Mr Simon Dunmore of Defected Records is getting a fairly equal combination of praise and opprobrium at the moment – I’ve expressed my thoughts on this here and here. I’m not going to add any more to what I’ve said about that.
In the discussion that’s been happening since, some people have mentioned the uncleared use of samples. This is something that drives me up the wall. Slapping a kick drum and an open hat over a looped sample of an old disco record and putting an out of tune Loleatta Holloway vocal on top is not creating something new or original.
It’s copyright infringement, simple as that. And the claim that it’s somehow okay because you’re making little to no money from it doesn’t excuse your conscience or your legal obligations. The same people who do this – they’ll be the ones with blood boiling if they ever get anything original of theirs sampled.
I can’t help but wonder if it isn’t time for the online stores to start doing something about this. Should they really be able to make money out of such records? Don’t they have a duty to do all they can to prevent that from happening?
Or is there too much money for them to lose if they take a stand?