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Did Producer Timbaland Steal From the Demoscene? 492

Posted by kdawson
from the not-about-the-money dept.
gloom writes "In 2000 the Finnish demoscene musician Janne Suni (also known as 'Tempest') won the Oldskool Music Competition at the Assembly demoparty with his four-channel Amiga .MOD entitled 'Acid Jazzed Evening.' A Commodore 64 musician called 'grg' remade the song on the C64 (using the infamous SID soundchip); it is this that was stolen. The producer's name is Timbaland and he is one of the hottest names in American music these days. The track in question is called 'Do it' and it is featured on the Nelly Furtado album 'Loose' on the Geffen label. Getting nowhere with Geffen, the demoscene has now risen to the aid of Tempest, first by creating a stir at SomethingAwful (files downloadable from the forum), then at Digg.com, then on YouTube, with a video demonstrating the blatant ripoff. Being an online-posting musician myself — what rights do I have if this should ever happen to me, and what can be done to raise awareness about such things?"
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Did Producer Timbaland Steal From the Demoscene?

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  • Uh, okay... (Score:3, Funny)

    by DrRevotron (994894) * on Saturday January 13, 2007 @10:11PM (#17598722)
    Why is this news? Everyone knows that hip-hop is unoriginal to start with.
    • You're unoriginal. (Score:2, Insightful)

      by Gray (5042)
      Name a type of music that has been more influential in the last 30 years..
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by Anonymous Coward
        I'll give you between 10 and 30 years ago, but hip-hop has been 2% talent [wikipedia.org] and 98% wannabe posers [wikipedia.org] for the last decade.

      • by urbanradar (1001140) <timothyfielding@[ ]il.com ['gma' in gap]> on Saturday January 13, 2007 @11:03PM (#17599172) Homepage
        Name a type of music that has been more influential in the last 30 years.
        How about, um, rock music? Rock music in all its form hasn't exactly been out of style and dead since early 1977.
      • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday January 13, 2007 @11:05PM (#17599194)
        Name a type of music that has been more influential in the last 30 years..

        Music from the Demoscene, apparently.
      • by HappySqurriel (1010623) on Saturday January 13, 2007 @11:06PM (#17599196)
        Name a type of music that has been more influential in the last 30 years..

        Well ... Define "influential" ...

        If you consider music sales [msn.com] Rock music is more popular than Rap, Hip-Hop, R&B and Urban combined. If you look at critical acclaim Rap music has only been receiving critical acclaim and awards (outside of specific genre awards) in the past 5 or so years.

        And what does it matter if a musical style has been "influential" if the initial argument was that it was unoriginal? You can be very generic (and even steal other people's ideas) and still be "influential".
      • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

        by Anonymous Coward
        name a type of music that's beat hasn't changed in the last 30 years.

        it was fine in the begining but using the same baseline from a disco song from 30 years ago only twisted and distorted and passing it off as "music" can't really be considered music.

        I'm not denying that rappers can rap really well but I can't stand the "music" they use for it, don't get me started on emo lyrics or the scream metal stuff either (where they figure it's ok to just constently scream into the mic and pass it off as a tale
      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by Planesdragon (210349)
        Hmm...

        0: Pop.
        1: Metal.
        2: Alternative
        3: "Movie Classical"
        4: Country
        5: Disco
        6: Rap.

        There's six for you. "Hip-Hop" is just a bastard child of rap and pop. (Rap would be a higher on that list if i ranked on "size of influence.")
        • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday January 14, 2007 @12:32AM (#17599852)
          "Hip-Hop" is just a bastard child of rap and pop.

          Wrong. Hip-hop is an all-encompassing culture, a movement started in New York City by inner city Hispanics and African Americans. Hip-hop traditionally consists of 4 "elements": DJ'ing (originally the backbone of hip-hop culture), Emceeing (rapping), Breakdancing, and Graffiti.

          Originally, rap was the combination of an emcee rhyming over a DJ's beat. An emcee's job was originally to get the crowd more into the music the DJ was playing, hence the title (derived from MC, or Master of Ceremonies).

