Blurred lines ripped off the "feel"

SmoothOperator

Gold Member
Moar Cowbell!



As everyone else has said, the changes are basic blues (which doesn't have to be 12 bars as anyone who's played with an old real deal bluesman can attest).
This is the annoying thing about the copyright law. The old blues men couldn't play a rhumba lick if they tried.
 

mikel

Platinum Member
Perhaps the whole "Cut and Paste" computer song writing thing was the jump off point for the lawsuit, and also makes it easier to prove.

Back in the day, being inspired by or influenced by a piece of music would have been the norm but a slavish copy would stand out a mile, and unless you had access to the master tapes, very difficult to do.
 

Zero Mercury Drummer

Senior Member
And meanwhile you have rap bands just lifting recorded parts wholesale (although a lot of them get sued).

I heard a Massive Attack song that had a good chunk of Billy Cobham's Stratus, including the iconic bassline.
I hear a Beastie Boys song that has the bass line lifted from an obscure British jazz band called "Back Door."
I hear John Bonham's "When the Levee Breaks" drum tracks quite often in songs.
 

WhoIsTony?

Member
And meanwhile you have rap bands just lifting recorded parts wholesale (although a lot of them get sued).

I heard a Massive Attack song that had a good chunk of Billy Cobham's Stratus, including the iconic bassline.
I hear a Beastie Boys song that has the bass line lifted from an obscure British jazz band called "Back Door."
I hear John Bonham's "When the Levee Breaks" drum tracks quite often in songs.
"lifting" ?

are you not aware that most samples are cleared, legal , and payed for ?

hip hop music is built on sampling and the artists being sampled are compensated for the most part ..... a lot of them would have never been heard of had artists such as the Beastie Boys and Public Enemy etc. not sampled them .... and they are very grateful for that .
Some of their careers become reborn after being sampled
they are feeding their families due to being sampled

the Dust Brothers created the highly acclaimed Beastie Boys album Pauls Boutique almost exclusively with obscure samples ..... most of which are completely cleared contrary to popular belief
 
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barryabko

Senior Member
I'm particularly astounded that so much money is at stake. Even as a top song of the year, that's a HUGE amount of money for a single to generate! They must be talking about the gross, but that's still a lot. Thicke and Pharrell can't possibly be responsible for the $7m+, their cut is nowhere near that.

Bermuda
Most of the top songwriters in the pop music industry have special insurance for lawsuits regarding copyright infringement.

Barry
 

KamaK

Platinum Member
My favorite was The Verve's "Bitter Sweet Symphony", which legally acquired a license to sample the stones.

They were then sued for infringement because Keith didn't know they licensed it. When they brought up the license, the Stones sued again because they sampled "too much", and won 100% of the profits.

I guess the only positive note is that the US is not alone in strange applications of copyright.
 
"lifting" ?

are you not aware that most samples are cleared, legal , and payed for ?

hip hop music is build on sampling and the artists being sampled are compensated for the most part ..... a lot of them would have never been heard of had artists such as the Beastie Boys and Public Enemy etc. not sampled them .... and they are very grateful for that .
Some of their careers become reborn after being sampled
they are feeding their families due to being sampled

the Dust Brothers created the highly acclaimed Beastie Boys album Pauls Boutique almost exclusively with obscure samples ..... most of which are completely cleared contrary to popular belief

Exactly! Not going to get into the Amen Break and what that spawned. The fact is the music industry was NEVER just in this regard and this isn't a new issue.

Some may find this interesting..I found it back in 2008 Duke Law looked into "sampling" and the copyright issues by tracing a Kanye West song "Golddigger". No matter what you think of Mr. West this is worth watching.



“The point here is, I think, a very simple one. The Legendary KO samples Kanye West, who uses a fragment from Ray Charles, who might have taken material from… Clara Ward, who herself borrows from a gospel standard that in turn was based on a spiritual. The chain of borrowing I’ve described here has one end in the hymns and spirituals of the early 1900s and the other in the 21st century’s chaotic stew of digital remix, sampling and mashup.

