Producer rips off demoscene electronic music composer, makes millions
Trixter (8728), Jan 16, 2007
Those who know me from a former life know that I was heavily involved with the demoscene in the 1990s (and still am, to a small degree). So imagine my outrage when I learned of the blatant plagiarism of music producer Timbaland, stealing music from the scene to sell 3.5 million copies of Nelly Furtado's album. This wasn't a few notes from a melody or even 4 bars of rhythm; it was 16 bars of music used verbatim as the entire basis for the song.
With GDC coming up, and the subsequent Independent Games Festival and Awards at said event, I can't help but think this is not an isolated incident in the field of hobbyist programming. Are there any prior examples of a small, free, independent game's ideas being snatched up and used without permission in a large commercial game?
i think there's more story than we actually know.
* how original was that demo-scene composer when he did that sample? some samples have roots from 60 or earlier. everybody copies.
* isn't that sample copied by Timbaland even before Nelly Furtado's album? why now this attention, not earlier? "Block Party", anyone?
* can it be publicity stunt for Nelly Furtado's album - to sell more by making it better known to public (you know, any publicity is good publicity)
* maybe it's just some angry Nelly Furtado's hater buzz?
and "to sell 3.5 million" is not politically correct. it's one song, not whole album.
1) I think you're trying to imply that everyone can be inspired or influenced by someone else's work. I'm sure Tempest was inspired by other people's music when he wrote "Acid Jazzed Evening," but I have little doubt that it is an original composition, especially since no-one has come out and said otherwise, even after all this exposure. This case is not really an argument for or against sampling. The point is simply that Timbaland took the sample and passed it off as his own work, pure and simple.
2) It is believed that Timbaland originally stole the sample for his "Block Party" ring tone. I assume this was not discovered since it was less likely that someone already familiar with Tempest's song would come across it, as a ring tone is not as high profile as an album. AFAIK, Tempest has been aware of the theft since the album was released some months ago. The sudden publicity stems from the person who made the YouTube video and the story being submitted to Slashdot, Digg etc, thus making its rounds on the web.
3) If they had wanted to promote the album, I'm sure they would have thought of some other, more smart and less illegal way of doing it. Also, like most other musicians/authors/scholars, I assume Timbaland would not like to see his name connected to plagiarism, publicity or no publicity.
4) That's ridicules.
American people have mentality to sue everybody for every little thing, and this looks clear winner, then i can't see no reason to sue Timbaland. finding a lawyer should be peace of cake, or not?
When i see people not standing against something then it usually means that they are not sure of their win.
I guess ripping others music is not a crime in america then.
Copying themes is one thing, but the actual mod file can be heard in the background. It's bad enough to copy the theme without credit, but he ripped the actual work verbatim.
It's not a sample, it's 16 bars of music.
Uh... no. Ask Rob Base, MARRS, or any of the other artists who have gotten sued for so much money that they couldn't keep producing music. Such "publicity stunts" (which they are not) always end in lawsuits.
The album has sold 3.5 million copies worldwide, and that song was a single released off of it. Are you saying the released single had nothing to do with album sales?
You should watch the youtube video and/or download the .mod file and make your own judgment (although it's an incredible easy judgment to make)
it was 16 bars of music used verbatim as the entire basis for the song
I seem to recall a similar controversy over Zombie Nation's Kerncraft 400 aka David Whittaker's "song from Lazy Jones" 8)
Are there any prior examples of a small, free, independent game's ideas being snatched up and used without permission in a large commercial game?
My understanding is that this description applies to most mainframe game ports 8)
You remember correctly! And they were sued, and Whittaker got some royalties as a result.
The article has gotten over 2k diggs, so I guess it's generating some fallout in negative publicity if nothing else.
it made me listen this album again, and other Timbaland's work too.
I've read that Tempest isn't pursuing legal action due to the cost, but would it not be beneficial for people to gather together and make some kind of legal fund to help small musicians like this? There has got to be some legal team out there that would be interested in this.
Seems petty but we have the RIAA suing grannies and single parents over "intellectual copyright theft". Who is defending people like Tempest?
It wouldn't bother me so much if so much cash wasn't being made by people like Timbaland for plagiarising the efforts of others.
I think the more awareness of this that is generated the better.