They Say That I Stole This

Friday, October 23, 2009


Twenty years ago a series of lawsuits criminalized the hip-hop sampling of artists like Hank Shocklee and Public Enemy. And yet, two decades later, artists like Girl Talk have found success breaking those same sampling laws. OTM producer Jamie York talks to Girl Talk, Shocklee and Duke Law professor James Boyle about two decades of sampling - on both sides of the law.

Comments [9]

Karol Franco from Raleigh, North Carolina

If you think about it, music, like culture, is always evolving, whether we are conscious of it or not. Sampling segments or entire melodies directly from established songs carries music culture forward in awkward chunks rather than in a smooth and natural flow.

Dec. 10 2010 12:29 AM
Arianna from Raleigh, NC

I think that is simply crazy. If it applies to one person, it should definitely apply to everyone.

Oct. 24 2010 10:22 PM
Josh from Fairfax, VA

What was the name of the first Girl Talk song from this story?

Oct. 31 2009 06:15 AM
Mike B from Albany, NY

Akufen has been microsampling sine the early 2000s, where he take fraction of a second clips from music and rolls it all together into something totally new. His album 'My Way' was totally sampled though you wouldn't know the clips unless you really sat down and listened to it. I'm only found a pink floyd riff and a michael jackson yell to date and I've had the album since 05.

His myspace:

Oct. 28 2009 07:14 PM
Jim B from Brooklyn

When open forums for free speech are controlled by private corporations like fair use is not honored.

Oct. 24 2009 11:17 PM

The world of Dj'ing is based on mixing, or better known as mash-ups, it has been going on since the 80's. The Big company has lost control the consumer has the same technologies, not necessarily quality. They were just using tapes, not computers.

Good day to all. =]

Oct. 24 2009 04:17 PM
Copycense from

It is incredible that this report on music sampling and Girl Talk, and ignore the elephant in the room. We addressed this in an essay we published on Copycense in March 2009:

Oct. 24 2009 08:28 AM
Geo8rge from Brooklyn NY

You might look at Kutiman on youtube. He does 100% sampling of unknowns that post on youtube and gets some amazing results.

Your story is trying to hard to look for controversy. The real story is that if you are taking small samples, you don't need to sample top acts. The DJ you looked at who was sampling top shelf acts really did not surpass the original Roy Orbeson imo, so what was the point of doing it.

Oct. 23 2009 11:16 PM
Kahlid from Philly PA

Give me Rob Bass and Tone Loc lifted riffs over the current "original" tunes any day.

KC was right, Rap is interesting but exuausted as a medium.

Pre-lawsuit rules!

Oct. 23 2009 10:51 PM

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