- See more at: http://law.duke.edu/news/2757/#sthash.8v7UvN1y.dpuf
Text link: http://law.duke.edu/news/2757/

YouTube Lecture https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W_eULq_aP60
 

Zero Mercury Drummer

Senior Member
"lifting" ?

are you not aware that most samples are cleared, legal , and payed for ?

hip hop music is built on sampling and the artists being sampled are compensated for the most part ..... a lot of them would have never been heard of had artists such as the Beastie Boys and Public Enemy etc. not sampled them .... and they are very grateful for that .
Some of their careers become reborn after being sampled
they are feeding their families due to being sampled

the Dust Brothers created the highly acclaimed Beastie Boys album Pauls Boutique almost exclusively with obscure samples ..... most of which are completely cleared contrary to popular belief
Yes, I aware that they are licensed, but in the vast majority of cases I think they are not. The Beastie Boys have been sued many times. I don't know if they paid Back Door for that bass line, but I doubt it. And recently, Kanye West of all people, sampled King Crimson's 21st Century Schizoid Man. Robert Fripp posted on his blog that he never gave permission.
I think its about as legitimate as snipping off a piece of a Michelangelo painting and putting a stick figure on it and calling it your art. I think the rap sampling paved the way for the disrespect in general these days toward paying for music.
 

poika

Silver Member
I think its about as legitimate as snipping off a piece of a Michelangelo painting and putting a stick figure on it and calling it your art. I think the rap sampling paved the way for the disrespect in general these days toward paying for music.
100% disagree

Is photography not art, then? Or collage techniques?

The whole "if you sample, you are not a real musician" -thing is just really tiresome..
I would very much rather have a J Dilla with his sampler over 99,9% of the "real" musicians out there playing "real" instruments, any day.

Very good points made earlier by WhoIsTony? and Sesshoumaru.
 

mikel

Platinum Member
100% disagree

Is photography not art, then? Or collage techniques?

The whole "if you sample, you are not a real musician" -thing is just really tiresome..
I would very much rather have a J Dilla with his sampler over 99,9% of the "real" musicians out there playing "real" instruments, any day.

Very good points made earlier by WhoIsTony? and Sesshoumaru.
You are perfectly entitled to your opinion, but I find that strange coming from a drummer.

I cant see me going to a gig to watch one guy with a sampler.
 

poika

Silver Member
You know, I wouldn't really see myself going to see a gig with just one guy playing the drums, either.

A sampler is more of a sequencer than a live instrument. Of course, it can also be used as a live instrument, and there are people who can make it very interesting. But it's purpose is not really for live playing.

I've seen a million and one bands playing live with "real" acoustic instruments that bored me to death. Just because someone plays an instrument live doesn't make it interesting or of value in any way.

In the end, good music is good music, regardless of the means used to make it
 

WhoIsTony?

Member
100% disagree

Is photography not art, then? Or collage techniques?

The whole "if you sample, you are not a real musician" -thing is just really tiresome..
I would very much rather have a J Dilla with his sampler over 99,9% of the "real" musicians out there playing "real" instruments, any day.

Very good points made earlier by WhoIsTony? and Sesshoumaru.
my man ... these cats know absolutely nothing about hip hop and carrying on a discussion with them about it is pointless and quite frankly painful

it actually shocks me the amount of ignorance regarding the history of hip hop on a drummer forum

this is where I bow out
 

Zero Mercury Drummer

Senior Member
my man ... these cats know absolutely nothing about hip hop and carrying on a discussion with them about it is pointless and quite frankly painful

it actually shocks me the amount of ignorance regarding the history of hip hop on a drummer forum

this is where I bow out
I'm not claiming to be versed in the musical form. I am just saying that I disagree with the ethics of a lot of sampling that I hear. When I hear highly talented jazz musicians having their best work chopped up and someone rapping over it and making big dollars, I feel cheapened for all involved. I am surprised that you would dismiss some of us as musically ignorant in that context, especially with the reference in your user ID.
The Beasties did some excellent music. Sample away, just pay the artist. That has nothing to do with my appreciation of Hip Hop.
 
