Plagiarism in Music: The Danger of Unauthorized Sampling

The Dangers of Sampling: Artists seek compensation from Trap Music phenomenon Baauer for using unauthorized vocal samples in his online phenomenon “Harlem Shake.”

Artists Seek Compensation from Mad Decent for Unauthorized Samples in “Harlem Shake”

Via: NY Times

After the explosion of nearly 300,000 viral videos, as well as a three week reign on the Billboard Hot 100, “Harlem Shake” has landed itself at the center of a major legal dispute. Harry Bauer Rodrigues (more popularly known as Baauer) and Diplo's label Mad Decent now face a clear breach in copyright laws and are being pursued for compensation by the original artists.

Reggaeton-artist-turned-preacher Hector Delgado as well as Jayson Musson, member of Philadelphia rap group Little Plastic, are seeking compensation from Baauer for using vocal samples from their music, without permission, in the online phenomenon “Harlem Shake.” Delgado is the voice behind the unmistakable “con los terroristas,” and Musson is the man behind “Do the Harlem Shake;” both are seeking compensation from Mad Decent Records, who released the track last year.

Although Baauer stated that he found the “con los terroristas” sample “on the innerweb,” users on Baauer's Reddit AMA last month traced the sample back to Delgado. It's interesting to note, however, that Delgado's “con los terroristas” was sampled back in 2010 for a Philadelphyinz remix of “Con Algeria” (go to 2:03 to hear the sample) by Gregor Salto, DJ Gregory, and Solo, but Delgado didn't take legal action then. In any case, after this incident, we sincerely hope all artists will give credit where credit is due!

Written by: Ji-Sook Yim