As A Tribute To MCA (Beastie Boys’ Adam Yauch): Can We Stop The War On Sampling? | Techdirt

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Late last week there was the very unfortunate news of the passing of Adam Yauch, better known as MCA, one-third of the Beastie Boys. I know a few people who have known him, and people only have had the most amazingly nice things to say about the guy. Like plenty of other folks, I’ve spent the past few days firing up old Beastie Boys albums, and (in particular) their classic Paul’s Boutique — which Nancy Sims rightfully pointed out: “it’s a sad copyright lawyer that doesn’t at least own” that particular album. And that’s because not only is it one of the all-time great albums, it’s also well known for including hundreds of samples.

Thankfully, for the world, Paul’s Boutique (and a few other classic hip hop albums) got in under the wire, before the industry started throwing around lawsuits against each other for sampling. An analysis last year of what it would cost to clear all the samples if the Beastie Boys decided to put together such an album today, when not clearing every song gets you sued. It turns out that based on how much labels seem to charge for samples, and the massive number of samples on the album, Capitol Records would have lost $20 million on the album, despite it selling 2.5 million copies.

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