          Through the late 90's, rap was simply called rap. Somewhere along the way, around the transition from the "jiggy era" to the Cash Money dominated southern sound of the mainstream, fans of underground rap music and conscious early 90's rap started referring to anything that was not mainstream as "hip-hop music", in an effort to differentiate "good" rap from "bad" rap"

          Only recently have radio stations and music channels that typically play mainstream style rap referred to the music that they play as "hip-hop". This has prompted many people to revert to referring to the music they like as "rap" in backlash, to express their disappointment to the direction popular rap artists have taken musically (focusing more on simple beats and rhymes in efforts to appeal to pop crowds and club scenes).
        • by skorch (906936) on Sunday January 14, 2007 @10:57AM (#17602822)
          Not to go too far OT, but Hip hop and Rap are actually the same thing as far as the actual pop-cultural relation to them are concerned. To be technical, Hip Hop refers to the entire culture, including things one might not generally think of such as fashion and speach. We used to refer to the four elements of hip hop: graffiti, breakdancing, DJing, and MCing (a.k.a. rapping), which in its early forms was actually subservient to DJing. Nowadays, MCing has moved overwhelmingly to the forefront, as the other elements have become more diluted, diversified, and hybridized (beatboxing could be seen as a more recently formalized and popularized hybrid of MCing and DJing, though it's generally been around for almost as long as hip hop itself). Now Hip Hop dance includes a lot more than just breakdancing, graffiti is much less popular (probably because it's not quite so marketable being illegal in nature).

          Since Rap has taken such a dominant role, nowadays whenever someone says "hip hop" they're generally talking about Rap, but to refer to the two things as though they were different musical genres is a fallacy. People think that the subject matter of the songs determines the genre (rap being the sole property of gangster rappers, and all other forms falling under some other umbrella of "hip hop"). In truth, they're all hip hop, and rapping is what they all do. It's just a matter of what they rap about that determines the subgenre (gangster, etc.).

          I find the people who try to argue that Hip Hop and Rap are different are generally people who don't listen to it much, or only listen to 3 or 4 artists and then declare themselves expert.

          What you have listed there are not musical genres in order of their influence, but probably more in order of your own personal preference or encounterance (which is self-select no doubt, and very much anecdotal). You get outside of the US and Germany, and you'll find Metal drops off the list fairly quickly (and even within those countries, I doubt you'd ever find it that high on any list). Country barely has an influence the farther in any direction you go from midwestern or Southern America before you even hit the borders, much less outside the country. Disco, come on, really? And whatever "Movie Classical" is. But, you go anywhere in the world from as far back as the mid to early 90's, and hip hop was already ubiquitous, from the American brand that gets exported in abundance to the various local flavors that grew up on their own. We're talking from France to Japan to Zimbabwe here I might add.

          But listing music in order of influence is also kind of fallacious, since all music is generally organic, and all genres have influenced and been influenced by others. If Disco has a great influence on modern hip hop, and hip hop is very popular, is it fair to say that Disco is the genre that's truly influential or hip hop itself? What if you could say the same for any other musical genre's influence on hip hop and vice-versa? Hip hop, at its very roots, is an assimilator, and has been growing due to its ability to absorb other musical genre's influences into itself seamlessly. From the earliest DJs mixing and remixing established Pop, Disco, and R&B tracks on turntables, to the modern mashups, this has always been a core element of Hip Hop.

          Quite frankly, the competition of "my genre of choice is more popular/influential than yours" is a bit ridiculous, because it's not like popularity is the sole legitimizer of an art form. In most cases, it means the destruction of creativity in favor of formulaic nonsense and posers taking over and steering the future of the genre, which is what has happened to most of modern popular hip-hop. One should be happy while their genre or artist of choice remains in relative obscurity, because that is the place where they can enjoy the most creativity; even if it means other more popular and successful performers end up sampling or outright stealing their work.
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by bubkus_jones (561139)
        80's rock, hair metal, grunge, to name a few.

        Hell, I'd wager that Van Halen (both the band and Eddie Van Halen himself) have been at least as influencial to the music industry as most rap/hip-hop artists out today combined. They not only brought about the beginnings of rock and metal in the 80's, popularizing guitar heroes like no one before, but Eddie redefined how to play the guitar (yes, many, if not most of his popular techniques have been used before, but he popularized them like no other) and redefine
        • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

          Hell, I'd wager that Van Halen (both the band and Eddie Van Halen himself) have been at least as influencial to the music industry as most rap/hip-hop artists out today combined. They not only brought about the beginnings of rock and metal in the 80's, popularizing guitar heroes like no one before, but Eddie redefined how to play the guitar (yes, many, if not most of his popular techniques have been used before, but he popularized them like no other) and redefined the guitar itself (not many people before h
      • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

        by Anonymous Coward

        Name a type of music that has been more influential in the last 30 years..

