I’ve never even heard of this Lord Finesse (oh such a player…oh he was the vocal sample in Rockafeller Skank?…that’s hip hop history *right there*. Looking at his wiki page and 3 albums it does make me wonder if this is the hiphop version of patent trolling?) but this video by Dan Bull spells out what happened when he got a video criticising his lawsuit against Mac Miller pulled. Basically he took and sampled Oscar Peterson for a beat in a track, and many years later it was used in a free mixtape (not an official release), as with pretty much all up-and-coming rappers and even the likes of Lily Allen. This isn’t a new thing…but no, Lord Footnote has to sue for 10 Million dollars. For a song on a free mixtape. Especially when parts of the beat is already sampled from elsewhere, and I bet you anything he did the same as Mac Miller when coming up.
And then he pulls Dan Bull’s comment on this using the same beat of YouTube. Complete dick move, I’m sure you agree. The video above spells out why this is a douchey thing to do, for him but also hiphop in general, but also why it’s scary to ‘counter notify’ a DMCA or content strike unless you’re prepared to go to court. And yes I’ve had to do that frankly insulting ‘Copyright School’ too, courtesy of Rastamouse (middle finger goes to RTV too) which was also a parody usage which earned me a lovely first-and-only content strike after many other big corporates didn’t seem to mind or only blocked a few of my videos.
The law on parodies and mashups is an ass – and such uses is a little grey in the UK. You should be able to do them because it’s comment, but a lot of the law is untested or only used for different usages – and UK law isn’t as protective as the US. Then again using the current FBI Megaupload logic against the industry itself: if US copyright law applies with Mega because it had servers in the US, surely that means US copyright law protections should be extended to non-US originating content? You can’t have it both ways about the same case law.
Anyway I guess no-one wants to be the first to prove it in the courts, it’s an expensive deal especially up against the likes of Lord ’10 Million’ Finesse.
Here is the original Dan Bull video, reposted – as long as it stays up that is.