Bittersweet Symphony

The First Law of Sampling: The amount of sampling allowed, even with an agreement with the record company, is inversely proportionate to the amount of money that could be garnered by suing over the sample.

The Second Law of Sampling: The number of former managers, band members, and rights holders willing to sue over the smallest sample, even buried under layers of original instrumentation, is directly proportinate to the popularity of the song that contains the sample.

The Third Law of Sampling: If it goes to court, you’re probably screwed (and/or broke) whether you win or not.

The Fourth Law of Sampling: Even if you manage to settle out of court, you still may lose your livelihood, your band, and possibly your mind.

The First Law of Dealing with People Used to Making Money for the Rest of Their Lives for a 5 Minute Song They Created 20 Years Ago (and possibly did not even create, but merely purchased the rights to): They are a bunch of greedy, greedy people. Stay away from them, and don’t sample their songs under any circumstances, you’ll probably regret it.

Read all about the Bittersweet Symphony

It’s a good thing we now have Creative Commons to bring some sanity to this mess!