How to clear samples
Sampling in music is not something new. So if you are a music producer whether urban or electronic, it’s more than likely that you may use samples in your track.
We are going to share important information about samples in the music and most of all the basic rules involved that must be followed to remain within the law’s framework.
While rapping, it’s not unusual for producers and artists to take samples from other recorded works. It is very common. But don’t worry as we will help you understand this in detail.
What happens if you don’t clear the sample for your songs?
If you are releasing music without clearing samples then it is the choice you are making at your own risk. While clearing samples, many factors are taken into consideration like- online availability, etc.
In cases, where the samples are found, just remember that you can be sued and asked to pay fines by the copyright holders for making use of uncleared samples.
In such cases, your music could be pulled from streaming from different platforms and stores. Just because if something is easily available online on the internet does not mean that you can use it anyway.
How to clear a sample for your song?
This process isn’t complicated but there are few things you should remember-
– Do your research
Be aware that your song needs two types of sample clearance
1. Master composition
2. Sound recording
This means that you need to clear the sample with the label as well as the publisher. You can begin your research by looking up artist information on all major platforms. From here you can find all the details related to the song like a publisher, artists, website details, and a lot more.
– Get in touch with the publisher of the original song
Identify whom you should get in touch with for the clearance of the sample. If you can’t find anyone then use the contact form available on the website. While drafting your message or an email you can include the following details
1. Information you found on the platform about the track.
2. Information on track you sampled
3. Link of your song
4. Length of your song and when you plan to release.
The more information you can provide the better it is as it may help in expediting the clearance process.
– You may be asked for negotiation and it shouldn’t be a challenge for you.
How much will it cost to clear a sample?
As discussed above, most of the things come down to negotiation. Few publishers or labels may ask for an upfront fee, royalties. It will depend on them. Regardless of their approach, just recognize there is always room for negotiation.
It has been observed that most publishers would look for-
● The track that is being sampled
● Whether the specific sample has been removed
● The length of the sample
How long will it take to clear the sample?
It will solely depend upon the information you have provided to the publisher. It can take from a few days to a matter of a few weeks. It all depends.
Understand the clearance terms clearly
Even if the sample has been cleared and you have received the heads up, it does not mean that you can use it anywhere. So it is important to understand the terms. There could be restrictions on licensing and payment deals as well. Some important tips are-
● Plan your release
While doing this, don’t wait until the last minute to deal with legal proceedings. Clear your sample as soon as possible.
● Always look out for alternatives if you are not able to clear the samples.
● Samples clearing can sometimes be a lengthy process and can be costly. It can make it difficult for you to release on time and can hurt the sentiments of your fans as well as your reputation. It is essential to determine if the sample is important for your music and its success.
How to clear samples in a song or mixtape?
Clearing the sample is more straightforward than ever. That does not imply that there won’t be any cost. You may get plenty of ideas about beats or music. But if it’s the sample that you want, then go ahead and do what it takes to get the clearance.
The current reality of sampling today!
There are plenty of musicians as well as producers who are releasing their music without clearing samples these days. This practice has become common considering the difficulty and cost of clearing the samples, copyright issues, changes in music distribution & technology.
Whatever the situation may be, avoid using the samples that are not verified or cleared to avoid any legal hassles and your song being removed from music platforms. So clear those samples if you can and if you are not able to then come up with another musical element that works in its place.