3 notes and runnin


SEPTEMBER 15, 2004: Michael Bell-Smith and Downhill Battle are seeking submissions for 3 Notes and Runnin’, an online music compilation commemorating and protesting The Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals ruling in Case No. 01-00412.

In the case, the court found that NWA violated copyright law when they sampled 3 notes of a guitar riff from Funkadelic’s “Get off Your Ass and Jam” for their song “100 Miles and Runnin'”. The ruling reversed a district court finding that because “no reasonable juror, even one familiar with the works of George Clinton, would recognize the source of the sample without having been told of its source”, sampling clearance should not be required.

In doing so, the court broke from decades of established sample practice by ruling that all samples, regardless of how heavily manipulated or unrecognizable they may be, are subject either to “clearance” (obtaining permission for use of the sample, usually in exchange for money), or litigation. In an instant, this act made the majority of sample based music illegal. For more, read Why Sample Rights Matter.

To protest this decision, we are creating a forum for sample-based musicians and artists to share their own 30 second songs which have been created using only the sample in question. By doing so, we hope to showcase the potential and diversity of sample based music and sound art, and to call into question the relationship between a sample and its use. All entries will be posted on this site as they are received.

If Sampling is Outlawed, Only Outlaws Will Use Samples

Hear the guitar riff in question from Funkadelic’s “Get off Your Ass and Jam”:
PLAY

Hear a sample of the NWA song, “100 Miles and Runnin'”, which contains the sample:
PLAY

About Jan Zuppinger

Jan Zuppinger has been writing this blog since 2002. He likes to grow vegetables. He likes to eat them too. He has opinions on everything, but sadly no one cares. Jan Zuppinger is not joking, just joking, he is joking, just joking, he's not joking. *click.