The full text of this Note may be found here.
29 Fordham Intell. Prop. Media &Ent. L.J. 179 (2019).
Note by Sean M. Corrado
hanks, in part, to social media and the digital streaming age of music, independent artists have seen a rise in popularity and many musicians have achieved mainstream success without the affiliation of a major record label. Alongside the growth of independent music has come the widespread use of music sampling. Sampling, which was once depicted as a crime perpetrated by hip-hop artists, is now prevalent across charttopping hits from all genres. Artists have used sampling as a tool to integrate cultures, eras, and styles of music while experimenting with the bounds of musical creativity. Artists whose works are sampled have profited from royalties and the exposure of their original work in modern art. However, the laws that shaped the sample licensing system helped solidify financial and political obstacles that prevent independent artists from sampling. Therefore, while major label-affiliated artists can use their status and financial capital to bypass the obstacles, it is practically impossible for independent artists to afford sampling and participate in modern music’s sonic creativity.
*Senior Writing & Research Editor, Fordham Intellectual Property, Media & Entertainment Law Journal, Volume XXIX; J.D. Candidate, Fordham University School of Law, 2019; B.A., English Writing & Communications Rhetoric, University of Pittsburgh, 2014. I would like to thank Professor Ron Lazebnik for his guidance and advice throughout the writing process, as well as the editors of the journal for their editing and feedback. I would also like to extend a special thank you to Lindsey Corrado, Dylan LeRay, Sabina Yevdayeva, and my parents for their unconditional love and support.