        Rock, jazz, classical.. hell even techno! Oh.. sorry.. being Slashdot I thought you meant for folks with IQs above say 110-120 or so. If you're talking about the "mildly retarded" range (i.e. can install a fart cannnon muffler without killing himself approximately 60% of the time), then yes, hip hop.

        My main gripe about all of this is this:

        A Commodore 64 musician called 'grg' remade the song on the C64 (using the infamous SID soundchip

    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by metalhed77 (250273)
      Leave it to the pasty white boys of Slashdot to state misinformed stereotypes relating to a culture they have very limited exposure to.

      And yes, I am aware of the contradictions in that statement.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday January 13, 2007 @10:13PM (#17598732)
    People please. There's a double-standard. Try to keep up with these things.
    • by Goldberg's Pants (139800) on Saturday January 13, 2007 @10:23PM (#17598814) Journal
      There's a big difference between downloading a song, and ripping off someone elses work, passing it off as your own, and making money off it, which is what this fucker Timbaland has done. It's not piracy. Piracy is when you download Nelly Furtado's album.

      Outright theft is when someones work is stolen and passed off as your own FOR PROFIT.

      And it's also a great example of the disparity in the legal system. This guy has been completely ripped off, and basically can't afford to take it to court, because Geffen are richer than him.

      One world, under a dollar, with justice for none except the corporations.
      • There's a big difference between downloading a song, and ripping off someone elses work, passing it off as your own, and making money off it, which is what this fucker Timbaland has done.

        True, sampling without permission outside a context of parody is wrong. But what if I steal and I don't know I'm stealing? How could George Harrison have caught himself and stopped himself from ripping off "He's So Fine", written by Ronald Mack and popularized by The Chiffons, when writing "My Sweet Lord"? See Cryptomnesia [wikipedia.org].

        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by Qzukk (229616)
          See Cryptomnesia

          Then you say "oops, I goofed up", pay royalties if necessary, credit the orignal version, and life moves on. You probably take a credibility hit for a few weeks, then people decide your version was better anyway.
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by OriginalArlen (726444)
      Years ago I used to work at a music publishing company as a tape copier / runner, one of the regular jobs was making "comparison tapes" - ten seconds of one of our tracks, ten seconds from a possible copyright-infringing tune. Anyone out there got New Order's "Republic" andMassive Attack's "Blue Lines"? Listen to the string breakdown at the end of "Special" -- around 4'10" (yes I'm checking!) Now go listen to "Unfinished Sympathy". Eerie, huh?

      And how about Manic Street Preachers "Interiors" from the "Ever

  • by Anonymous Coward
    C'mon, he ripped off his name from a brand of outdoor clothing. Does ripping off a demoscene song surprise anyone?
  • by stunt_penguin (906223) on Saturday January 13, 2007 @10:19PM (#17598782)
    FFS keep this quiet!.... The RIAA (regular readers of /. I'm sure) will take notice and somehow manage to construct a legal argument meaning Timberlake gets to sue the Finnish artist for more than than the GDP of Finland. 7th Dimensional Copyright Theory or something. Wouldn't be the first time.
  • How is the original author supposed to get any royalties when his works are posted all over the intarw3b.
    • by Almahtar (991773) on Sunday January 14, 2007 @01:22AM (#17600102) Journal
      That's the thing about the demo scene: it's not about royalties or profit, it's about the art. When someone rips that off and starts charging others for it (without so much as even giving you credit for all your work), it's completely against everything the work was originally composed for. It's like you get a gift for your kids and some jerk steals it from you, re-wraps it, and sells it to your brother as the perfect gift for his nieces/nephews.
  • by ack154 (591432)
    It's not stealing. It's "sampling." At least that's how they usually justify it...
  • hottest name? (Score:2, Insightful)

    by skam240 (789197)
    The producer's name is Timbaland and he is one of the hottest names in American music these days.

    timbaland? who the hell is that?
  • I like them mixed together. Smoooooth.

