Yesterday, 20th of June, Peter Okoye revealed that it is not a big deal to use a portion of another artiste’s song in your song and he doesn’t understand why people are making an issue out of it.
This opinion was unexpected for me and while it probably didn’t require a post, his confidence in this act and how he went on about it was all shades of wrong… how many shades does wrong have though?
So after watching the interview, these are what I find wrong about his opinion and why I think this kind of opinion cannot grow the Nigerian music industry.
- It is not a big deal: From the comment of Peter Okoye, it seems like a sampling of other people’s song is no big deal and people shouldn’t concern themselves with issues that are not their business especially fans. I find everything wrong with this comment because this is a creative who seems to be making it okay for other people to take creative works of others without permission. That is a disregard for the original creator and shouldn’t be.
- His statement about publicity: This is another statement that shouldn’t have been made. According to Peter Okoye, Artistes calling other artistes out for sampling their songs are using the act as a publicity stunt as it is not necessary. I think this is an insult to creatives who take their time putting their songs, which involve lyrics and beat, together to be called attention seekers. If you don’t want people to call you out, then don’t take their songs or better still ask them for permission, they either charge you the way they’re supposed to or use paddy talk and let it go, but don’t feel it’s your right to take another’s property and tell them they’re attention seekers… how about you stop them from seeking attention by sitting down and creating these words and rhythm yourself. Guess what? you can actually use those same words with another beat but you didn’t because they have made something out of their beat and you want to reap off of that which is understood, after all, the grass is greener on the other side, but it will be to sit down and water your grass so yours can be greener too, how about sitting down and creating your own song that feels “sample-able” rather than feeling proud about taking part of someone’s song?
- No Be Who Call Police Dey Win Case: I think at this point we can say that Peter should know when to say next question or just say he doesn’t have anything to say then show us why corruption in Nigeria will continue to increase because it looks like nobody is ready to be corrected and everybody seems above the law.
- People need to be educated: I like this comment because it was what propelled me to this post as I had to go educate myself but before then, I know that you don’t take other people’s content and be so comfortable because you feel it is just a couple of words accompanied by the same beat. So here is what I found while educating myself;
According to Copynot.org;
Sampling is the use of portions of prior recordings which are incorporated into a new composition. Sampling has become an integral part of many genres of music today. When you sample someone’s song without permission, it is an instant copyright violation. It is the unauthorized use of copyrighted material owned by another. Sampling without permission violates two copyrights-the sound recording copyright (usually owned by the record company) and the copyright in the song itself (usually owned by the songwriter or the publishing company).
If you want to use a sample legally, you must obtain permission from the copyright owner. The copyright owner is usually a publishing company or record label. Remember that you must obtain permission from both the owner of the sound recording and the copyright owner of the underlying musical work. The fee for a license to use a sample can vary tremendously. The fee will depend on how much of the sample you intend to use (a quarter second is a minor use; five seconds, a major use), the music you intend to sample (a Madonna chorus will cost more than an obscure drum beat), and the intended use of the sample in your song (it is more costly to build your entire song around the sample than to give it only minor attention).
There are two different ways to pay for a license. First, you can pay a flat fee for the usage. A buy-out fee can range from $250 to $10,000 on a major label. Most fees fall between $1,000 and $2,000. The other way to pay for the license is a percentage of the mechanical royalty rate. The mechanical royalty rate is the amount a person pays to the copyright owner to make a mechanical reproduction (copy) of the song. A license which is a percentage of the mechanical royalty rate is generally between ½ ¢ and 3¢ per record pressed. Everything is negotiable and it is not unusual to get a license for free, if you ask.
In this interview, he also mentioned his sample of Onyeka Onwenu and Usher Raymond’s songs, stating that it wouldn’t have made any sense if they had approached him that he was sampling their songs and was supposed to ask for permission and same thought was given to Davido and Small Doctor’s “If you no get money, hide your face” lyrics that Small Doctor used first in his Penalty
To me, things are happening the wrong way and they’re not being called out as the wrong that they are doesnt automatically make them the right things and if an artiste comes for you for sampling his song, do the needful and try to settle it peacefully rather than claim it was just a couple of minutes because that couple of minutes probably took the artiste months to get right and make it sound the way you’re listening to it because I’m sure if it was of no good or relevant to your song you wouldn’t want to add it.
So give credit where and when due so we can stop with our plenty grammar of what’s necessary and what’s not when we all know what the right thing is.
Watch the interview below;