Timbaland in unauthorised SID usage allegations

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Chris Abbott
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Post by Chris Abbott »

You'd sue whoever was in your jurisdiction under the copyright laws.

Unfortunately it would be more difficult for Tempest to sue. The appropriate course of action would be to apply to the copyright authorities to put a duplicate claim on this work, but then you have to follow through if the claim is defended. Tempest would probably only be entitled to a songwriting credit for this: which is a matter for the publishers rather than the record label. GRG would actually be in a stronger position, since they would be entitled to payment for use of the samples. There was no audio created by Tempest which is in this song, so that makes the case correspondingly weaker. A good lawyer could draw the line between them using GRG's cover wholesale as proof that the original tune should have Tempest as a writer.

[summary: the only people Tempest can sue are the Publishers of this song, unfortunately. GRG would have more options.]
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Post by tomsk »

Hope there's some justice at the end of it all. I hate to see this type of thing, but what bugs me most is lack of credit!

Anyway - not wanting to change the subject Chris, but do you have any more info to give regarding the MoS tune ? Is it available at all ?
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Post by Chris Abbott »

I have to say, though, I think everyone is really going about this arse about face. When something like this happens, first you correspond with the people responsible in an appropriate way, and THEN you press the Internet panic button. I mean, if he hasn't actually ASKED for anything, then the record company isn't going to GIVE him anything.

Also, there's an assumption that you can't do anything without lawyers: that's poppycock. You can do plenty without lawyers as long as you know what to do. Initial work upfront in setting out the issues, likely problems and resolution are all necessary: otherwise you're spending hundreds of pounds of lawyer time skirting around the issue through lack of knowledge (in this case: the short circuit is "SIDs are unique and easy to spot as samples, which would require thousands of pounds of lawyer-time just for two sets of lawyers to acknowledge the issue).

You can fight big companies without lawyers as long as you can make clear that the case is pretty much watertight and that if it went to law they would, in all probability, lose.

In this case (and this is general advice offered without warranty which might work, in case this paragraph gets copied and pasted anywhere!)correspondance with the Publishers first, establishing the chain of events and asking for 40% of the piece. Threaten to file a duplicate claim for that tune (the key here is being a member of NCB). That will freeze all money in its tracks if the claim is good enough. Follow through with that if the Publishers don't play ball. One way or another that claim has to be resolved. If you're willing to accept less than 40% and accept an "in" to the publishing contract for that song (which doesn't involve giving up legal rights to the original), then the publisher may be more relaxed about it because his percentage isn't under threat: it's a question of redistribution from Plankton or whatever his name is to someone else: i.e. purely an administrative issue.

It's not wise to go public and demonise everyone before you've given civil correspondence a try: if he has tried to write to the record label, then he's written to the wrong people and shouldn't be surprised if he gets no response (especially if the letter was written informally and/or angrily).

I mean, what's the benefit of an Internet uproar? Is everyone going to boycott the record company? Are hordes of people going to march on their building? The record company is almost certainly not a guilty party in this anyway: this sort of thing happens because a track starts small with some infringement and the opportunity to admit the steal never arises as the tune gets bigger. As the tune gets bigger it gets harder and harder to admit, so you bury your head in the sand, practice some self-delusion and hope the shit never hits the fan. Unfortunately, it always goes eventually.

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Post by Chris Abbott »

tomsk wrote:Hope there's some justice at the end of it all. I hate to see this type of thing, but what bugs me most is lack of credit!

Anyway - not wanting to change the subject Chris, but do you have any more info to give regarding the MoS tune ? Is it available at all ?
I'd rather not publicly give major details until I've covered the ground with MoS themselves. No point mudslinging until negotiations are over.

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Post by Analog-X64 »

I just listened to both versions and I'm surprised how much of it was copied...I could understand a bar or two here and there but to me it sounds like almost 60% of the song was used.

Its not Geffen's fault or Neli Fertados fault.... Someone needs to talk to Timbaland (sp?).

It reminds me of the guy who was selling CD's with 2nd Reality Music and he just put he's name on it and claimed it he's meanwhile everyone knows it was a Skaven/Purple Motion production.

I think things should first be settled between Timbaland and Tempest if that falls deaf on ears, than Nelli and Geffens Records should be notified as well.

I know if this was my track I would do something about it.

I like this YouTube Comparison.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M4KX7SkDe4Q
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Post by Analog-X64 »

Did some more reading and searching on the net and this thing has picked up steam...I figure wont be long till it hits main stream media.