    Have you ever tried playing "The Halls of Montezuma" and "The Army Goes Rolling Along" together?
  • From the Wikipedia: In the early years, demos had a strong connection with software cracking. When a cracked program was started, the cracker or his team would take credit via an increasingly impressive-looking graphical introduction called a "crack intro". Later, the making of intros and standalone demos evolved into a new subculture independent of the software piracy scene.

    IMO this is a good appropriation of the material in the spirit of "rhyming and stealing" that both hip-hop and the demo scene spawn f
    • Maybe you'd give him props if he asked beforehand, but afterwards like this... you'd do the same thing anyone would. Sue him and his label.

  • I really hope for once the little guy will get his, and this producer that samples shamelessly way too much (and makes some really crappy music when he's not), will get slammed.

    I wonder if this will be a notice to the hip-hop community that, yes, you do need to clear your samples?

    • Rappers have usually cleared their samples since De La Soul got sued in the late eighties. On most CD covers there's some fine print stating where each sample came from, citing the original artist and song.

      The only difference here is that he didn't actually take a direct recording, he "just" did a recording with his own instruments to make it sound just like the original. Which might be legal. After all, covers are legal.

      But yeah, I'd like to see the original artist get some money from this too.
  • "...what rights do I have if this should ever happen to me, and what can be done to raise awareness about such things?"

    None. Didn't you get the memo? Information wants to be free. Welcome to the world without copyright. Look at it another way, now more people have heard about Janne 'Tempest' Sunni so he'll be able to sell more records at his next show.
  • Basically it works this way: If you're involved in the demoscene, you don't have to worry about stealing because your colleagues will happily mob lynch thieves like this for you. If not then you'd better have a big fanbase.
  • by masdog (794316) <masdog@@@gmail...com> on Saturday January 13, 2007 @10:40PM (#17598974)
    A quick browse of the Wikipedia webpage on sampling shows a number of cases where artists have been sued for sampling, so the best thing is to get yourself a lawyer who will direct you towards a good license that allows you to share your work non-commercially. If someone violates that license, you can then get that lawyer to go after them. The history of sampling cases seems to show that artists will pay you off so they don't risk a trial.

    And that finnish artist...she should bring Timbaland to court in Finland. She definitely has a case against him, especially since she has prior art to back up her case.
  • Janne Suni needs to get a lawyer. I'm sure several DMCA notices sent to strategic places (Apple iTunes, Walmart, etc.) will halt the album sales until a royalty agreement can be reached.
  • As long as they are ours.. That's basically the message that the Universal Music Group (of which Geffen Records is part) is sending. Its so typical of the corporate world (I'd say Corporate America, but I don't think its better elsewhere), they so much apply double standards when it comes to the law.. They are saying, we can steal from you, we can kill you, we can invade your country, we can infringe your copyrights, but if you dare to do one tenth of what we do, then its going to be terrible for you.

    So any
  • Haven't we learned from the Nemo lawsuit (and others) that copyright does not protect private citizens' creations. It only works for corporate-backed "creative" works.

    (Yes, that was laden with sarcasm.)
  • This is new? (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Arivia (783328) <arivia@gmail.com> on Saturday January 13, 2007 @11:00PM (#17599146) Journal
    This is new? [wikipedia.org]
  • by glamslam (535995) on Saturday January 13, 2007 @11:01PM (#17599148)
    Do we support this behavior (DJ Danger Mouse) or do we not (the example above)???
    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by RexRhino (769423)
      Slashdot, help me know what to think!?!!
      Do we support this behavior (DJ Danger Mouse) or do we not (the example above)???


      That is the great thing about Slashdot - your ideas don't need to be consistant - just knee jerk and reactionary, in order to be popular!
    • by ChaosDiscord (4913) * on Saturday January 13, 2007 @11:41PM (#17599484) Homepage Journal

      You left out option three: actually understand the issues involved and stop trying to play "gotcha."

      DJ Dangermouse may reuse other people's work in his own creations, but he credits his sources.