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poika

Silver Member
When I hear highly talented jazz musicians having their best work chopped up and someone rapping over it and making big dollars, I feel cheapened for all involved.
That's the thing, the guys chopping up jazz are not the ones making big dollars. The big dollars are made in the club scene, and that's a whole 'nother ball game where it's mostly drum machines and synths.

I am drifting even farther away from the subject now...
But the similarities between (good) hip hop and jazz get often overlooked. I'd say the lyrical side of hip hop is probably the closest musical form to jazz there is. It's about improvisation, and freedom, and trading bars, and musical quotations hidden in the solos/verses etc

Plus, especially as a drummer, I find the musical side of hip hop exremely interesting, as it's basically all about the rhythm and keeping your neck moving. It's all about being "in the pocket", as Modern drummer would put it. Cats like Questlove and Chris Dave, who are hugely influenced by hiphop, are really pushing the envelope and bringing out fresh ideas into the scene.

And sampling in general has had a huge part in shaping the way we hear and play drums. It's so much more than just stealing.
 
my man ... these cats know absolutely nothing about hip hop and carrying on a discussion with them about it is pointless and quite frankly painful

it actually shocks me the amount of ignorance regarding the history of hip hop on a drummer forum

this is where I bow out
Not to mention things like Yesterdays New Quintet, the brilliance of which is arguable at the root of the new breath of life to jazz today via Chris Dave and Karriem Riggins.

There's a knee jerk reaction to sampling and the what the lay person associates with sampling. That's why I posted the Duke Law presentation that touches on both in the context of derived work and copyrights.

The lawyers for the Gaye estate appear to be correct because there's still discussions of this case as 'stealing the feel' and the case does go beyond that. I'd be more concerned that this decision will be used to justify new "clearing houses" that function much like the sample clearing houses of the 90's.

This is why I don't ever really blame the artist. The old system of music publishing and the hideous state of IP laws do not work in the interest of the people or artist.
 
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SmoothOperator

Gold Member
That's the thing, the guys chopping up jazz are not the ones making big dollars. The big dollars are made in the club scene, and that's a whole 'nother ball game where it's mostly drum machines and synths.

I am drifting even farther away from the subject now...
But the similarities between (good) hip hop and jazz get often overlooked. I'd say the lyrical side of hip hop is probably the closest musical form to jazz there is. It's about improvisation, and freedom, and trading bars, and musical quotations hidden in the solos/verses etc

Plus, especially as a drummer, I find the musical side of hip hop exremely interesting, as it's basically all about the rhythm and keeping your neck moving. It's all about being "in the pocket", as Modern drummer would put it. Cats like Questlove and Chris Dave, who are hugely influenced by hiphop, are really pushing the envelope and bringing out fresh ideas into the scene.

And sampling in general has had a huge part in shaping the way we hear and play drums. It's so much more than just stealing.
I agree many of the digital musicians are our modern day composers, pushing the envelope on creating new songs and styles, they just don't use pen and paper to do it. Often times they can't get good recordings themselves, or find competent players to record them so they piece together bits and pieces from other recordings. This is a modern luxury, you don't have to be a famous band leader or composer to hear what your idea sounds like. In fact many digital artists have problems with bands or candy rappers stealing their music. Though, proving that a digitally produced song was stolen by some hot snot singer with a big name is about as difficult as it gets, because in the past only words and melodies were protected.
 

Boomka

Platinum Member
IE we listen to the same Ol beats all the time and they suck, because composers can get away with ripping them off over and over again, writing new words and a lead line to the same old music. There are many ways to come up with new beats, but there is no incentive to do so without copyright protection.
They suck? I guess we're different because if I hear a player convincingly laying down a Money Beat with great time and sound in the right circumstance they've got my attention. As for artistic freedom, perhaps others can chime in here, but very often composers and arrangers have given me a lot of leeway to come up with a drum part. They may give some general guidelines or even be really specific about certain details, but rarely have I had the exact position of every note in my drum part specified when recording or playing live and that includes playing a lot of musical theatre from charts, sometimes with the composer and/or arranger on hand.

