Digital Sampling and Remix Culture: Creativity or Criminality?

If the term sample reminds you more of a cheese tasting than music making, this video is for you. DJ, music producer and clothing designer Aaron LaCrate walks us through Sampling 101—taking a snippet of a song and repurposing it in another work. LaCrate explains the process but doesn’t sample in his own music — to "clear" a lifted beat for use is complicated, and expensive.

Musicians have always borrowed from others — tunings, vocal styles, distinctive phrasings. But the advent of the sampler in the 80s brought borrowing into the digital age. Today, "sampling," or lifting a snippet of someone else’s work — anything from a horn hit to a drum beat — is mainstream. But how to credit and pay those earlier artists for their contribution is where things get thorny. How much of someone else’s work should artists be able to use? How much should they pay for it? Is copyright law stuck in the age of analog?

http://www.sciencefriday.com/program/archives/201101287