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In this video, Berklee Online instructor E. Michael Harrington describes how replay and interpolation are different from sampling. The terms “replay” and “interpolation” are used interchangeably, and both mean that you are re-performing the music rather than sampling it. Though this concept still involves a copyright issue—you need to seek permission from the original artist in order to use the material—it’s less difficult to obtain permission than it is with sampling. Dr. Harrington focuses on Michael Jackson’s “Wanna Be Startin’ Somethin’,” the leadoff track on his smash album, “Thriller.” The last 89 seconds of the song—the “mama-say, mama-sa, ma-ma-ko-ssa” part—interpolates a 1972 song called “Soul Makossa” by Cameroonian artist Manu Dibango. Jackson used the song without permission, Dibango sued, and the two settled out of court. The Black Eyed Peas and Rihanna have also interpolated the phrase “mama-say, mama-sa, ma-ma-ko-ssa” in their music and had varying consequences!
About E. Michael Harrington:
Dr. E. Michael Harrington is a professor in music copyright and intellectual property matters. He has lectured at many law schools, organizations, and music conferences throughout North America, including Harvard Law, George Washington University Law, Hollywood Bar Association, Texas Bar, Minnesota Bar, Houston Law Center, Brooklyn Law, BC Law, Loyola Law, NYU, McGill, Eastman, Emory, the Experience Music Project, Future of Music Coalition, Pop Montreal, and others. He has worked as a consultant and expert witness in hundreds of music copyright matters including efforts to return “We Shall Overcome” and “This Land Is Your Land” to the public domain, and has worked with director Steven Spielberg, producer Mark Burnett, the Dixie Chicks, Steve Perry, Busta Rhymes, Samsung, Keith Urban, HBO, T-Pain, T. I., Snoop Dogg, Collin Raye, Tupac Shakur, Lady Gaga, George Clinton, Mariah Carey, and others. He sits on the editorial board of the Journal of Popular Culture, advisory board of the Future of Music Coalition and the Creators Freedom Project, and is a member of Leadership Music. Michael has been interviewed by the New York Times, CNN, Bloomberg Law, Wall Street Journal, Time, Huffington Post, Billboard, USA Today, Rolling Stone, Money Magazine, Investor’s Business Daily, People Magazine, Life Magazine, and Washington Post, in addition to BRAVO, PBS, ABC News, NBC’s “Today Show,” the Biography Channel, NPR, CBC and others. He teaches Music Business Capstone and Music Licensing courses at Berklee Online, and is the course author and instructor for Music Business Law, part of the curriculum for Berklee Online’s Master of Art in Music Business degree.
About Berklee Online:
Berklee Online is the continuing education division of Berklee College of Music, delivering online access to Berklee’s acclaimed curriculum from anywhere in the world, offering online courses, certificate programs, and degree programs. Contact an Academic Advisor today:
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Copyright Law | E. Michael Harrington | Sampling | Copyright Infringement | Replay | Interpolation | Michael Jackson | Thriller | Wanna Be Startin’ Somethin’ | mama-say, mama-sa, ma-ma-ko-ssa | Manu Dibango | Black Eyed Peas | Rihanna | Sound | Composition | Songwriter | Songwriting | Technique | Sound Recording | Songwriters | Berklee Online | Berklee College of Music