The Ethics Behind Sampling

I have mixed feelings when it comes to sampling. On one hand, I think one should always get permission to sample another’s work, credit should always be given where credit is due; but, if one is trying to sample Michael Jackson, for example, it is a little more complicated than that. Not everyone has the money to buy the rights to songs that they want to sample, so my stance on the matter is that it is okay to sample songs without permission if the one sampling does not make money off of the new song. There are millions of covers of songs posted on Youtube. Those artists are just singing for the fun of it, they can sing others’ songs. They’re appreciating the art that was put out there. If they aren’t making money off of other artists’ work, I do not see any harm in it. But say Broadway wanted to make a musical about Carole King’s life and use all of her songs,(which is the case for the Broadway show “Beautiful”) they would of course need King’s permission and approval on the events that take place and the quality of her songs that are being performed. One should get permission for sampling others’ songs if they plan on making a profit off of it.


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