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22 September 2005



let's hope for a peaceful resolution to this situation, read out of court settelment.

Andres Duque

What's up with all these law-suits? I also heard that Kanye was suing one of my fave house music producers E-smoove: http://www.mtv.com/news/articles/1508641/20050830/west_kanye.jhtml?headlines=true


Shirley really doesn't have a leg to stand on. She didn't write the song, nor does she own the copyrights to the recording. That would be John Barry and his estate. Knaye doesn't owe her a thing, although he could have probably given her a courtesy call. I suspect there's more to the story, and I wouldn't be surprised if Dame Shirley is just miffed that a rapper is sampling her. She has a very precarious relationship with her own 'blackness', often refusing to even acknowledge it.


Michael is correct. There's no legal precedent. Movie themes are almost always a "work for hire." meaning even the songwriter gets paid only once. The copyright (both the writer and publisher's share) is retained by the film company. So, for example - Isaac Hayes doesn't receive one dime from the historic success of the theme from "Shaft."
In this instance, barring any special terms in the original agreement, the film company owns both the master recording of "Diamonds..." AND the underlying song. They can license it, without permission from Ms. Bassey, since she was in effect only a session singer and isn't owed anything - except for maybe advance warning.
Conversely, when the rights are retained by the original songwriter and artist - the permission to sample must be cleared through the artists publishing company. When Joe sampled Brenda Russell's '79 album cut "A Little Bit of Love" for the "Still Not A Player-Remix (Uptown, Baby)" - she was handsomely rewarded! (even though the royalties were tied up for years in probate when he died). The request to use the sample was in fact, initially denied because of the vulgarity of the lyrics, however - the "clean" version for radio convinced her to change her mind.

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