In most general terms, music sampling involves songwriters, musicians and singers borrowing pieces of music (samples) from other compositions or recordings to use them in their latest works. When you borrow someone else’s music, there is a risk of violating the copyright law.
How To Avoid Copyright Infringement?
First and foremost, you should keep in mind that all music samples consist of two separately copyrighted pieces: the song itself and the recording. The rights on the former piece are held by the songwriter, while the ones on the latter belong to the respective label.
The bad news is that when you sample, you must get permission from both parties, before you release any copies of your new work.
If both of them say “Yes” to your request to sample, you’ll then need to enter into a separate sampling agreement with each copyright holder. This process is never cheap, nor is it easy.
Getting The Permission
To obtain permission to use the composition, or compositions, you should first establish who the publishers are for each song you wish to use in you piece.
Once you get in touch with these guys, try to give them as much information as possible as to how exactly you intend to use their stuff.
For example, tell them which section of their song you plan to sample, how long the sample will last, etc. The more info you give them, the easier it will be to obtain permission.
As to the permission to use the recording, you should first find out who owns the master recording that you wish to sample.
Just like the request to sample the composition, get ready to give the copyright holders as much info as possible, including a demo of what your new recording might sound like.