“Your submission has been rejected due to possible copyright-infringing material.” In case you’ve ever received the above message from your digital distribution provider, you know how dispiriting and confusing it is. The rules of copyright might be confounding – and infringement can have severe consequences. In the latest of a string of high profile cases, all royalties from Ed Sheeran’s monster hit “Shape of You” have been frozen, because of accusations of copying the chorus from Sam Chokri’s 2015 song “Oh Why.” So how do you prevent getting sued or rejected due to copyright infringement? What are the rules? What can you use? Does it matter in case you can prove that you never heard the track in question? In this article we’ll go through every part you want to know the way sample clearance works.
Now, the primary question to ask yourself is: which part of a file am I using – the composition, lyrics, or recording (sampling)?