As for a lack of copyright stifling creativity because drummers have no incentive to try new things, I don't buy it. A lack of copyright didn't prevent Gadd from coming up with 50 Ways, or Purdie from playing his half time shuffle on Babylon Sisters, or from G.C. Coleman playing the Amen Break, or Clyde Stubblefield from coming up with Cold Sweat, or JR Robinson coming up with that lovely little hihat thing on Ain't Nobody or Jeff Porcaro coming up with Mushanga, or Vinnie doing the inimitable Vinnie thing all over Sting's Ten Summoner's Tales, or Billy Ward from playing just about anything Billy Ward plays on anything he's hired to do these days, etc. ad nauseum...

Nah, the repetitiveness has to do with players and listeners alike enjoying familiar things because they make us feel familiar moods and move in familiar ways. I think the reason The Charleston Rhythm, for example, has been the rhythmic backbone of a high percentage of pop tunes going back nearly a century is not because composers are pulling a fast one. I'd surmise it has every bit as much or more to do with the physical and rhythmic tension created when you emphasise/accent a beat just ahead of the natural walking/dancing motion of a bipedal animal. JR Robinson surmises it's because that's the rhythm a woman's bum makes when she walks, BTW.

I'd say the history of pop music is replete with examples of great (and lesser) players doing their level best to come up with the most interesting and effective parts they can within any given context.
 
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SmoothOperator

Gold Member
Perhaps others can chime in here, but very often composers have given me a lot of leeway to come up with a drum part. They may give some general guidelines or even be really specific about certain details, but rarely have I had the exact position of every note in my drum part specified when recording or playing live.

As for a lack of copyright stifling creativity, I don't buy it. A lack of copyright didn't prevent Gadd from coming up with 50 Ways, or Purdie from playing his half time shuffle on Babylon Sisters, or from G.C. Coleman playing the Amen Break or JR Robinson coming up with lovely little hihat thing on Ain't Nobody or Billy Ward from playing just about anything Billy Ward plays on anything he's hired to do these days.

Nah, the repetitiveness has to do with us all (players and listeners) liking familiar things because they make us feel familiar things and move in familiar ways. The reason The Charleston rhythm, for example, has been the rhythmic backbone of a high percentage of pop tunes going back nearly a century is not because composers are pulling a fast one. I'd surmise it has every bit as much or more to do with the physical and rhythmic tension created when you emphasise/accent a beat just ahead of the natural walking/dancing movement of a bipedal animal.

JR Robinson would surmise it's because that's the rhythm a woman's bum makes when she walks, BTW.
Sure, the rhumba clave with the multiple accents on the"y" of the beat has been around for a while, though the fact that the Blurred Lines composers were unable to point that out is a little bewildering, it's almost as if they just knocked off that one tune, and didn't get back to where that beat came from or were unwilling to acknowledge some latin influences, it's like the golden rule in research papers, go to the original source whenever possible.

Anyway, I don't think you can assume people are satisfied with the same music over and over again, with different trite words over the top. The problem is that coming up with completely different arrangements is difficult, so if producers can get away with releasing something that is a facsimile of another they will.
 

Boomka

Platinum Member
Anyway, I don't think you can assume people are satisfied with the same music over and over again, with different trite words over the top. The problem is that coming up with completely different arrangements is difficult, so if producers can get away with releasing something that is a facsimile of another they will.
That's a completely different argument than "drummers/composers aren't creative because the lack of copyright on drum beats provides no incentive to be so."

And why can't we assume that people like things that sound like other things they've heard? I think the pop music industry and the amount of money people spend to purchase music that sounds very similar to other music they've heard is a pretty big data set in favour of that conclusion.
 
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