      If the above is to be believed, Timbaland reused someone else's creations, but didn't credit his source. That's low. Really low. If it's true, Timbaland deserves the scorn he's getting.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday January 13, 2007 @11:02PM (#17599160)
    Being an online-posting musician myself -- what rights do I have if this should ever happen to me?

    Don't worry. It won't.

    Sorry, couldn't resist.

    Anyway, they're not going to get anywhere bitching to Geffen. No corporation is going to admit wrongdoing if they aren't forced to. Spreading the info on the web is good for their cause but really, "Tempest" has to get a good lawyer.

    Keep in mind the only thing you can go after in the music industry is rights and roylaties. You won't get a big cash payout if an indie band steals your melody or worse, if another amateur slaps his name on your song. All you can do is make a fuss and possibly ruin their credibility. This would even go for a major label act with an album that doesn't sell-- if there's no money to be had there's not much you can do.

    Now, Furtado's album will probably sell millions, so "Tempest" has a shot at getting the publishing rights for the song. But to get this resolved he will have to get a competent entertainment lawyer who will work on a (large) commision. Then, if they settle or he wins, he may be able to get the writer credit (or shared credit) on subsequent pressings of the song and all or part of the roylaties-- not on the album, but the song itself (so a fraction of the album.. a small fraction if it is not a hit.) And when I say roylaties, I'm not talking gross sales but instead what Timbaland's cut would have been.

    Again, unless the song itself is a top-ten hit, I would not expect a big payday from this.
  • http://www.limpninja.com/acidjazz/glenn_acidjazz.m p3 [limpninja.com]

    Needless to say, I like GRG's version better.
  • I personally don't care two toilets full of crap how Nelly Furtado's career turns out, but I DO CARE what the RIAA et al do about this type of situation. Here they have the perfect opportunity to show the youth of the world that copying is NOT okay... OR... they can demonstrate first hand how it IS OK to copy people's work.

    WWNFD? Can we get some bracelets printed up now? You only have to wear them when you're downloading MP3s off the Internet. Oh, please make them pink with ponies on them too.

    Seriously, I h
    • This guy makes them money. Hell, they will probably sue the person who put the YouTube clip together for copyright infringement and breaking some anti-copying scheme on her shitty CD. The RIAA will never look out for the little guy, ever. Of course, you already knew that :)

  • "In 2000 the Finnish demoscene musician Janne Suni (also known as 'Tempest') won the Oldskool Music Competition at the Assembly demoparty with his four-channel Amiga .MOD entitled 'Acid Jazzed Evening.' A Commodore 64 musician called 'grg' remade the song on the C64 (using the infamous SID soundchip); it is this that was stolen."

    1. How is it that the latter was stolen, but the former wasn't?

    2. How do we know the "evidence" wasn't fabricated?
    2a. Are you sure I won't find something suspiciously similar in my
  • It's not sampling! (Score:5, Informative)

    by joe_n_bloe (244407) on Saturday January 13, 2007 @11:27PM (#17599360) Homepage
    Lifting and rearranging (i.e. "stealing") a tune is not sampling. If the Timbaland recording is the first published use of the song, and the use is unauthorized, then it is copyright infringement plain and simple. If it is not the first published use of the song, then there are two possibilities: a) the re-recording is a "cover" of the original, essentially similar to it, in which case compulsory licensing applies (and royalties are paid to the copyright holder at a rate defined by statute), or b) the re-recording is different enough that it is a derivative work, in which case compulsory licensing does not apply and once again it is simple copyright infringement. The copyright holder can force a halt to the infringement; what damages might be obtained in court, I don't know - the law isn't simple.

    This is US law - I don't know what country's laws would actually apply in this case.
  • by zr-rifle (677585) <zedrNO@SPAMzedr.com> on Saturday January 13, 2007 @11:35PM (#17599422) Homepage
    Dimmu Borgir [wikipedia.org], a Norwegian Black Metal group, ripped a song from the Amiga game "Agony", composed by Tim Wright. The original was a beautiful piano piece [titan12.free.fr] that you could listen to in the title screen. The band stole the melody and used it in the song "Sorgens Kammer [altayre.free.fr]" ("The Chamber of Sorrow" in Norwegian).

