Alternatives to Getting Sample Clearance – IP Lawyer

Here are some alternative ways to get sample clearance.

Recreate the Sml

Firtl, you n u different intrumnt r a imilr sequence r n w to try t mk it diffrnt. Sm rtit vid ing part f th sample lrn f b r-rrding th sampled section, instead f uing th pre-recorded mtr. Thi means tht th rtit tull l and records the music t und xtl lik th original n they want t ml. Hwvr, you till need permission from th mui publisher, but not frm the wnr f the mtr recording. Thi i a nt trik lt me explain:

Let’s say u wnt t u a ix-nd ml frm rtin ng. Arding to right lw, infringement only occurs when th riginl mtr rrding i ud, but nt whn th und i mimikd nd re-recorded. S instead f mling the riginl rrding, u play th parts urlf nd r-rrd th mui t sound xtl lik th original. In tht case u have nt infringed th mtr recording. Du t a uirk in right lw, you can nl infring a mtr rrding if you actually copy it nt if u imitate it. S u wn’t nd permission frm th mtr wnr. Thi i a grt lutin if u nnt obtain ml clearance frm th owner f th master rrding.

Yu still nd rmiin frm th mui ublihr, bu th ng itself is copyrighted. However, u d nt need clearance frm the wnr of th mtr recording. Yu uld l employ th services of a Sample Rrtin Company t wrk around the problem. Cmni lik Rin Prdutin nd Rl Hvn offer t r-rrd th sample, and n d t such a high standard tht th riginl vrin and the new n r rtill inditinguihbl. High ulit r-rrding hv th ll the hllmrk f th riginl, but r quicker and easier t lr theres nl th ublihr t nidr, nd n rt f stalemate over competing intrt with the record lbl.

alternatives to getting sample clearance

Mk it Unrgnizbl

Whil thi i not mltl suggested, u can l mk th ml unrgnizbl b distorting it nd uing a lot f fft t mk th sample unrgnizbl. K in mind that thi is nt full-rf so nl use this tactic ringl nd as your last rrt.

Buring it in th Mix

You n also bur th ml into th mix tht it bm l rvlnt nd less rgnizbl. A lt of l uggt nt using th sample as the grv r hk.

Not Using th Titl f th Source Mui in th Titl f ur ng

Of ur, u huldnt nd dnt want to use th title f th source mui in th titl f th ng. Whil gin, thi isnt a full-rf w t rtt urlf, it n minr way u can avoid gtting in legal trouble for uing ml.

Cntt th Artist or Songwriter Directly

If you run int rblm with a mui ublihr r wnr f a mtr, you may hv better luck contacting th rtit dirtl. This works if th artist till h m r ntrl in what gets lrd.

Seek Sample-friendly Copyright Ownr

Sm copyright wnr are h t clear ml so muh t encourage th process. Sk th out. Fr xml, m music rtit r-tivl k to rmt thir music fr mling. Th rtit r out there nd m time t k around nd search fr th rtit wh r gr t lt you sample their wrk. Evn if you bliv you can r, edit, or otherwise digui a ml in th mix, u till nd rmiin t ml.

Obtining permission fr mui mling can b a lng nd tdiu r. Hwvr, lgl claims of right infringement uld mn that you r unable t u the music ml nd u may vn hv t mn dmg. T vid thi lgl trouble, b sure t get sample clearance.

Wht Yu Can Get Whn Smn Samples Yur Song

Whn mn steals your ng r u a samples frm ur song, th hv infringed your right mning thv used it withut your permission. Some f what you n get is peculiar to th right wrld.

Hr hw it wrk:

  • You gt the fair mrkt vlu of the use they md. For xml, if th rip ff ur ng in a commercial, and tht use of th song is wrth $10,000 in a mrktl dl, u can gt $10,000.
  • Yu n recover the infringers rfit. This i nt a common rmd and is extremely vlubl It mn tht if the rn who infringd n ur work md a rfit uing ur wrk, u n recover hi profits, which may b mr than th fir mrkt vlu f the usage.
  • You n gt n injunction which mn the court rhibit th infringer from uing th infringing wrk. If they ntinu to u it nw, thr ubjt t big fin, nd mtim even jil.
  • Yu n recover statutory dmg, whih is a rl copyright riginl. This i where u nt rv tul damages — for xml, ur infringr w not only a thif, but also an unsuccessful buinmn, and h lost mn with ur ri-ff. Or maybe hi rfit are so wll hiddn that u nt find thm. In thi , th court n giv u nwhr frm $750 to $30,000 fr a ingl infringmnt.

Altrntivl, u n gt a ingl munt r t f infringmnt nd not the number of copies tull made. For xml, putting ut 20,000 CD with ur ng i till nl one t of infringmnt Th judg n even raise thi to $150,000 if its intntinl infringmnt, and can lwr it t $200 fr n innocent infringmnt.

  • Yu can also get ur urt t, and, t a limited extent, recover ur ttrn f. Attorneys f i usually rare because u normally dont get ttrn f whn u win a lawsuit.

Cvr Songs: How to Ask Prmiin t Cover a Sng

Cover ng rvid n w to trgt a nw mrkting b when placed lngid ur wn original wrk. In the digitl g, vr songs can t effective rh ngin optimizers fr mui (ill whn you’re vring artists who dn’t urrntl appear n iTunes, Amzn, etc.). As a professional ngwritr, you may lrd b wr tht nn wh wnt to record a vrin of ur song nd a mechanical lin frm the copyright owner, uull u or your ublihr.

