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Sampling could lead to plagiarism

Sampling, in music, means taking a sample (hence the word “sample”) of a previously recorded song, to use as an instrument in a different composition. The use of samples in music is quite frequent. Great artists, like Daft Punk, have built a career around sampling.

Sometimes the sample can be almost unrecognisable – just a few notes repeated over and over again in a loop – and in others, it is a blatant copy of someone else’s work without not recognition to the original creators. In that case, the sample is transformed into plagiarism. That is why today we bring some R&B interpreters who have been sued thanks to sampling.

Famous R&B legal sampling demands

The Weeknd

The R&B interpreter has been sued and accused of alleged improper sampling on his hit single ‘The Hills’ from a science fiction soundtrack. According to The Hollywood Reporter, Canadian R&B singer (real name Abel Tesfaye) has been caught in a lawsuit for copyright infringement by Cutting Edge Music Limited. The plaintiffs claim that Tesfaye has illegally sampled part of the “Time Machine” soundtrack, a sci-fi film released in 2013.

It is alleged that producer Emmanuel Nickerson (aka ‘Million Dollar Mano’) sent Tom Raybould, composer of “The Machine”, a Twitter message last March to tell him about the sampling of his work: “I’ve sampled your music to make Weeknd’s next album. Huge fan of what you did in the movie of the machine! “. What is not understood is why so much praise, then not pay Raybould for his creative part.

Both Tesfaye and Nickerson are mentioned in the complaint, as well as Tesfaye producer for years, Carlo ‘Illangelo’ Montagnese, co-writer Ahmad ‘Belly’ Balshe, Universal Music Group, and Republic Records. Cutting Edge Music Limited is seeking a court order to repair damages caused by this “improper” loan. Remember that “The Hills” was # 1 on the Billboard Hot 100, # 5 in Canada and # 10 in the UK. And the LP containing it, ‘Beauty Behind The Madness’, reached number 1 in both the US and UK.

Beyoncé

The R&B worldwide superstar and Queen B, have been sued for a sample of “Formation,” the first single from her latest album, ‘Lemonade’ released last year. The song uses phrases from the famous YouTube personality, Messy Mya. Miss Mya next in kin claims the star of the R&B mega album need to compensate Messy Mya’s state for nearly $25 million for “arrears royalties and other damages.”

Mya, whose real name was Anthony Barré, was killed in 2010. Beyoncé used a sample of a YouTube video of Mya from August of that year, which in 2016 went to ‘Formation’. Specifically, the fragment in which Mya says: “What happened after New Orleans?” And “Bitch, I’m back. By popular demand “. The lawsuit of Mya’s heirs claims that the sample was used without authorization and that the singer has ignored all attempts to communicate on the subject. This demand while well-based could be pointless. We all know that Queen B does what she wants whenever she wants.

Credit: Kiki Ruiz

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