    They never acknowledged the ripoff, simply substituting the song with another one in the album. Pathetic.
  • by jambarama (784670) <jambarama AT gmail DOT com> on Saturday January 13, 2007 @11:40PM (#17599470) Homepage Journal
    Sample to your hearts content without permission, if you have a winner, then you pay for the license. It looks like Timbaland just forgot the last part. If the song never gets released and popular, no harm no foul right? But if you have a winner you'll be able and happy to pay for the license, so it is a no brainer to sample without permission, until you want to release it. Of course this only seems to work for those with the ability to make money off a release (big record labels), independent musicians without the exposure and protection of a big label probably won't be able to pay off the copyright holder anyway.

    But Tempest is right, there is no way this'd be worth it to fight. For example Talib Kweli recently violated Ben Kweller's copyright (or more likely his label's copyright) from the song "In Other Words". Kweller replied at the end episode 7 of his youtube show One Minute Pop Song. [youtube.com] If a fairly well known artist, Ben Kweller, can't fight it, someone like Tempest has pretty poor chances.

    Home sampling is probably fair use, but certainly using a sample on a record is not. If Timbaland samples Tempest at home, I think that is great. If Timbaland wants to include it on an album, there has to be some kind of recourse for the little guy covering such obvious infringement. You know if Tempest released an album (even just on the internet) sampling Timbaland the RIAA would be all over it with Lawyers. Remember The Grey Album [wikipedia.org]?
  • by rwa2 (4391) * on Saturday January 13, 2007 @11:54PM (#17599572) Homepage Journal
    I've really enjoyed a lot of the Popcap games available for PDAs, especially since a lot of their optional background music seems eerily familiar from my downloaded mod files (many are available from Nectarine radio nowadays: http://www.demoscene.net/ [demoscene.net] )

    OK, so it actually turns out that a lot of Future Crew's tracks were commissioned by Popcap:
    http://www.futurecrew.org/skaven/music_tracker.htm l [futurecrew.org]

    In any case, it's nice to see demoscene music used appropriately by folks with any decency.
  • by Sarusa (104047) on Sunday January 14, 2007 @12:41AM (#17599912)
    Boy, if you ever thought a large number of /. commenters were flat out stupid (as opposed to ones who just disagree with you), following that link to YouTube will certainly make you feel much better about /. commenters!

    Relevant xkcd [xkcd.com]
  • by Kjellander (163404) on Sunday January 14, 2007 @12:45AM (#17599924)
    Ladies and gentlemen of this supposed jury, Janne Suni's attorney would certainly want you to believe that his client wrote "Acid Jazzed Evening" ten years ago. And they make a good case. Hell, I almost felt pity myself! But, ladies and gentlemen of this supposed jury, I have one final thing I want you to consider. Ladies and gentlemen, this is Chewbacca. Chewbacca is a Wookiee from the planet Kashyyyk. But Chewbacca lives on the planet Endor. Now think about it; that does not make sense!

    Why would a Wookiee, an eight-foot tall Wookiee, want to live on Endor, with a bunch of two-foot tall Ewoks? That does not make sense! But more important, you have to ask yourself: What does this have to do with this case? Nothing. Ladies and gentlemen, it has nothing to do with this case! It does not make sense! Look at me. I'm a lawyer defending a major record company, and I'm talkin' about Chewbacca! Does that make sense? Ladies and gentlemen, I am not making any sense! None of this makes sense! And so you have to remember, when you're in that jury room deliberatin' and conjugatin' the Emancipation Proclamation, [approaches and softens] does it make sense? No! Ladies and gentlemen of this supposed jury, it does not make sense! If Chewbacca lives on Endor, you must acquit! The defense rests.
  • by uhlume (597871) on Sunday January 14, 2007 @03:38AM (#17600770) Homepage
    A Commodore 64 musician called 'grg' remade the song on the C64 (using the infamous SID soundchip)...
    Hint: 'infamous' != 'really famous'
  • Not the first time (Score:5, Informative)

    by c=sixty4 (35259) <armalyte@hotmail.com> on Sunday January 14, 2007 @04:54AM (#17601024) Homepage
    The trance song "Kernkaft 400" by Zombie Nation was a major hit in Europe in the late 90s, and quite obviously sampled from a Commodore 64 song. They were eventually forced to share writing credit with the original musician, David Whittaker, and pay a share of their royalties accordingly. I hope this ends up the same way.

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