Creative Commons discusses adding a potential new commons license that explicitly grants sampling rights. Interesting idea, and they quote Don Joyce of Negativland: “[A sampling option would] stop legally suppressing it and start culturally encouraging it — because it’s here to stay.”
While I respect Mr. Joyce’s work, I’d like to hear from other musicians on this one. I can’t help but think that putting a license that grants blanket rights to sample might be opening the door for free riders. An artist like Negativland sampling something is one thing: someone pulling a P. Diddy and creating a new song that practically clones the original is something else, and I’d want to be sure that I was protected against that by default.
Besides, if someone creates a new hit song whose hook, chorus, or other major melodic element is wholly derivative of my performance, I’d want recompense in the form of royalties. The draft broadly proposed at Creative Commons doesn’t appear to allow for that option.