Julio Bashmore Apologises For Sampling

Julio Bashmore’s legal trouble over an uncleared sample of the Jimmy Castor Bunch’s ‘Troglodyte’ serves as a timely reminder of sampling laws.

Bristol-based house producer Julio Bashmore has issued a formal apology to the Jimmy Castor Bunch, whose track ‘Troglodyte (Cave Man)’ he sampled on his own ‘Troglodytes’ last year.

The statement from Bashmore was particularly interesting in that he not only apologised, but acknowledged that the sample had been indirectly used “to promote [his] label and [his] own career”.

Bashmore’s legal bother serves as a reminder that so many dance music producers still don’t understand the intricacies – or even some of the basics – of sampling law.

Industry veteran Dennis Collopy – who has extensive experience in the legality of sampling thanks to his time spent managing acts including the KLF – isn’t surprised that Bashmore got caught out: ”I read the comments [on his Facebook page] about the sample and a lot of them hit the nail on the head: if you base your music around samples you will not get far unless you start clearing them.” Whether you sell your music or give it away for free, the simple message remains the same: the only way to avoid running into legal bother is to clear your samples in advance. ”That said,” Collopy admits, “some of the genius records I have worked on would never have seen the light of day if we had [tried to clear the samples].”

So is there still a way to sneak under the radar with uncleared samples? The only obvious solution is white label vinyl (and in this case that means truly anonymous white labels which can’t be traced back to you, not hipster house ‘white labels’ with your Twitter username and SoundCloud account hand-stamped on to them). ”Promoing on white labels is smart,” Collopy adds, “but in an era of immediacy and social media that approach must seem old school. At least it meant you could get away with a lot more than you can today.”

Logically, the greater an artist’s success, the more likely that they’ll eventually get found out. Just ask Baauer, whose ‘Harlem Shake’ was initially released for free on Mad Decent’s Jeffrees imprint, but eventually embroiled him in a controversial legal dispute. Or Nicolas Jaar, whose album Space Is Only Noise was re-pressed without ‘I Got A Woman’ after Jaar and Circus Company failed to clear the track’s Ray Charles sample.

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  • Words: Zara Carey
  • Date: 21st June 2013
  • M Wrote:

    this is silly, if the track resulted in millions of dollars lost, I could maybe understand, but a promo / free joint??? lame…

    if anything this may have sparked interest in the jimmy castor bunch with a generation of people who may not be up on just begun, etc…

    neva stop diggin / sampling / chopping

  • Attack Wrote:

    M – Totally agree. Digging, sampling and chopping are foundations of electronic music, but let’s play devil’s advocate here. If your recordings are being sampled, where do you draw the line in letting artists get away with it? Now that record sales aren’t a big source of income for most artists, attentions have to turn elsewhere. Free downloads clearly drive an artist’s profile, resulting in bigger DJ booking fees, remix fees, and so on. It’s impossible to put a value on Bashmore’s indirect profit from one free giveaway, but it’s hard to argue that it wouldn’t have an impact on the success of his career as a whole.

    If you owned the rights to a piece of music which someone else was (directly or indirectly) profiting from, wouldn’t you seek some kind of compensation? Especially if, as in the case of so many funk and soul artists, you didn’t make much money from that music in the first place.

    On a related note, Bashmore’s PMR labelmates Disclosure tweeted to a fan the other day that some of their older tracks (presumably some of the tracks on the free download Carnival EP – http://www.discogs.com/Disclosure-Carnival-EP/release/3720293 ) would never be available on iTunes because they contain uncleared samples. The tweets were later deleted. We wouldn’t be surprised if lawyers were sniffing around those tracks as we speak.

  • estevan Wrote:

    So if you wrote a blog post and quoted a famous text, you can get sued? This is the same thing. It’s nonsense. It’s petty.

  • estevan Wrote:

    Where do we draw the line? Let all artists freely sample as long as there’s no financial transaction involved. Jimmy Castor should get involved himself. Make some DJ mixes with his old tracks.

  • Bonez Wrote:

    Unfortunately Jimmy Castor can’t “get involved” as he died in January 2012.

  • M Wrote:

    i see what your saying, but I can’t sympathize with what is mostly copywrite trolls or publishing companys just trying to cake off other peoples beats.

    “Especially if, as in the case of so many funk and soul artists, you didn’t make much money from that music in the first place.”

    without sampling i tend to believe alot of those people would of remained forgotten or irrelevant.

    copy written music, art, etc should hit the public domain after 25 or so years.

    shouldn’t the person who invented synthesis be paid royalties for everytime someone builds one in their DAW, or sells one in the stores? Why isn’t nyquist paid everytime “sampling” occurs in the world.

    anyway i rant.

  • C Wrote:

    Isn’t Boardwalk Records owned by Bashmore?
    http://www.discogs.com/Julio-Bashmore-Au-Seve/release/3711265

    The Troglodytes track was indeed offered for sale and is still being offered for sale by way of the Au Seve EP. So, we finally get to the heart of the matter.

  • MW Wrote:

    Estevan its not the same thing!!! come on now use your brains, quotes in text are not the same as samples in music. If you had created a track and someone used your works for their own financial gain, and no credit to yourself I think you would look upon this differently. After all it is someone’s intellectual property and some recognition for this is due to the right owner

  • JL Wrote:

    MW

    Yea, but if the blog or magazine makes money and uses a quote then isnt that not the same?