What Is The Copyright Situation With Old Music

Posts 1 - 7 of 7
  1. 3541363
    Quantumhead1 : Thu 5th Dec 2019 : 2 months ago

    Hey fellas.

    So I was thinking about pulling some samples from some 1940s records and it got me thinking. Can I use them commercially without getting a license? I heard that copyright expires after a maximum of 70 years. Don't know if that is true though. Anybody got the answers?

  2. 1041668
    wikkid : Thu 5th Dec 2019 : 2 months ago

    Copyrights can be extended.
    Also, the key here is "records" which means a record label probably owns the rights to the songs, and they are notorious for pretecting their rights.

    Be safe and go with royalty free loops like the ones on this site.
    Even if the artist on an older record is no longer alive, his or her heirs or the record label could own the rights to a song.

    Also, songs tend to have fans who recognize a particular artists sound. You don't want angry posts on your soundcloud or any other site that you post your creation on. That will draw attention to what you've done, and sites have the right to take your tune down. Remember, you signed a terms of service when you upload or even download from sites like YouTube or Soundcloud, and even Looperman.

    I hope this helps.

  3. 1041668
    wikkid : Thu 5th Dec 2019 : 2 months ago

    Forgot to add that while there are sites where you can pay a reasonable fee for a sample, you'd have to search to see if the songs you want to use are there.

    Since you asked about not getting a license, I'm guessing you want free old samples, specifically ones from the records of your choosing.

    Totally free in this case may be a bit harder.

  4. 3541363
    Quantumhead1 : Fri 6th Dec 2019 : 2 months ago

    Hey Wikkid,

    Thanks for the info buddy. Yeah, that kind of makes sense. Reason I asked is because I watched a Youtube vid of Kbeazy pulling samples from old big band records and then using them in trap beats. Wondered if it was a good idea or not.

    To be honest I rarely sample these days anyway, just because I'm too scared of copyright infringement. I haven't even used anything from here since I put out Cold Japanese Marshmallow. Used to do it on all my early stuff because it saves so much work, but once I started improving I switched to making my own loops.

    I'm not one for paying for samples and plug-ins. Not if I can avoid it, anyway. Much sooner use the freebies.

    Thanks for the replies buddy.

  5. 1231236
    joecramer : Fri 6th Dec 2019 : 2 months ago

    Copyrights can be a long living thing.
    Some stay in Germany 50 years after the DEAD of the composer.
    So if he/she wrote any in 1940 and was 20 years old then and died 2000 with a age of 80, the copyrights stay at least until 2050 ....

    So better always ask and (maybe) pay :)
    Do your own stuff

  6. 2966100
    puretones : Mon 9th Dec 2019 : 2 months ago

    Keep in mind, it's not always even about the songs copyright itself, but the holding the copyright to the fixed recording of the musical performance and if the label has deeper pockets than you do, well it's probably not a good idea to sample from records with the assumption that the LP's copyright has expired. Songs may go into the public domain, but an LP usually never does, even if it's from the 40's.

  7. 1245534
    VirginiaSlimm : Sun 15th Dec 2019 : 2 months ago

    Sampling days are basically over unless you can buy rights ahead of time. It can easily become a trap and ruin months of work. I used to make a lot of sample and vinyl based hip-hop. Now I won't touch a record. Also don't forget that there may be more than one sample owner to deal with. It gets complicated quickly.

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