Too bad Moby didn't have our guide for sample-based producers when he crafted his self-titled debut album in 1992. According to a new report from The Hollywood Reporter, New York City's famed disco and funk label Salsoul is suing Moby for copyright infringement based on samples he used 22 years ago for his tracks, "Next is the E" and "Thousand." The samples in question both come from a recording of the track "Let No Man Put Asunder" performed by Philadelphia girl group First Choice.
This is not the first time Salsoul has recently been in the news for copyright complaints. The label is currently appealing the decision on another lawsuit involving Madonna in which they claimed the singer also used unlicensed samples. In that case the judge ruled that Salsoul had no valid claims, because "no reasonable audience would find the sampled portions qualitatively or quantitatively significant in relation to the infringing work, nor would they recognize the appropriation."
The lawsuit states that Salsoul demands statutory damages of up to $150,000 for each allegedly willful infringement plus profits and attorneys' fees. In what is sure to be a costly venture for both sides no matter what the outcome, this lawsuit is only just getting started.
If you're a producer who primarily uses samples, don't let your self get caught in this kind of mess. Take our five suggestions and get to work.