently getting away with this. It is illegal, though...

Whew. That turned out a lot longer than I expected. Hope it helps!



Platinum Member
I really liked the second half of this song. As far as copyrights, I think you know where you stand. However, I think it is fairly easy to get licensing through the Harry Fox Agency. There are plenty of remix records out there. I feel it is an art of its own in certain hands. Just give credit where credit is due. That's very important.

DJ Spooky is one of my favorites in that genre. A lot he writes, he plays bass, but a lot he samples too. A few years ago I had the pleasant surprise to realize one of my favorite parts in one of his songs was actually a Miles Davis sample from Bitches Brew. Made me love both songs even more.

Drummer Karl

For me it unfortunatly doesn`t work...I don`t really know what`s wrong with my Quicktime, I`m sure I`ve got 7.
Maybe it`s a general problem that occured?

Would really love to listen to this Kacper!! :)



Pioneer Member
yea, for me too, yesterday everything was fine though. i think i don't really wanna know why it doesn't work... if it's because of copyrights... well, i'm probably THE most unlucky guy in the world if it comes to those things ;P.

here you go, the mp3 is far more trustworthy ;) and here's the original



Pioneer Member
damn i forgot to thanks for the legal advices, i really appreciate it guys! i hope everything with this tune turns out to be ok.

so any more comments on this remix?:)

Drummer Karl

Thanks for uploading it here again.
Your version sounds just magnific one more time. It`s nice to see how you use the melody and wrap it into awesome ideas!

Keep it up mate and good luck regarding the legal thing!