Sample Clearance for Music Artists | Sam Mollaei, Esq. | Skillshare
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19 Lessons (57m)
    • 1. Course Introduction

    • 2. How to Make the Most of this Course!

    • 3. What is Sampling and Sample Clearance?

    • 4. Why is Sample Clearance Necessary?

    • 5. When is Sample Clearance Required and Not Required?

    • 6. What is Music Copyright?

    • 7. What is the "Fair Use" Doctrine of Copyright Law?

    • 8. What’s the Risk of Not Getting a Sample Clearance?

    • 9. Common Myths about Copyright Infringement Busted

    • 10. Overview of How to Get a Sample Clearance

    • 11. Step #1: Find & Ask the Music Publisher

    • 12. Step #2: Find & Ask the Owner of Master Recording

    • 13. Step #3: Costs of Sample Clearance

    • 14. Step #4: What to Do if You Can’t Get Sample Clearance

    • 15. What You Get When Someone Samples Your Song

    • 16. Cover Songs: How to Ask Permission to Cover a Song

    • 17. Publicity Releases: What You Need if Your Song is Part of an Ad or Endorsement

    • 18. Sample Packs & Pre-Cleared Sample Discs: Can You Use them as Samples?

    • 19. Course Summary & Wrap-up


About This Class

So you made an awesome music track using a sample from a song by another artist, and want to shop it to labels to release it for profit – what do you do next? 

Artists like Kanye West, Jay Z, and Vanilla Ice have all faced allegations of unlawful sampling.

As a small time or professional music artist, how do you approach sampling and when do you decide that it’s in your best interest to get sample clearance?

Sampling music is the act of reusing a portion of another song. Many music artists sample other's music but it’s illegal and a serious issue to ignore to get permission from the original owner of the songs. 

If you sample without asking permission, you could face serious legal trouble, lawsuits, and even money damages.

The process of getting permission from the owners of the sampled music is referred to as sample clearance. 

Sample clearance is a process that all music artists should do and it will save you from serious legal action you could face if you sample without permission.

If you’re a music artist or producer, odds are you either have or will be faced with the issue of using a sample in your music. 

The biggest problem is that most people wait too long before they start dealing with the legal aspects associated with clearing those samples.

If you plan to use samples in your music, you need to get permission to avoid serious legal trouble.

In this course, you will learn the step-by-step process of asking permission to sample a song and also learn about music copyright law and how to avoid other serious issues you could face as a music artist.

Student review by Jennifer D, “Clear and concise - Great, useful information presented in a concise manner. I was really able to apply this easily to my current work.”

Student review by Aryan Rabizadeh, "This course is very interesting and I would highly recommend it to everyone in the music industry who sample music. I've been a DJ in the music industry for over 6 years and I've always been confused about how to legally sample music . This course was very interesting, engaging, and easy to digest and taught me everything I should know about music sampling legally! Would watch again and refer my friends in the music industry!"


To sample or not to sample? 

This is the question many times a producer, DJ, and songwriter must struggle with on a daily basis. 

Sampling is fun, and in the era of the today’s strictly digital production world, very easy to do.

Typically, most independent releases remain under the radar and never draw enough attention to face the serious legal ramifications of not clearing samples

However, not clearing samples is still a serious dangerous place to be.

Using someone else’s recording in your music without permission can lead to serious consequences including, lawsuits or the inability to distribute your music to the public.

You could have an unexpected hit from that release and find yourself in a very defenseless position. 

The owner of one uncleared sample could have that record pulled from your project or ask for an unreasonable amount of payment because they are aware that you’re in a vulnerable spot.

If you’re lost whether or not you can sample from an existing song and how much is permissible to use, and whether you need permission to use a sample in your new sound recording, this course will clarify all of this for you along with the the do's and don’ts of sampling.

The Golden Rule of Music Law: if you don't own or control it, you likely need a license to use it. 

If you produce or remix music for other artists, it’s usually your responsibility to clear any samples introduced during the recording process. The artist or their label will probably make you contractually responsible for doing so as a pre-condition to the final record.

In this course, you will learn how to go about sampling, how to avoid getting sued, and learn the step-by-step process of asking permission to sample a song.


  • What to Do if You Can’t Get Sample Clearance?
  • What You Can Get When Someone Samples Your Song?
  • What You Need If Your Song is Part of an Advertisement or Endorsement?
  • Can You Use Sample Packs as Samples?
  • The In’s and Out’s of Music Copyright Law
  • Actionable and Useful Resources & Other Tools to Help You Grow as a Music Artist

What makes this course unique is that it’s an over-comprehensive course of everything you need to get sample clearance on your own.

With over two-hours of HD video content, you will be able to learn the secrets that many successful music artists use to create samples in their music.

► What are you waiting for? 

★ Enroll right now!