So here is the Clip showing that in 2005 Timbaland made the same beat/pattern loop and sold it as a Ring Tone.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wV2fTEeP6GM
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Post by LMan »

Chris: You are most likely right in everything you said, since you certainly know the ropes. On the other hand it's totally understandable that there's an uproar:

The public has to get the impression that the same industry that forces the "Copying is stealing and stealing is a crime" slogans and other nasty "Digital Restriction Managements" down the throats of people, mostly their buying customers, in return doesn't seem to give a shit about how they get their source material. And that they have apparently no problem whatsoever reaping the profit that should belong to others just as long as noone makes a claim.

To be honest, brings my blood to a boil, too.
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Post by Analog-X64 »

I agree everything Chris said and would have been the best path. But I think it was probably too late once the word leaked out.

Once someone posts something on a forum and especially on a topic such as this it can snow ball out of control very quickly.

A small example is, I posted a question when I was having problems with MySpace account. Next day I got an e-mail from someone who is not even on this site asking me if I had found a solution. I asked how they knew I had this problem and they said a google search turned up my post here, and that was only 1 day after I hate posted here.

Now you do a search for Timbaland and DemoScene in Google and you get all kinds of hits everywhere.
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Post by Glenn0RG »

So what can I do ?

Glenn R.G
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Post by Chris Abbott »

The first thing is to change the rules of the game. Companies don't like dealing with individuals: they prefer to deal with other companies. That means signing that soundtrack to a record label that can threaten a little bit better: and for maximum effect, to get Tempest to sign the song rights to the same company. Then you've got all the ingredients you need to freeze their funds for the song worldwide, launch duplicate claims and unauthorised sample claims at MCPS or NCB, and generally work the system. Essentially you're swapping a share in what you've got to avoid paying lawyers. If a record label or publisher knows there's a pot of gold at the end of the rainbow, then they'll be a lot more effective than a know-nothing lawyer. I could offer my services on both counts, and I know how to write a mean letter (and I've had some success defending this sort of thing against bigger companies), but I have no more money than you guys. Sometimes that doesn't matter: in the sense that if you can write your own informed legal arguments you can get away without lawyers for quite a while: my action against a German company for 14-Zero-Zero took five years, but cost only two hours of lawyer time, since I did all the actual work myself.

Essentially, they won't give you anything unless you ask for something, and provide appropriate legal rights for them to be able to rest safely in their beds. Asking the right person for the right thing in writing is pretty much the next step. A letter from a publisher or another record label has much more weight because there's then a contract between the artist and the company that sets down the existence of the work. One worry is whether a contract (you'd sign a "Phonographic Rights Assignment", I can supply you with a sample of the kind of contract you'd want to sign which I signed with Martin Galway) would be enforcable by a third-party if it was signed after the date the offence was committed. I'd say yes, if the contract gave the rights in a non-time-limited fashion.

It would be a lot easier if the same company had contracts for the mechanical rights (Tempest) and phonographic (you), since then it would be open and shut.

Another idea is for you to submit a sample contract to the record label specifying your demands to shut up and go away (this might work if you were targeting them as yourself). Although this would also limit your ability to claim things later, since the contract would essentially be a claim for damages.

Another factor is: who to target? Is there a sub-label this originated from? If not, that makes things easier, since there's less people to blame. Certainly the record company would be lying if they tried to get you only to sue Timberland.

As you can see, there's a lot of ways this can go: the uproar on the Internet: well, god knows how that will affect things. No one's ever really bothered uproaring against anything I've been involved in, even when there's a complete rip going on :)

Um, sorry that wasn't a straight "do that, do this" thing. But the core is either: write an appropriate letter as yourself, with demands and consequences, or offer the track to someone else (preferably bringing Tempest along with you) who can deal with it for you (with the obvious percentage gone, but that's the biz, I guess).

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Post by Chris Abbott »

@GRG: I'm happy to talk about this off-list if you want.

PM me.

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Post by Dafunk »

Wooh, Chris has some really good point here. It's tricky business nevertheless. I wouldn't want to be in Tempest's or Grg's shoes right now, but i think WE ALL gotta support them in this issue the way we can, coz you never know, maybe tomorrow the same thing could happen to any of us dealing with free music... Maybe start donating money so they could go to court or sumthin'... This shit really pissed me off. Long live Tempest and Grg, hope they can make a precedent of this...



Heya and welcome to GRG btw. :)
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Post by Analog-X64 »

Glenn0RG wrote:So what can I do ?

Glenn R.G
Welcome to the Board !!!

My recommendation is take Chris's Advice.

It is so awesome to see the Scene coming together like this and supporting one of their own.
Last edited by Analog-X64 on 15/01/2007 - 21:04, edited 1 time in total.
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Post by soren_ladegaard »

Chris Abbott wrote:I'd rather not publicly give major details until I've covered the ground with MoS themselves. No point mudslinging until negotiations are over.

Chris
Is this a song that is already available? I'd like to take a listen just for the fun of it :)
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