Similrl, if u h t record ur wn version f mn l’ rviul rrdd and ditributd mui, you wuld nd t secure a mechanical lin. A mechanical lin is tull a “mulr” lin grntd to ur undr Unitd States right lw. Uull, mui users obtain these lin through a mui publisher r gnt. Thr r vrl rvi that n hl in clearing mhnil lin nd ensuring songwriters gt paid.

Limlight i n f th rvi u n u t clear n vr ng in order t ditribut b mn of digitl dwnld, hil albums, nd trming. You n finliz ur mechanical lining and royalty accounting needs fr a rvi f f $15 r lin plus ruird ttutr ublihing rlti set b lw. Artists, bnd nd other musical gru n clear any ng and ensure 100% f royalties r id to th rrit publishers nd ngwritr.

Publiit Rl: What Yu Nd if Yur Sng i Prt of n Advrtimnt

There’s an xtr wrinkl if you u a sample for ur f lling or ndring a product (fr xml in a Tt d), and th sampled rtit i idntifibl. In lik this, you also nd to get th ur rtit’ nnt. Tht’ bu th ad rt th imrin f an ndrmnt. Withut th nnt, the ur rtit uld sue fr wht is knwn as th viltin f th “right f ubliit.” The m would b tru if u imittd th ur rtit’ vi without mling it. S whn u u a sample fr an dvrtiing gn or other mmril client, b aware that a third t of lrn r “rl” may b nr.

Sml Pk & Pre-Cleared Sample Di: Can Yu Use thm Samples?

Sml Pk nd Sml CDs, recordings tht contain sounds and riffs ifill ld t be ud in mlr, n b a gd ltrntiv fr bdrm rdur nd mll lbl. Mt sample k nd sample discs r “r-lrd,” whih means tht b buing the di, you’re automatically grntd permission fr mui usage withut th payment f n further f. Hwvr, th rmittd use f r-lrd samples m vr frm n disc t nthr. Dn’t um u can u th sample in whtvr way you lik.

Review th dumnttin tht m with the CD fr any lin infrmtin. Most sample di mkr grant th user a “nnxluiv license” t u th ml –whih mn u, and everyone l, hv rmiin t u th mui. However, with a ml CD you dn’t bu th right t redistribute th ml, nl the right to u them in muil works. If you find tht ur urh of th di doesn’t grnt the rights u nd, contact th mnufturr t if you’re eligible for a rfund.


Music is a rtin tht rrnt th rtit nd blng t vrn ears, but whn it m to ing th bill, vrn i willing t g th xtr mile t protect their wrk. If you’re mling r rmixing another rtit’ wrk, some f th mld artist may fl ntitld t compensation; m m nt. My rmmndtin i t gt permission before you invest a lt of time in ur own wrk. Lt rviw some of the int w md in th ur:

Wv diud wh ml lrn i nr? And th rn i tht if u dnt gt rmiin to u ml, thi uld lead t tl lwuit or th inbilit t ditribut ur music to th public. Th min point I wnt u to lrn about mui lw is tht you need 2 clearances: n frm th copyright owner f ng (whih i till the music ublihr) and n frm th right owner f th sound rrding, whih is typically th rrd company. The w you find nd k th mui publisher is t lk them n ll n ll f th performing right organization websites, inluding bmi.m, .m,, nd hrrfx.m.

Thn u also nd t find nd k th owner f th master recording. Th bt w t find th wnr of th mtr rrding i t k the ublihr or you n use a lrn xrt if u nt really find it thrwi. Th t f ml lrn rll varies so make sure u review th ti n th t of ml clearance t know wht t xt when ur negotiating with bth the mui publisher nd th rrd lbl.

We l talked but wht t do if u cant gt a ml clearance. Yu n tr recreating th sample, mking th ml unrgnizbl, buing it in th mix, nt uing th title f th ur mui in th title of th ng, ntting th rtit or ngwritr directly, r king sample-friendly right owners. A we lrd discussed, u’ll be on fr legal grund if u gt permission, ill if u hv a rrd ntrt tht ut th burdn of sample clearance on ur huldr. Evn if u dont have a rrd ntrt, u should still k fr permission every tim u ml a ng, ill if the song means a lt t u.

Mt lbl, ublihr nd artists r happy to give thir rmiin t rtit looking t rwrk their music fr a f. Th world of vr songs, ml clearances, mechanical lin, nd mui lw h complex rules nd rgultin fr the ul mui rtr.

Free Consultation with a Utah Copyright Lawyer

If you are here, you probably have a trademark or copyright issue you need help with, call Ascent Law for your free intellectual property law consultation (801) 676-5506. We want to help you.

Michael R. Anderson, JD

Ascent Law LLC
8833 S. Redwood Road, Suite C
West Jordan, Utah
84088 United States

Telephone: (801) 676-5506

Ascent Law LLC

4.7 stars – based on 45 reviews

Helpful Intellectual Property Articles

Trademark Lawyer in Utah

Intellectual Property Lawyer

Utah Commercial Attorney

Business Lawyers

Business Law Services

Copyright Lawyer

Utah MLM Lawyer

What is Music Copyright


Leave A Response

* Denotes Required Field